As discussed above, qualified immunity strikes a balance by permitting a plaintiff to recover for constitutional violations where a governmental defendant was “plainly incompetent or . . . knowingly violate[d] the law,” while immunizing a state officer who “made a reasonable mistake about the legal constraints on his actions.” Curley v. Klem, 499 F.3d 199, 206-07 (3d Cir. 2007) (internal quotations and citations omitted) a defendant’s entitlement to qualified immunity hinges on two considerations.
First, a court must determine “whether the plaintiff has alleged a deprivation of a constitutional right at all,” Pearson v. Callahan, 555 U.S. 223, 232 (2009)(citation omitted), which, as the Court of Appeals has emphasized, is not a question of immunity as such, “but is instead the underlying question of whether there is even a wrong to be addressed in an analysis of immunity.” Curley, 499 F.3d at 207.
A court must then decide “whether the right that was violated was clearly established, or, in other words, whether it would be clear to a reasonable officer that his conduct was unlawful in the situation he confronted.” Id. (internal quotations and citations omitted). This inquiry “must be undertaken in light of the specific context of the case, not as a broad general proposition.” Brosseau v. Haugen, 543 U.S. 194, 198 (2004) (citation omitted) A right is clearly established when “it would [have been] clear to a reasonable officer that his conduct was unlawful in the situation he confronted.” Lamont v. New Jersey, 637 F.3d 177, 182 (3d Cir. 2011).
At the time of this incident, it was clearly established that a police officer must have an articulable and reasonable suspicion that a driver has committed a motor vehicle offense in order to conduct an investigatory stop. Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U.S. 648, 699 (1979). These stops are “more analogous to a so-called ‘Terry Stop,’ see Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), than to a formal arrest.” Berkemer v. McCarty, 468 U.S. 420, 439 (1984).
The determination of whether a police officer had reasonable and articulable suspicion to make an investigatory stop depends on the “totality of the circumstances.” United States v. Arvizu, 534 U.S. 266, 273 (2002). “The inquiry into the existence of reasonable suspicion is fact-specific.” Karnes v. Skrutski, 62 F.3d 485, 493 n.5 (3d Cir. 1995)(citing Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 15 (1968)).
Quasi-judicial immunity, however, was qualified, i.e., could be defeated by a showing of malice. Thus Court should recognize the existence of malice. “the well-settled rule that malice may be inferred from want of probable cause.” Hammill v. Mack Int’l Motor Truck Corp., 104 N.J.L. 551, 552, 141 A. 775 (E. & A.1928). See also Vance v. Erie Railway Co., 32 N.J.L. 334, 337 (Sup.Ct.1867)
“The proof of malice need not be direct. It may be inferred by the jury, from the want of probable cause.”). Regarding the element of malice, a plaintiff need not demonstrate that defendant’s intended to do him or her personal harm. Plaintiff need only show a reckless or grossly negligent disregard for his or her rights. This may be manifested in an egregious deviation from proper investigative procedures.” (Hernandez v. State a/NY, 228 AD2d 902,644 NYS2d 380 [3 rd Dept 1996]). See Civil Rights Act of 1875, 18 Stat. 335 (1875).
To defeat a claim of qualified immunity, a plaintiff must show that (1) the plaintiff has alleged that the defendant has violated a clearly established constitutional or statutory right, and (2) a reasonable person would have known of that clearly established right. Brown v. Miller, 519 F.3d 231, 236 (5th Cir. 2008). When analyzing the second prong, the court must “consider whether the defendant’s actions were objectively unreasonable in light of clearly established law at the time of the conduct in question.” Freeman v. Gore, 483 F.3d 404, 411 (5th Cir. 2007).
“To make this determination, the court applies an objective standard based on the viewpoint of a reasonable official in light of the information then available to the defendant and the law that was clearly established at the time of the defendant’s actions.” Id. While the question of reasonableness is intensely factual, the United States Supreme Court has held that the question of reasonableness is a question of law to be reached by the court, not a jury. Hunter v. Bryant, 502 U.S. 224, 228, 112 S.Ct. 534, 116 L.Ed.2d 589 (1991).
Likewise, as to omissions, “‘reckless disregard’ can be established by evidence that a police officer ‘failed to inform the judicial officer of facts [he] knew would negate probable cause.'” Id. (quoting Beauchamp v. City of Noblesville, Inc., 320 F.3d 733, 743 (7th Cir. 2003)). The Fourth Amendment, the court reasoned, is the guarantee of every citizen that his home will be his castle, safe from the arbitrary intrusion of official authority. It is no barrier at all if it can be evaded by a policeman concocting a story that he feeds a magistrate. And the lies allegedly stated in the affidavit were found to have clearly motivated the magistrate to issue the warrant, so that qualified immunity to civil liability was properly denied. Baldwin v. Placer County,#04 -15848,405 F.3d 778(9th Cir.2005).
