Betts v. Brennan, No. 21-30101 (5th Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
The Fifth Circuit reversed the district court's denial of defendant's motion for summary judgment based on qualified immunity in an excessive force action brought by plaintiff. During a routine traffic stop, plaintiff repeatedly challenged defendant's reasons for stopping him, refused to comply with his orders, batted his hand away, called him a liar, warned him to call in backup, and dared him to use his taser.
The court concluded that defendant did not violate the Fourth Amendment by tasing plaintiff one time in order to arrest him. Even assuming a Fourth Amendment violation, the court concluded that it was not clearly established at the time that defendant's single use of the taser was constitutionally excessive. Therefore, the district court erred in concluding otherwise. The court remanded for further proceedings.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on January 13, 2022.