Unpublished Disposition, 924 F.2d 1062 (9th Cir. 1991)Annotate this Case
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
Before: SKOPIL and KOZINSKI, Circuit Judges, and SINGLETON,* District Judge.
Defendant Frank Tousley is entitled to qualified immunity if, based on clearly established law and information he possessed, he could reasonably have believed his conduct was lawful. Thorsted v. Kelly, 858 F.2d 571, 573 (9th Cir. 1988) (citing Anderson v. Creighton, 483 U.S. 635 (1987)). When Tousley attempted to stop Paul Honn by activating his red lights and siren, he had probable cause to believe Honn was in violation of California law. There is no clearly established body of law that might have caused Tousley to believe that giving chase when Honn refused to stop violated constitutional norms. In fact, there is law to the contrary: Another circuit has held that chasing a suspect under such circumstances is reasonable as a matter of law. See Galas v. McKee, 801 F.2d 200, 203-04 (6th Cir. 1986). The Supreme Court has since cited Galas with approval and stated that no unconstitutional seizure occurs when the person being chased loses control and crashes. See Brower v. County of Inyo, 109 S. Ct. 1378, 1381 (1989). Accordingly, we hold that Tousley could reasonably have believed that giving chase did not violate Honn's rights. His conduct is protected by qualified immunity.