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21-2640 Dwayne Furlow v. Jon Belmar

[PUBLISHED] [Erickson, Author, with Shepherd and Stras, Circuit Judges] Civil case - Civil rights. In this challenge to St. Louis County Missouri's system allowing police officers to issue electronic "wanted" notices authorizing any other officer to seize a person and take him into custody for questioning without any review by a neutral magistrate before issuance, the district court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment and denied the plaintiffs' motion for class certification. Plaintiffs, who were arrested on wanteds, appeal. Held: Because circumstances may exist under which the Wanteds System is constitutional, plaintiff's facial challenge to the system fails; defendant officers Partin and Walsh were entitled to qualified immunity for plaintiff's arrest because there was doubt that the officers' actions violated clearly established law; however, with respect to the actions of defendant Clements, even a minimal investigation on her part would have shown that any probable cause for the arrest had vanished, and she was not entitled to qualified immunity; defendant Walsh was entitled to qualified immunity for the arrest of plaintiff Furlow because there was arguable probable cause he had committed a domestic assault; the evidence does not show a persistent pattern of unconstitutional arrests so pervasive that it can be said to constitute a custom or usage with the force of law, and the district court did not err in dismissing the plaintiffs' municipal liability claim; the district court did not err in dismissing plaintiffs' substantive due process claim where plaintiffs stated a Fourth Amendment claim; on remand, the district court can reconsider whether class certification is appropriate in light of this decision. Judge Shepherd, concurring in part and dissenting in part. Judge Stras, concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022
Case Number: 
District Court: 
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri - St. Louis
Judge Ralph R. Erickson