Bellotte v. Edwards, 10-1115 - Civil Rights Law - U.S. Fourth Circuit
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Bellotte v. Edwards, 10-1115

Civil rights action against police officers for no-knock entry into plaintiffs' family home

Bellotte v. Edwards, 10-1115, concerned plaintiffs' suit against police officers claiming several causes of action under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 and state law, arising from a late-night, no-knock entry into plaintiffs' family home on suspicion of child pornography related offenses.


In reversing in part, the court held that, because a man of reasonable intelligence would not have believed that exigent circumstances existed in this situation, the district court's holding that this no-knock entry violated the plaintiffs' clearly established constitutional rights and does not warrant an award of qualified immunity.  However, the court affirmed in part the district court's denial of qualified immunity with respect to one of the plaintiff's excessive-weapons claims, but reversed the district court's denial of qualified immunity as to remaining two plaintiffs' excessive weapons claims.  Lastly, the court dismissed the plaintiffs' challenge to the district court's grant of summary judgment to the officers with respect tot he validity of the search warrant and the reasonableness of various aspects of the search, for lack of jurisdiction as there is no final order governing those issues from which to appeal.

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