C.B. v. City of Sonora an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals considered whether
police officers violated a juvenile's Fourth Amendment rights when
the officers handcuffed and removed the 11-year-old child from school
grounds for "doing nothing more than sitting quietly and resolutely
in the school playground." The court held that the two officers were
not entitled to qualified immunity for handcuffing and removing the child
from school premises.
The court first found that the officers violated the juvenile's constitutional
rights by handcuffing and removing the child from the school premises
when all the officers discovered was a "quiet but nonresponsive child"
who "did nothing threatening or disobedient." The court then
held that the right violated was clearly established because "it
is beyond dispute that police officers cannot seize a schoolchild who
they do not know to have committed any wrongdoing, who does not appear
to pose any threat to himself or others, and who engages in no act of
resistance the entire time the officers are present." The court concluded
that the officers were not entitled to qualified immunity on the juvenile's
excessive force claim.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of excessive force or police
brutality, contact an experienced trial attorney at the Law Offices of
Grech & Packer.