Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Home / Opinion Digests / Civil Rights (page 25)

Civil Rights

Civil Rights – Municipal – Civil Practice – Pleadings – Conclusory Allegations – Tort/Negligence – Battery – Fleeing Suspect – Hit with Car (access required)

Purcell v. City of Greensboro Plaintiff makes no factual allegations that the defendant-police officer who ran him down with a patrol car was acting pursuant to a policy of the defendant-city. Mere conclusory allegations are insufficient to state a claim.

Read More »

Civil Rights – Schools & School Boards – Student Assignment Plan – Burden of Proof – Racial Disparities (access required)

Everett v. Pitt County Board of Ed. Parents’ groups that oppose a county school board’s 2011-2012 student assignment plan win their appeal in the 4th Circuit, which says the district court erred by failing to apply, and requiring the school board to rebut, a presumption that racial disparities in the assignment plan resulted from the school board’s prior unconstitutional operation of a racially segregated school district.

Read More »

Civil Rights – Search & Seizure – Tort/Negligence – Trespass & Assault — Bail Bondsman – No Qualified Immunity (access required)

Gregg v. Ham A bail bondsman pursuing a fugitive in his home neighborhood must pay $100,000 to a disabled woman whose home the bondsman surveilled and searched; the 4th Circuit says the bail bondsman is not entitled to qualified immunity from the woman’s § 1983 claim and the district court did not err in submitting the immunity issue to the jury.

Read More »

Civil Rights – Malicious Prosecution – Qualified Immunity – Lack of Probable Cause – Impersonating a Police Officer (access required)

Merchant v. Bauer A Fairfax County police officer could not objectively and reasonably have believed plaintiff was impersonating a police officer in violation of a Virginia statute when plaintiff, a psychologist who served as deputy director of a Maryland county correctional department, had a badge in her pocket, used air quotes to refer to her county-provided “police car,” and told the officer he should show her professional courtesy; the 4th Circuit upholds a denial of qualified immunity to the officer.

Read More »

Civil Rights – IDEA – Eleventh Amendment – Individual Defendants – Immunity (access required)

Singletary v. Department of Health & Human Services Where the waiver of Eleventh Amendment immunity in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) closely resembles the waiver in the Rehabilitation Act, which the U.S. Supreme Court has found to be valid and unequivocal, the court holds that the IDEA’s waiver of sovereign immunity is valid and unequivocal.

Read More »

Civil Rights – Prisons & Jails – ‘Three-Strikes’ Prisoner – Frequent Filings – State-Court Remand (access required)

Lisenby v. Lear A federal district court could not remand to state court a prisoner’s pro se filing based in part of plaintiff’s status as a “three-strikes” prisoner due to his frequent legal filings, and the 4th Circuit reverses the remand order and reinstates plaintiff’s complaint for further proceedings.

Read More »

Civil Rights – ADA – Domestic Violence Call – Handcuffed Deaf Suspect (access required)

Seremeth v. Board of County Commissioners Frederick County, Md. Police responded reasonably to a domestic call involving a family whose members were deaf by handcuffing the father behind his back, which impeded his ability to write notes or sign, and by calling in an American Sign Language trainee, and the county is entitled to summary judgment on the father’s claim that police violated his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Read More »

Civil Rights – Constitutional – First Amendment – Free Speech – Abortion Protest – Qualified Immunity (access required)

Lefemine, d/b/a Columbia Christians for Life v. Wideman The 4th Circuit upholds a judgment that a local sheriff’s department violated a pro-life group’s First Amendment rights when officers asked group members not to display “large, graphic signs” with aborted fetuses as part of a roadside demonstration, but the appellate court also upholds qualified immunity for defendants.

Read More »

Civil Rights – ADA Claim – Med Student – ADHD — Unqualified (access required)

Halpern v. Wake Forest University Health Sciences A medical student with ADHD and anxiety disorder can’t sue Wake Forest medical school for disability discrimination after his dismissal due to a pattern of unprofessional conduct with staff; with or without “reasonable accommodation,” the student is unqualified for the medical program, the 4th Circuit says.

Read More »

Civil Rights – Virginia FOIA – Non-Citizen Request – Access Denied – Constitutional – Privileges & Immunities Clause (access required)

McBurney v. Young Non-Virginia citizens who were denied access under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act to certain public records from Virginia state agencies, including information related to a child support matter and county real estate assessments, lose their suit alleging the Virginia Freedom of Information violated the Privileges & Immunities Clause of the U.S. Constitution Clause, in this 4th Circuit d

Read More »