The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals published its opinion in Morris v. Noe on Monday, February 27, 2012.
The Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision. Respondent brought a § 1983 action for unlawful arrest and excessive force on behalf of her deceased husband against Petitioner police officer. She alleges Petitioner violated her husband’s clearly established rights when the officer forceably arrested decedent and caused him injury. Petitioner moved for summary judgment based on qualified immunity, and the district court denied his motion. Petitioner now appeals.
The Court found that the officer “had reason to believe that [decedent] was, at most, a misdemeanant. But [the decedent] posed no threat to [the officer] or others, nor did he resist or flee. Thus, based on the facts assumed by the district court, [the decedent]’s right to be free from a forceful takedown was clearly established,” and Petitioner is not entitled to qualified immunity.