Legal Environment of Business
Professor Leslie E. Lenn, JD
TABLE OF CONTENTS
2. Executive Summary
Statement of the Problem
Summary of the Issues
Analysis and Solutions
1. Type of case:
The type of cases leading up to this case are, in order of subject, Recording Communications Without Permission, Resisting Arrest, Violation/ Deprivation of Civil Rights. These cases revolve around the theme of Violation of Civil Rights Elements
The elements of this case include the following
2. Pertinent Facts:
Legal Background of Case:
On January 28, 2000, Jones was videotaping his friends in a public skateboard park when a police´s car parked nearby, drove by Chief Nelson, who was on duty looking for a missing juvenile. Jones started videotaping him as he sat in his vehicle with his driver´s side window rolled down. Even though he stopped recordingtold to stop by Chief Nelson, the officer physically struggled to obtain the camera and placed Jones under arrest, transporting him to jail, where Jones spent three days.
Prosecutors filed a criminal complaint that included one count of recording communication without permission against the Privacy Act. The state court released Jones, but found probable cause for arrest (key point).
Two months later, prosecutors again filed charges against Jones for attempted recording communication without permission and for resisting arrest. On May 10, 2000, the Clallam County District Court dismissed the charges against Jones. Judge Coughenour found that Chief Nelson was not engaged in any conversation while recorded, and even if it was, there was no expectation of privacy because he had voluntarily exposed that communication to the public.
On June 16, 2000, Jones (plaintiff) filed a civil rights claim:
City of Sequim, Chief Nelson, Sequim´s Mayor, several Doe officers, Clallam County and the County Sheriff.
a. A declaration that he had been arrested, incarcerated and prosecuted in violation of his First and Fourth Amendment rights (pursuant to 42 USC 1983 action).
b. Injunctive relief, monetary damages and attorney´s fees under 42 USC 1988 (b).
The individual defendants filed counterclaims against Jones for malicious prosecution under Was. Rev. Code 4.24.350 (2). Essentially, SOCIETY…STATUTORY…
3. Legal Issues:
We find the following core issues:
a. The filing of a 42 USC 1983 action.
The elements of this action are: (1) that the conduct complained of was committed by a person acting under color of state law; and (2) that the conduct deprived a person of rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution or laws of the USA.
b. Study of the rights supposedly violated: First and Fourth Amendment.
The Fourth prohibits arrest without probable cause. Probable cause exists when an officer has a reasonable belief that a crime has been, is being, or is about to be committed. Note that the state court found probable cause for arrest.
c. Video recording an officer while in a public place:
Clallam County District Court established that it was not a crime.
d. Qualified immunity case:
The first question under the two-part inquiry for determining whether officers are entitled to qualified immunity is whether the law governing the official´s conduct is clearly established.
A plaintiff bears the burden of making this showing. For qualified immunity purposes, the contours of the right must be sufficiently clear that at the time the allegedly unlawful act is undertaken, a reasonable official would understand that what he is doing violates that right, and in the light of pre-existing law the unlawfulness must be apparent. In a qualified immunity case, where a plaintiff meets his burden of showing that a law is clearly established,...