Lewis v. Weck, 102413 FED6, 12-4205

Docket Nº:12-4205
Opinion Judge:HELENE N. WHITE, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:LARRY LEWIS, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RONALD E. WECK, Defendant-Appellant
Judge Panel:BEFORE: DAUGHTREY, COOK, and WHITE, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:October 24, 2013
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
 
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LARRY LEWIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

RONALD E. WECK, Defendant-Appellant

No. 12-4205

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

October 24, 2013

NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION

ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO

BEFORE: DAUGHTREY, COOK, and WHITE, Circuit Judges.

HELENE N. WHITE, Circuit Judge.

Defendant Ronald Weck appeals the district court's denial of his motion to dismiss based on qualified immunity in this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action alleging that Weck violated Plaintiff Larry Lewis's Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights when, without a warrant, he entered a house owned by Lewis to inspect the house for health and safety hazards. We AFFIRM.

Weck contends that the inspection was not a Fourth Amendment search because the house was unoccupied, unused, and in poor condition at the time. On the other hand, he argues, if the inspection was a Fourth Amendment search, it was constitutional because Lewis consented and exigent circumstances justified the entry. Finally, Weck insists, if the search did, in fact, violate Lewis's Fourth Amendment rights, he is nevertheless entitled to qualified immunity because a reasonable officer in Weck's position would have believed that his conduct was lawful.

Lewis disputes our jurisdiction. Although most denials of summary judgment are nonfinal orders that cannot be appealed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291, an order denying qualified immunity is immediately appealable. Harrison v. Ash, 539 F.3d 510, 516 (6th Cir. 2008) (citing Mitchell v. Forsyth, 472 U.S. 511, 525–27 (1985)). Still, our jurisdiction over such appeals is limited: we may review the district court's order only "to the extent that it turns on an issue of law." Mitchell, 472 U.S. at 530; Harrison, 539 F.3d at 517 ("[T]o the extent that the denial of qualified immunity is based on a factual dispute, such a denial falls outside of the narrow jurisdiction of this Court."). A defendant bringing an interlocutory appeal of the denial of qualified immunity must accept the facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and assert issues of law. Although, as Lewis argues, portions of Weck's brief appear to dispute, rather than accept arguendo, Lewis's version of the facts, that does not deprive us of jurisdiction over the legal questions presented. Estate of Carter v. City of Detroit, 408 F.3d 305, 310 (6th...

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