BREAKING NEWS: Massive Victory for Law Enforcement as Supreme Court Defends Qualified Immunity

Massive Victory for Qualified Immunity


October 19, 2021 –  Today the United States Supreme Court issued two unsigned opinions applying qualified immunity to disputes over alleged excessive use of force by police officers, reversing lower court decisions from both the 9th and 10th Circuit which allowed law enforcement officers to be sued for their conduct while on the job.

This is a massive victory for law enforcement and qualified immunity!


To state the obvious, a decision where the court did not even have jurisdiction cannot clearly establish substantive constitutional law. Regardless, that formulation of the rule is much too general to bear on whether the officers’ particular conduct here violated the Fourth Amendment. See al-Kidd,
563 U. S., at 742. Estate of Ceballos, decided after the shooting at issue, is of no use in the clearly established inquiry. See Brosseau v. Haugen, 543 U. S. 194, 200, n. 4 (2004) (per curiam). And Hastings, an unpublished decision, involved officers initiating an encounter with a potentially suicidal individual by chasing him into his bedroom, screaming at him, and pepper-spraying him. 252 Fed…..Suffice it to say, a reasonable officer could miss the connection between that case and this one. Neither the panel majority nor the respondent have identified a single precedent finding a Fourth Amendment violation under similar circumstances. The officers were thus entitled to qualified immunity.  The petition for certiorari and the motions for leave to file briefs amici curiae are granted, and the judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed.  —  City of Tahlequah v. Bond



On the facts of this case, neither LaLonde nor any decision of this Court is sufficiently similar. For that reason, we grant Rivas-Villegas’ petition for
certiorari and reverse the Ninth Circuit’s determination that Rivas-Villegas is not entitled to qualified immunity. — Rivas-Villegas v. Cortesluna

Read more here:  Supreme Court Orders_2021.10.18

You may also be interested in:  Why We Need to Defend Qualified Immunity in Jails



October 20, 2021 – 9:00 am

Join NIJO Executive Director, Tate McCotter, along with attorneys Nick Morisani (Phelps Dunbar) and Kathryn L. Schroeder in the JAILCON21 Online Conference WEBINAR 5 on Qualified Immunity, October 20th at 9:00 am MDT.

(Not registered to attend JAILCON?  It’s not too late to register!  Learn more about this webinar, as well as over 40 hours of valuable legal-based training available to corrections professionals during JAILCON21 Online Conference here.)

You may also be interested in:  Why We Need to Defend Qualified Immunity in Jails

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