Vol. 39  No. 7 POLICE MAY CONSTITUTIONALLY CONDUCT AN INVENTORY SEARCH OF BELONGINGS WHEN THE PROPERTY IS LAWFULLY RETAINED AND THE SEARCH IS DONE IN COMPLIANCE WITH POLICE REGULATIONS, EVEN AFTER THE INDIVIDUAL HAS BEEN RELEASED

In United States v. Sapalasan,1 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a motion to suppress drug evidence found during an officer’s inventory search of an individual’s backpack. The court held that police may constitutionally conduct an inventory search of belongings when the property is lawfully retained and the search is done […]

Vol. 39  No. 6 QUALIFIED IMMUNITY SHIELDED OFFICER BECAUSE, EVEN IF HER FIFTH AND SIX SHOTS AT DECEDENT WERE UNREASONABLE, IT WAS NOT AN OBVIOUS SITUATION IN WHICH EVERY REASONABLE OFFICER WOULD HAVE UNDERSTOOD THAT THE LAW FORBADE FIRING ADDITIONAL SHOTS AT ALREADY WOUNDED ARMED DECEDENT AS HE CONTINUED TO TRY TO GET UP

In March 2024, the Ninth Circuit Court in Est. of Hernandez v. City of Los Angeles1 held that although a reasonable jury could have concluded an officer used excessive force, qualified immunity shielded her because no precedent squarely governed the facts presented here. Background In April 2020, Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) Officers Toni McBride […]

Vol. 39 No. 5 A PUBLIC OFFICIAL WHO PREVENTS SOMEONE FROM COMMENTING ON THE OFFICIAL’S SOCIAL-MEDIA PAGE ENGAGES IN STATE ACTION UNDER 42 U.S.C. SECTION 1983 ONLY IF THE OFFICIAL BOTH POSSESSED ACTUAL AUTHORITY TO SPEAK ON THE STATE’S BEHALF ON A PARTICULAR MATTER, AND PURPORTED TO EXERCISE THAT AUTHORITY WHEN SPEAKING IN THE RELEVANT SOCIAL-MEDIA POSTS

On March 15, 2024, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in a case entitled Lindke v. Freed.1  In this case, the Court established a new standard to assess whether a social media account managed by a local, state, or federal government official subjects that public official to a potential First Amendment violation under […]

Lindke v. Freed and O’Connor-Ratcliff v. Garnier SCOTUS Clarifies Standard for Plaintiffs to Sue Public Officials for Social Media Restraint

On March 15, 2024, the United States Supreme Court, in Lindke v. Freed1 and O’Connor-Ratcliff v. Garnier2 established a new standard to assess whether a social medial account run by local, state, or federal government officials subjects that public official to a potential First Amendment violation under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983. The decisions clarify when […]

SCOTUS Clarifies Standard for Plaintiffs to Sue Public Officials for Social Media Restraint – Lindke v. Freed and O’Connor-Ratcliff v. GarnierSCOTUS Clarifies Standard for Plaintiffs to Sue Public Officials for Social Media Restraint –

On March 15, 2024, the United States Supreme Court, in Lindke v. Freed and O’Connor-Ratcliff v. Garnier established a new standard to assess whether a social medial account run by local, state, or federal government officials subjects that public official to a potential First Amendment violation under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983. The decisions clarify when […]

Vol. 37 No. 12 PERSONNEL RECORDS RELATING TO INVESTIGATION AGAINST A PEACE OFFICER WERE NOT SUBJECT TO DISCLOSURE UNDER PENAL CODE SECTION 832.7 BECAUSE THE OFFICER WAS NOT PROVIDED WITH AN OPPORTUNITY TO APPEAL THE FINDINGS

In Wyatt v. Kern High Sch. Dist., 80 Cal. App. 5th 1116 (5th Dist. 2022), a California Court of Appeal concluded that a peace officer’s personnel records were not subject to disclosure under the 2018 amendments to Penal Code sections 832.7 & 832.8.  In reaching its conclusion, the Court explained that the officer was never […]

Vol. 37 No. 13 A STATE OFFICIAL VIOLATES FIRST AMENDMENT BY CREATING A PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE SOCIAL MEDIA PAGE RELATED TO HIS OR HER OFFICIAL DUTIES AND THEN BLOCKING CERTAIN MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC FROM THAT PAGE BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF THEIR COMMENTS

In Garnier v. O’Connor-Ratcliff,[1] the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals determined that members of a school district’s board of trustees acted under color state law by using their social media pages as public forums in carrying out their official duties.  Then, applying First Amendment public forum criteria, the Court concluded that restrictions on certain individuals […]

Vol. 37 No. 14 POLICE OFFICER’S PERSONAL FACEBOOK POSTS DENIGRATING RELIGION AND ADHERENTS WARRANTED FIRST AMENDMENT PROTECTION BECAUSE THEY QUALIFIED AS SPEECH ON MATTERS OF PUBLIC CONCERN

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Hernandez v. City of Phoenix,[1] found that although it seemed like a police officer’s social media posts expressing hostility toward and denigrating a major religious faith and its adherents could impede the performance of his job duties and interfere with the police department’s ability to effectively carry out […]