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Tag Archives: Fourth Amendment

Civil Rights – Local Police Can’t Detain on Civil ICE Warrant (access required)

Santos v. Frederick County Board of Comm’r Local law enforcement officers can’t detain individuals solely based on known or suspected civil immigration violations, but that rule wasn’t clearly established law when defendant deputies arrested a Salvadoran dishwasher after questioning her outside her workplace, and the 4th Circuit says the deputies have immunity from her civil rights claim for violation of her Fourth Amendment rights.

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Criminal Practice – No Privacy Interest for Vehicle Claimant (access required)

U.S. v. Castellanos A defendant who showed up to claim a Ford Explorer that was discovered to be carrying $3 million worth of cocaine in its gas tank, did not show any indicia of ownership or other possessory or privacy interest in the vehicle, and the 4th Circuit upholds denial of defendant’s motion to suppress and his drug conviction on a conditional guilty plea.

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Civil Rights – Constitutional – Fourth Amendment – Malicious Prosecution – Arrest Warrants — Probable Cause (access required)

Williams v. Sims Although the solicitor’s office dismissed the charges against plaintiff without prejudice and returned the case to the sheriff’s office for further investigation, plaintiff has not shown that the defendant-deputy lacked probable cause to seek arrest warrants for him.

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Constitutional – Fourth Amendment – Seizure – Aggressive Dogs – Owners’ Home (access required)

Anderson v. City of Camden Even though privately owned dogs are “effects” subject to the protection of the Fourth Amendment, the law surrounding the state’s right to seize aggressive dogs is too murky to allow the court to say defendants violated a clearly established constitutional right when they seized plaintiffs’ German Shepherds. Defendants’ motion for summary judgment is granted.

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Constitutional – Fourth Amendment – Excessive Force – Arrest – Serious Injuries – Bystander Liability (access required)

Norman v. Frederick The facts show that defendant Hamlett did not strike plaintiff during his arrest, so Hamlett is entitled to summary judgment on plaintiff’s excessive force claim; however, Hamlett may be liable on plaintiff’s bystander claim. Defendants’ motion for summary judgment is granted in part and denied in part.

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Civil Rights – Constitutional – Fourth Amendment – Qualified Immunity – Strip Search – After Ion Scan   (access required)

Braun v. Maynard Maryland prison officials who used ion scanning to screen employees and performed vehicle searches and strip searches of those who tested positive for drug residue have qualified immunity from the employees’ suit alleging violation of their Fourth Amendment rights; the 4th Circuit says no clearly established federal law put defendant officers on notice the scan results here could not support a strip search.

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Scribner’s Error: May I see your papers? The humiliation of a border crossing

Strike "international contraband smuggler" off my list of alternative careers. I'd never get the first kilo over the border. I've known for a while that I have an innate distaste for authority, which I attribute to some residual ornery genes inherited from the West Virginia branch of my family tree. But I wasn't aware that I had such an irrational fear of authority until last month's episode at a Canadian border crossing.

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