Wednesday, April 21, 2004

More on that 9th Circuit arrest case

From SCOTUSBlog, these are the questions presented in the Devenpeck v. Alford case:

Under the Fourth Amendment's objective reasonableness test, an arrest is deemed "reasonable" if there is probable cause to believe that a violation of law has occurred. Two judicial circuits find an arrest reasonable if, based on an objective assessment by a reasonable officer, there is probable cause to arrest for any offense. On the other hand, at least five judicial circuits find an arrest to be reasonable only if there is probable cause to arrest for crimes "closely related" to the crime or crimes articulated by the arresting officer. This case presents the following questions:

1. Does an arrest violate the Fourth Amendment when a police officer has probable cause to make an arrest for one offense, if that offense is not closely related to the offense articulated by the officer at the time of the arrest?

2. For the purpose of qualified immunity, was the law clearly established when there was a split in the circuits regarding the application of the "closely related offense doctrine", the Ninth Circuit had no controlling authority applying the doctrine, and Washington state law did not apply the doctrine?

No comments: