News & Information

Client Alerts — Law Enforcement


January 21, 2022

Vol. 37 No. 1 A POLICE OFFICER WAS ENTITLED TO QUALIFIED IMMUNITY BECAUSE PLAINTIFF JOURNALIST DID NOT IDENTIFY A CLEARLY ESTABLISHED RIGHT THAT THE OFFICER VIOLATED

In Saved Magazine v. Spokane Police Department, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals determined that an officer was entitled to qualified immunity because the Court was unaware of any precedent that would alert an officer that his enforcement of separate protest zones would violate clearly established First Amendment law.  In reaching its conclusion, the Court…

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December 17, 2021

Vol. 36 No. 26 CALIFORNIA STATUTE PROHIBITING POSSESSION OF LARGE-CAPACITY MAGAZINES IS A REASONABLE FIT FOR THE IMPORTANT GOVERNMENT INTEREST OF REDUCING GUN VIOLENCE

In Duncan v. Bonta, the en banc Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a California statute which banned possession of magazines holding more than ten rounds of ammunition was a reasonable fit for the compelling goal of reducing gun violence.  The Court therefore reversed the District Court’s grant of summary judgment to Plaintiffs on…

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December 17, 2021

Vol. 36 No. 25 A PLAINTIFF FAILED TO PLAUSIBLY ALLEGE THAT AN OFFICER VIOLATED A DETAINEE’S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO ADEQUATE MEDICAL TREATMENT

In J. K. J. v. City of San Diego, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a dismissal of an action alleging constitutional violations by police officers in their treatment of a woman who was arrested at a traffic stop, fell ill while in police custody, and died nine days later. Background In November 2018,…

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November 23, 2021

Vol. 36 No. 24 GOVERNOR SIGNS ASSEMBLY BILL 481 ESTABLISHING NEW REQUIREMENTS ON THE WAY AGENCIES FUND, ACQUIRE, AND USE MILITARY EQUIPMENT

On September 30, 2021, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 481 (“AB 481”), which will become effective on January 1, 2022. AB 481 stated goals are to provide legally enforceable safeguards to protect the public’s welfare, safety, civil rights, and civil liberties before military equipment is funded, acquired, or used. Background Existing law designates the Department…

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November 10, 2021

VOL. 36 NO. 21 CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY BILL 32 IMPEDES FEDERAL IMMIGRATION POLICY

In October 2021, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in GEO Grp., Inc. v. Newsom, reversed a District Court’s order denying the United States’ motion for a preliminary injunction against a California law that phases out private detention facilities within the state.  The Court concluded that, because California Assembly Bill 32 (“AB 32”) conflicts with…

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November 8, 2021

Vol. 36 No. 22 SUPREME COURT CONCLUDES THAT POLICE OFFICERS DID NOT VIOLATE ANY CLEARLY ESTABLISHED LAW, AND WERE THUS ENTITLED TO QUALIFIED IMMUNITY

In October 2021, the United States Supreme Court, in its per curiam decision City of Tahlequah v. Bond, concluded that a Circuit Court of Appeals erred in denying police officers qualified immunity.  In reaching its conclusion, the Supreme Court found that there was no clearly established law with the appropriate level of specificity to align…

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November 1, 2021

Vol. 36 No. 20 A POLICE CHIEF WAS NOT ENTITLED TO QUALIFIED IMMUNITY WHEN AN OFFICER ASSERTED THAT SHE HAD BEEN RETALIATED AGAINST FOR FILING SEX-DISCRIMINATION LAWSUITS

In the case of Ballou v. McElvain, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of qualified immunity to a police chief on an officer’s First Amendment retaliation claim, holding that the officer’s speech opposing workplace sex discrimination was inherently speech on a matter of public concern and was clearly protected by the First…

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October 22, 2021

Vol. 36 No. 19 SUPREME COURT REVERSES NINTH CIRCUIT’S DECISION TO DENY OFFICER QUALIFIED IMMUNITY

In the case Rivas-Villegas v. Cortesluna, the United States Supreme Court reversed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision denying qualified immunity to a police officer who placed his knee on the back of an armed suspect lying face-down on the ground for eight seconds during the handcuffing process.  The Supreme Court determined that Ninth…

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