U.S. Sixth Circuit - The FindLaw 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Ruling on Appeal Involving Excessive Force and Warrantless Entry Claims

In Schreiber v. Moe, No. 09-1337, the Sixth Circuit faced a challenge to the district court's decision to grant in part, summary judgment in favor of the police officer in plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action.

As stated in the decision: "Moe learned from the 911 dispatcher that a caller claimed to have heard screaming and believed that Sarah was being beaten by her parents.  The caller climed to have heard on the telephone the altercation as it was occurring.  The caller asked to remain anonymous, which made it impossible for Moe or the dispatcher to assess the caller's credibility."

Thus, in affirming the district court's grant of defendant's motion for summary judgment on the claim of warrantless-entry, the court held that no reasonable jury could find that the officer violated the Fourth Amendment by entering plaintiff's home or by remaining inside as long as he did to ensure the safety of the daughter.  However, the court reversed the grant of summary judgment on the excessive force claim and held that the officer is not entitled to qualified immunity as he punched the plaintiff in the face serveral times when he was already restrained by handcuffs.

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