Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Unpublished Decisions

Plascencia v. Taylor, 2013 WL 1200284 (3/26/13) (Ut.) (unpub'd) - The 10th affirms a jury verdict for a ยง 1983 plaintiff. The use of firearms, handcuffs and other forceful techniques generally exceed the scope of an investigative detention and enter the realm of arrest absent the reasonable necessity to use such tactics. Here the officer learned that the plaintiff's cell phone was found in someone else's home where there was no evidence of a burglary. As soon as the officer encountered the plaintiff, the officer handcuffed him without any objectively reasonable safety concern, lifted his arms behind his back and repeatedly struck his legs without any safety concerns and forcibly moved him to a different location without any good reason to do so. Since there was an arrest and no probable cause, there was sufficient evidence of a seizure in violation of the 4th Amendment.

Hernandez v. Grant, 2013 WL 1277024 (3/29/13) (N.M.) (unpub'd) - The 10th affirms Judge Parker's denial of the officers' summary judgment motion in yet another APD escapade. The plaintiff's allegations, if proven, would establish a 4th Amendment violation where: while responding to a report of a residential burglary, officers saw the plaintiff drive by in what they described as a suspicious manner; the plaintiff slowed from 20 mph to 15, looked at an officer and just kept driving; the plaintiff was driving on a route frequently used to access I-40 and was not in the part of the "NW Area Command" area where residential burglaries were a problem; the plaintiff went to his home and stayed there an hour; and the officers effected a felony stop when the plaintiff started to pull out of his garage. Under those facts there was no reasonable suspicion to stop the plaintiff.

Ho v. Michelin North America, Inc., 2013 WL 1277023 (3/29/13) (Kan.) (unpub'd) - This case might be helpful to exclude expert evidence. The district court did not abuse its discretion to exclude expert testimony where the plaintiff did not show how the expert's substantial experience rendered his particular opinion in the case reliable. There was too great an analytical gap between the data and the opinion proffered. The expert's methodology was not reliable. The insistence on rigorous testing was appropriate given that the expert's opinion went against scientific consensus. "Experience is not necessarily a password to admissibility."

Von Hallcy v. Clements, 2013 WL 1223799 (3/27/13) (Col.) (unpub'd) - Shoving, verbal harassment for wearing a knit cap too low and handcuffing of an inmate did not rise to the level of a constitutional violation.