American Bar Association
Media Alerts
Media Alerts - Dukes v. Deaton - 11th Circuit
Decrease font size
Increase font size
February 15, 2017
  Dukes v. Deaton - 11th Circuit
Headline: Eleventh Circuit holds officers who used a "flashbang" without visually inspecting a room violated the Fourth Amendment, but were entitled to qualified immunity.

Area of Law: Criminal, Constitutional law

Issue: Whether officers who used a "flashbang" without visually inspecting a room, in violation of the Fourth Amendment, are entitled to qualified immunity.

Extended Summary: On July 21, 2010, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant on an apartment connected with the sale of narcotics. Prior to entering the apartment, one of the officers used a "flashbang" to disorient the occupants, which included Appellant, Treneshia Dukes ("Dukes"). Dukes filed a complaint for various claims, including violation of her right to be free from excessive force under the Fourth Amendment. The district court entered summary judgment in favor of the officers based on qualified immunity. On appeal, the Eleventh Circuit noted the decisions of other circuit courts, which found the use of a "flashbang" in similar circumstances, constituted excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment. While the Eleventh Circuit agreed with that determination, the court held qualified immunity applied because the use of excessive force was not "clearly established" as a statutory or constitutional violation at the time the search warrant in this case was executed. Accordingly, the summary judgment was affirmed.

To view the full opinion:

Panel: William Pryor and Rosenbaum, Circuit Judges, and Ungaro (United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida, sitting by designation)

Argument: December 14, 2016

Date of Issued Opinion: January 26, 2017

Docket Number: 15-14373

Decided: Affirmed

Case Alert Authors: Luis Garcia, Shantell Monreal, and Uxsunn Ramirez

Mario Bernard Williams for Appellant Treneshia Dukes
Wayne Steven Melnick for Appellees Nicholas Deaton and Steve Branham.

Author of Opinion: William Pryor, Circuit Judge

    Posted By: Gary Kravitz @ 02/15/2017 03:39 PM     11th Circuit  

FuseTalk Enterprise Edition - © 1999-2018 FuseTalk Inc. All rights reserved.

Discussion Board Usage Agreement

Back to Top