ARRA News Service
ARRA News Service facebook page  
News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
Contact: (Pub. Since July, 2006)
    Home Page

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

In Key Decision, DC Court Upholds Fourth Amendment

by David Rosenthal: The Fourth Amendment is still alive and well, thanks in part to a recent ruling from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In a Nov. 8 opinion, the court overruled a lower court decision and held that an Iraq War veteran, 1st Sgt. Matthew Corrigan, may pursue his claim for monetary damages against the District of Columbia and certain individual police officers after those officers violated his Fourth Amendment rights by ransacking his house—twice.

Corrigan is a U.S. Army reservist who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after having trained soldiers in Fallujah from 2005-2006. Following his tour in Iraq, Corrigan returned home to his apartment in a quiet corner of Washington, D.C.

In February 2010, Corrigan intended to place a call from his home to a counseling hotline for veterans, but inadvertently called the national suicide hotline instead.

When Corrigan informed the hotline volunteer that he was a veteran diagnosed with PTSD, the volunteer asked if he owned a gun. Unsurprisingly, the seasoned war veteran confirmed that he owned several.

The volunteer responded by asking Corrigan to “put [the guns] down,” which were not out in the first place. Corrigan explained that his guns were safely stored, but the volunteer was undeterred.

The volunteer next asked Corrigan if he intended to hurt himself or anyone else. Corrigan responded, “No.” After it became apparent that he was not receiving the type of counseling he sought when he made the call, Corrigan hung up and proceeded to go to sleep.

Meanwhile, the hotline volunteer notified the Metropolitan Police Department, who were then dispatched to Corrigan’s residence for “attempted suicide” at 11:13 p.m.

By 4 a.m., the police had set up a barricade on the block, shut off the gas to his house, evacuated his neighbors, surrounded his home with armed officers, and demanded that he come out. Corrigan complied, but was sure to lock his door on the way out, so his dog could not get out and nobody could invade his home.

Corrigan attempted to convince the officers during questioning that he was not attempting suicide, but the officers ignored him and told him they wanted to search his house. Corrigan refused to give consent to a search.

The following quote from the D.C. Circuit’s opinion sets the tone for the unconstitutional escapades that followed.

The officer who had asked for his key told him: ‘I don’t have time to play this constitutional bull[****]. We’re going to break down your door. You’re going to have to pay for a new door.’ Corrigan responded, ‘It looks like I’m paying for a new door, then. I’m not giving you consent to go into my place.’ [citations omitted] [emphasis added].The police soon broke into Corrigan’s home and performed a search. The police found no one inside and no dangerous or illegal items in plain view—only Matrix, Corrigan’s dog that had been rescued from dogfighting. There was no evidence of any threat to human life.

That night, Corrigan checked himself into a veterans hospital for PTSD symptoms brought about from what had occurred.

Five hours later, the police broke into Corrigan’s home a second time. This time, they ransacked the place by opening and dumping the contents of every bag, drawer, box, and shelf onto the floor before finally satisfying themselves that no hazardous materials remained on the scene.

Fourth Amendment
The police did not seek to obtain a warrant either time before breaking in without permission. The Fourth Amendment protects “against unreasonable searches and seizures” and has been interpreted by the Supreme Court in Payton v. New York (1980) to make any warrantless search inside a home presumptively unreasonable.

However, the Supreme Court also reaffirmed in Kentucky v. King (2011) that the presumptive warrant requirement can be overcome when exigent or emergency circumstances “make the needs of law enforcement so compelling that [a] warrantless search is objectively reasonable.”

A threat of immediate harm to self or others would certainly qualify as an exigency requiring immediate police intervention, but that was not what happened here.

Corrigan did not take the intrusion into his civil liberties lightly and, in February 2012, filed suit against the District of Columbia and individual police officers who broke into his home.

Corrigan sued under federal civil rights law (42 U.S.C. § 1983) allowing individuals to recover damages from police when officers violate a “clearly established” constitutional right at the time of the incident.

A right is considered clearly established if a reasonable officer understands that his actions violate someone’s constitutional rights.

As the Supreme Court reasoned in Welsh v. Wisconsin (1984), “physical entry of the home is the chief evil against which the wording of the Fourth Amendment is directed.”

