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Municipal Law Alert

In Biegert, Seventh Circuit Ruling Sustains Use of Lethal Force When Officers Face Immediate Threats of Serious Harm

When are police officers legally justified to use lethal force? In Estate of Biegert by Biegert v. Molitor, the Seventh Circuit held that an officer was justified in shooting a man who had stabbed another officer in the arm, and, with the knife, stepped toward the officer who shot him. Claims of excessive force are   Continue Reading »

Probable Cause Existed and Plaintiff’s Retaliatory Arrest Claim Against Two Officers Gets Tossed.

Overview:  In 2014, plaintiff was arrested during “Arctic Man,” a week-long winter sports festival held in the remote Hoodoo Mountains near Paxson, Alaska.  The event is known for both extreme sports, as well as extreme alcohol consumption. Police officers spend most of the weekend responding to snowmobile crashes, breaking up fights and policing underage drinking.   Continue Reading »

A Municipality “Moment:” FOIA Request for Police Department Videotapes Denied by Trial Court and Affirmed on Appeal

Overview: In 2016, the plaintiff, who worked as a reporter, submitted four Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to obtain videotapes from 2013 of police interviews of several individuals accused of murder. The defendant (a municipality) denied those requests claiming unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, interference with actual or pending law enforcement proceedings, and disclosure   Continue Reading »

SCOTUS Cracks Down on Excessive Seizures by Police Departments, Municipalities

The U. S. Supreme Court has curbed the power of cities and states to levy fines and seize property under the Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution.  In a recent case, Timbs v. Indiana, the Court ruled that the seizure of a $42,000 Land Rover was excessive compared to the criminal activity that carried a   Continue Reading »

Johnson and Bell

Johnson and Bell