Detective was not entitled to qualified immunity in arrestee’s malicious prosecution lawsuit when plaintiff alleged that there was no evidence against him other than the fact that he had a name “similar” to the actual suspect’s name. See Morales v. Busbee, 972 F.Supp. 254 (D.N.J. 1997). In lawsuit brought by man who spent 22 years on death row for a kidnapping, rape, and murder he was subsequently cleared of, detectives were not entitled to qualified immunity on claims that they acted in bad faith in essentially destroying exculpatory DNA evidence. Yarris v. County of Delaware, No. 05-1319, 465 F.3d 129 (3d Cir. 2006). [2006 LR Dec].
While reiterating that prosecutorial immunity extends to acts preparatory to the commencement of a prosecution, even outside the courtroom [citation], the court held that by working ‘hand in hand’ with sheriff’s detectives to fabricate inculpatory evidence, the prosecutors acted not as advocates but as investigators, functionally no different than that of the sheriff or police department. [Citation.] Thus, the conduct was entitled to only qualified immunity.” (Gensburg v. Miller, supra, 31 Cal. App. 4th at pp. 519-520.) When a prosecutor acts as an investigator, he is accorded only the qualified immunity normally granted to police officers. Hill, 45 F.3d at 656.
see Hill, 45 F.3d at 661 (“Before any formal legal proceeding has begun and before there is probable cause to arrest, it follows that a prosecutor receives only qualified immunity for his acts.”);
see also Blake v. Race, 487 F. Supp. 2d. 187 (E.D.N.Y. 2007) (holding that qualified immunity is unavailable where there is a disputed issue as to whether the police officer fabricated evidence to establish probable cause).
Officers were not entitled to qualified immunity for allegedly making an arrest with an arrest warrant lacking indications of probable cause. The affidavits the officers submitted to obtain the warrant made “conclusory” statements that the arrestee committed the charged crimes, but the officers failed to reveal that part of the information had come from a confidential informant, and failed to provide any facts as to the informant’s reliability or basis of knowledge. The officers were not pressed for time or faced with making a split-second decision, the court found, and indeed did not draft the affidavits until four months after the events at issue. Under these circumstances, the officers could not be said to have made an objectively reasonable mistake. Ruiz v. Lebanon County, Pa., #07-4244, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 7383 (Unpub.3rd Cir.).
Federal appeals court lacked jurisdiction over appeal by the Director of the United States Virgin Islands Department of Justice, Special Investigations Division, of the denial of his qualified immunity defense in a federal civil rights lawsuit by an arrestee claiming that the Director had made false statements in an affidavit to obtain an arrest warrant to arrest him for the crime of making misrepresentations to a court while seeking sole custody of his children. Because the trial court’s denial of the qualified immunity defense was based on disputed facts as to whether the Director acted reasonably or “knowingly or recklessly” presented false information in the affidavit, those factual disputes would have to be resolved in the trial court, and the qualified immunity defense, therefore, could not be granted at this time. Barton v. Curtis, No. 06-3336, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 18065 (3rd Cir.).
Arrest warrant was not supported by probable cause when an officer’s affidavit allegedly included deliberate misrepresentations. The warrant issued listed the suspect as a white male, even though the arrestee was an African-American. Even if the false statements were removed, the affidavit would not support probable cause for an arrest. The officer who obtained the warrant was not entitled to qualified immunity. Miller v. Prince George’s County, Maryland, No. 05-2250, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 1347 (4th Cir.).[N/R] QQ.
Investigator was not entitled to qualified immunity for submitting affidavit which resulted in plaintiff being arrested as a felon in possession of a firearm when he had information from another state that the plaintiff had been arrested on felony charge, but no information suggesting that he had ever been convicted of the offense. Kearse v. Moffett, No. 01-2390, 311 F.3d 891 (8th Cir. 2002). [2003 LR Mar].
Hervey v. Estes, #94 35445, 65 F.3d 784 (9th Cir. 1995), ruling that an officer who made false statements in an affidavit for a search warrant was not entitled to qualified immunity from liability when the affidavit, absent false statements would not have provided probable cause for issuance of a warrant. The Court of Appeals held that prosecution without probable cause is a constitutional tort actionable under 1983 975 F.2d, at 346-347.
Reasonable officers presented with the circumstances as alleged by El Bey should have known that a warrantless search of El Bey’s home, and an arrest based on an outstanding warrant that was discovered only as a result of the warrantless search, would be unconstitutional. For the various reasons set forth above, we AFFIRM all aspects of the judgment other than the portion granting Officers Miller and Roop qualified immunity in connection with El Bey’s arrest and detention following the officers’ search for and seizure of his Social Security number, REVERSE the grant of qualified immunity as to that claim, and Remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. El Bey v. Roop, No. 07-3133, United States Court Of Appeals For The Sixth Circuit, 08a0234p.06;, 530 F.3d 407; 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 13776; 2008 FED App. 0234P (6th Cir.), June 3, 2008, Submitted, July 1, 2008, Decided, July 1, 2008, Filed.
In a false arrest lawsuit, an intermediate Ohio appeals court rejected defenses of sovereign immunity for the defendant city and qualified immunity for the defendant arresting officers. It found that the alleged ignoring of departmental procedures could be “reckless or wanton misconduct,” constituting an exception to the otherwise applicable state immunity statutes. Walker v. City of Toledo, #09-1004, 923 N.E.2d 688 (Ohio App. 2009).