Kerns v. Bader, No. 09-2273 (10th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
On a summer evening in 2005 a sniper shot down a police helicopter over Albuquerque. Police would implicate Plaintiff Jason Kerns, but after charges were filed, investigation would reveal that the bullet that brought down the helicopter could not have come from any of the firearms or ammunition Plaintiff owned, nor from the direction of his home. Plaintiff sued several members of the Albuquerque Police Department, alleging they had violated his Fourth Amendment rights by entering his house on the night of the helicopter crash. He then sued the local sheriff, arguing the sheriff's efforts to obtain his psychiatric records violated his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment privacy rights. Plaintiff also sued other members of sheriff's department, accusing them of false arrest and malicious prosecution. All defendants moved for dismissal on immunity grounds, which was denied. Defendants appealed. Upon careful review of the district court record, the Tenth Circuit reversed, finding that defendants were entitled to summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds. The case was remanded for further proceedings.