U.S. Fourth Circuit - The FindLaw 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

January 2016 Archives

Cops Get Immunity After Tasing Man Suffering Mental Illness

The Fourth Circuit's Court of Appeals laid down clear law in ruling that the police may only use their tasers against persons who pose an "immediate safety risk."

Unfortunately, this law came a little too late for Ronald Armstrong, a mentally ill man who was accidentally killed by police who'd hoped the "excruciating pain" would produce a desired effect of "compliance."

"Drop and give me 14 push-ups! Or 30, if you're a dude." That, in essence, is the gender-based difference in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's physical fitness exam for special agent trainees. Men must be able to complete 30 push-ups to pass the physical exam; women are required to hit just 14.

And that's perfectly fine, the Fourth Circuit ruled on Monday, after a male trainee who was just one push-up short of 30 sued, arguing the test illegally discriminated on the basis of sex.

Officers Can't Lie About a Search Warrant: No 'Good Faith' Exception

The Fourth Circuit's Court of Appeals drew a line in the sand for the Fourth Amendment unreasonable search by declaring that a "good-faith" motivation to protect a witness does not pass the good faith search warrant exceptions under the Exclusionary Rule Doctrine.

Let this be the case that stands for the rule of thumb: "white lies" can taint searches.