Morse v. Cloutier, No. 15-2043 (1st Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Police officers’ warrantless entry into the home of Plaintiffs and their subsequent arrest of one of the plaintiffs violated clearly established law.
Plaintiffs, Charles and Lesa Morse, sued Defendants, police officers, alleging that Defendants’ warrantless entry into their home and the subsequent arrest of Charles violated their Fourth Amendment rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Plaintiffs also claimed that Defendants transgressed the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act and intentionally inflicted emotional distress. Defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that exigent circumstances justified their warrantless entry and that the events amounted to a doorway arrest. The district court refused to grant either summary judgment or, by implication, qualified immunity based on exigent circumstances. Defendants appealed. The First Circuit dismissed substantial portions of the interlocutory appeals for want of appellate jurisdiction and otherwise affirmed, holding that Defendants’ conduct violated clearly established law.