In Corrigan’s case, the trial judge had dismissed the case, holding that a reasonable officer could have concluded that the home break-ins were justified due to exigent circumstances posed by the mistaken suicide threat.

However, in an opinion by Judge Judith Rogers, writing for the 2-to-1 majority, the D.C. Circuit reversed the lower court and held that even if the initial search was reasonable to verify whether Corrigan or anyone else was in danger, the second break-in was conclusively unconstitutional.

The police officers on scene would, of course, have been heroes if the initial search resulted in an endangered child being rescued or some other dire threat was averted.

But once it became apparent that there was no danger to anyone or anything inside Corrigan’s home, the D.C. Circuit reasoned that there was no objectively reasonable basis to break-in a second time without a warrant, let alone destroy Corrigan’s home.

This decision clears the way for Corrigan to seek redress for the intrusive actions that occurred six long years ago. It also sends a clear reminder to police, the Fourth Amendment is no bull.
David Rosenthal (@DL_Rosenthal) is a visiting legal fellow in the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

Tags: Key Decision, DC Court, Upholds Fourth Amendment, 1st Sgt. Matthew Corrigan, may pursue his claim, for monetary damages, against the District of Columbia,certain individual police officers, after those officers, violated his Fourth Amendment rights, ransacking his house twice, David Rosenthal, The Heritage Foundation To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 10:43 AM - Post Link


Post a Comment

<< Home

National Debt
Don't miss anything!
Subscribe to the
ARRA News Service
It's FREE & No Ads!

You will receive a verification email
& must validate you subscribed!

You Then Receive One Email Each AM
With Prior Days Articles / Toons / More

Also, Join us at:

Recent Posts:
Personal Tweets by the editor:
Dr. Bill - OzarkGuru - @arra
#Christian Conservative; Retired USAF & Grad Professor. Constitution NRA ProLife schoolchoice fairtax - Editor ARRA NEWS SERVICE. THANKS FOR FOLLOWING!

Action Links!
Arkansas State Senators
AR State Representatives
Arkansas Governor Office
Arkansas Attorney General
Bankrupting America
US House of Representatives
US Senators
Family Research Council
Sunshine Review

Facebook Accts - Dr. Bill Smith
ARRA News Service
Arkansans Against Big Government
Alley-White Am. Legion #52
Catholics & Protestants United Against Discrimination
End Taxpayer Funding of NPR
Overturn Roe V. Wade
Prolife Soldiers
Project Wildfire 4 Life
Republican Liberty Caucus of Arkansas
The Gold Standard
US Atty Gen Loretta Lynch, aka Eric Holder, Must Go
Veterans for Sarah Palin
Why Vote for Hillary (Satire)
FB Groups:
Arkansas For Sarah Palin
Arkansas Conservative Caucus
Arkansas County Tea Party
Arkansans' Discussion Group on National Issues
Blogs for Borders
Conservative Solutions
Conservative Voices
Defend Marriage -- Arkansas
FairTax Nation
Arkansas for FairTax
Friends of the TEA Party in Arkansas
Freedom Roundtable
Let's Mine AR Lignite NOW!
Pro-Life Rocks - Arkansas
Republican Network
Republican Liberty Caucus of AR
Reject the U.N.


