Rodriguez v. City of San Jose, No. 17-17144 (9th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for defendants in an action brought by husband and wife, alleging civil rights violations. Plaintiffs' claims stemmed from the police seizure of firearms from their residence after detaining husband for a mental health evaluation in response to a 911 call.
The panel held that that wife's Second Amendment claim was barred by issue preclusion under California law, because the California Court of Appeal had considered and rejected a Second Amendment argument identical to this one. The panel also held that the warrantless seizure of the guns did not violate the Fourth Amendment where the officers had probable cause to detain involuntarily an individual experiencing an acute mental health episode and to send the individual for evaluation, they expected the individual would have access to firearms and present a serious public safety threat if he returned to the home, and they did not know how quickly the individual might return. In this case, the urgency of a significant public safety interest was sufficient to outweigh the significant privacy interest in personal property kept in the home, and a warrant was not required.