Nov 042013
 
 November 4, 2013  Court

Police are entitled to a broad shield of qualified immunity, protecting them from liability in a case which alleged Fourth Amendment privacy violations stemming from faulty search warrants, the Ninth U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Friday.

The court ordered dismissal of an Alaska man’s suit charging police officers with illegally eavesdropping on his phone calls, pursuant to an invalid warrant, and using the illegally obtained evidence to justify his arrest and further searches.

Senior Judge Andrew Kleinfeld, citing Messerschmidt v. Millender (2012), 132 S. Ct. 1235, said police are entitled to qualified immunity even for a search and arrest based on invalid warrants if they have a “reasonable belief that the warrant was supported by probable cause.”

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