City of Escondido v. Emmons, 010719 FEDSC, 17-1660
|Opinion Judge:||PER CURIAM.|
|Party Name:||CITY OF ESCONDIDO, CALIFORNIA, ET AL. v. MARTY EMMONS|
|Case Date:||January 07, 2019|
|Court:||United States Supreme Court|
ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
The question in this qualified immunity case is whether two police officers violated clearly established law when they forcibly apprehended a man at the scene of a reported domestic violence incident.
The record, viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, shows the following. In April 2013, Escondido police received a 911 call from Maggie Emmons about a domestic violence incident at her apartment. Emmons lived at the apartment with her husband, her two children, and a roommate, Ametria Douglas. Officer Jake Houchin responded to the scene and eventually helped take a domestic violence report from Emmons about injuries caused by her husband. The officers arrested her husband. He was later released.
A few weeks later, on May 27, 2013, at about 2:30 p.m., Escondido police received a 911 call about another possible domestic disturbance at Emmons' apartment. That 911 call came from Ametria Douglas' mother, Trina Douglas. Trina Douglas was not at the apartment, but she was on the phone with her daughter Ametria, who was at the apartment. Trina heard her daughter Ametria and Maggie Emmons yelling at each other and heard her daughter screaming for help. The call then disconnected, and Trina Douglas called 911.
Officer Houchin again responded, along with Officer Robert Craig. The dispatcher informed the officers that two children could be in the residence and that calls to the apartment had gone unanswered. Police body-camera video of the officers' actions at the apartment is in the record.
The officers knocked on the door of the apartment. No one answered. But a side window was open, and the officers spoke with Emmons through that window, attempting to convince her to open the door to the apartment so that they could conduct a welfare check. A man in the apartment also told Emmons to back away from the window, but the officers said they could not identify the man. At some point during this exchange, Sergeant Kevin Toth, Officer Joseph Leffingwell, and Officer Huy Quach arrived as backup.
A few minutes later, a man opened the apartment door and came...
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