Request Via
Article Comment

Links to ARRA News
A Patriotic Nurse
Agora Associates
a12iggymom's Blog
America, You Asked For It!
Americans for a Free Republic
America's Best Choice
America's Whatchtower
An Ol’ Broad’s Ramblings
ARRA Twitter
As A Matter of Fact
As The Crackerhead Crumbles
Baaad Media!
Black & Right
Blogs For Borders
Blogs for Palin
Blow the Trumpet Ministry
Boot Berryism
Cap'n Bob & the Damsel
Chicago Ray Report
Chuck Baldwin - links
Citizen Pamphleteer
Common Cents
Conservative Hideout
Conservative Observer AZ
Conservative Voices
Conway Real Deal
Defeat Obama's Agenda
Diana's Corner
eGOP News
Florida Pundit
Franklin Online Outreach
Freedom For US Now
Free Zone Media Center
For God and Liberty
Garland County Republicans
Greater Fitchburg For Life
Guns and Religion
Lasting Liberty Blog
Liberal Isn't Amy
Liberty's Lifeline
Maggie's Notebook
Marathon Pundit
Monkey in the Middle
NASA Satellites
No Runny Eggs
Okie Campaigns
Our Voices Arkansas
Patriot's Corner
Publius Forum
Randy's Roundtable
Real Debate Wisconsin
Religion and Morality
Right on Issues that Matter
Right Reason
Rocking on the Right Side
Saber Point
Saline Watchdog
Secure Arkansas
Sentry Journal
Sultan Knish
Stop Obama Satire & Cartoons
The Arkansas Patriot
The Audacity of Logic
The Blue Eye View
The Bobo Files
The Born Again Americans
TEA Party Cartoons
The Conservative Citizen
The Foxhole | Unapologetic Patriot
The Liberty Republican
The Lid
The Looking Spoon
The Maritime Sentry
The O Word
The Path to Tyranny Blog
The Real Polichick
The War on Guns
Truth About Obamacare
Twitter @ARRA
Warning Signs
Women's Prayer & Action

Editor's Managed Twitter Accounts
Twitter Dr. Bill Smith @arra
Twitter Arkansas @GOPNetwork
Twitter @BootBerryism
Twitter @SovereignAllies
Twitter @FairTaxNation

Editor's Recommended Orgs
Accuracy in Media (AIM)
American Committment
American Culture & Faith Institute
American Enterprise Institute
American Family Business Institute
Americans for Limited Government
Americans for Prosperity
Americans for Tax Reform
American Security Council Fdn
AR Faith & Ethics Council
Arkansas Policy Foundation
Ayn Rand Institute
Bill of Rights Institute
Campaign for Working Families
Center for Individual Freedom
Center for Immigration Studies
Center for Just Society
Center for Freedom & Prosperity
Citizens Against Gov't Waste
Citizens in Charge Foundstion
Coalition for the Future American Worker
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Concerned Veterans for America
Concerned Women for America
Declaration of Am. Renewal
Eagle Forum
Family Research Council
Family Security Matters
Franklin Center for Gov't & Public Integrity
Freedom Works
Gingrich Productions
Global Incident Map
Great Americans
Gold Standard 2012 Project
Gun Owners of America (GOA)
Heritage Action for America
David Horowitz Freedom Center
Institute For Justice
Institute for Truth in Accounting
Intercollegiate Studies Institute
Judicial Watch
Less Government
Media Reseach Center
National Center for Policy Analysis
National Right To Work Foundation
National Rifle Association (NRA)
National Rifle Association (NRA-ILA)
News Busters
O'Bluejacket's Patriotic Flicks
Open Secrets
Presidential Prayer Team
Religious Freedom Coalition
Renew America
Ron Paul Institute
State Policy Network
Tax Foundation
Tax Policy Center
The Club for Growth
The Federalist
The Gold Standard Now
The Heritage Foundation
The Leadership Institute
Union Facts

Blogs For Borders

Reject the United Nations

Adopt Our Troops in Prayer

Thousands of Deadly Islamic Terror Attacks Since 9/11

FairTax Nation on FaceBook
Friends of Israel - Stand with Israel
Blog Feeds
Syndicated - Get the ARRA News Service feed Syndicated!
ARRA Blog Feed

Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Add to The Free Dictionary

Powered by Blogger

  • How To Exchange Links!
  • Comments by contributing authors or other sources do not necessarily reflect the position the editor, other contributing authors, sources, readers, or commenters. No contributors, or editors are paid for articles, images, cartoons, etc. While having reported on and promoting the beliefs associated with the ARRA, this blog/site is not controlled by nor funded by the ARRA. This site/blog does not advertise for money or services nor does it solicit funding for its support.
  • Fair Use: This site/blog may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material as provided for in section Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of the US Copyright Law. Per said section, the material on this site/blog is distributed without profit to readers to view for the expressed purpose of viewing the included information for research, educational, or satirical purposes. Any person/entity seeking to use copyrighted material shared on this site/blog for purposes that go beyond "fair use," must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
  • © 2006 - 2017 ARRA News Service
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.