Torres v. Madrid

December 18, 2019 • Legal Briefs
By Clark Neily, Jay Schweikert, Anton Metlitsky, & Dimitri D. Portnoi

Police officers shot Petitioner, but she drove away and temporarily eluded capture. In this excessive force suit, the district court granted summary judgment for the officers on the ground that no Fourth Amendment “seizure” occurred. The Tenth Circuit affirmed, reasoning that an officer’s application of physical force is not a seizure if the person upon whom the force is applied evades apprehension.

The question presented is:

Is an unsuccessful attempt to detain a suspect by use of physical force a “seizure” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, as the Eighth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits and the New Mexico Supreme Court hold, or must physical force be successful in detaining a suspect to constitute a “seizure,” as the Tenth Circuit and the D.C. Court of Appeals hold?

About the Authors
Anton Metlitsky
Dimitri D. Portnoi