Thursday, June 23, 2016

No Police Liability For Telling Woman To Stop Praying During Investigation

In Sause v. Louisburg Police Department, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80243 (D KA, June 17, 2016), a Kansas federal district court dismissed on qualified immunity grounds plaintiff's claim that her free exercise rights were infringed when a police officer investigating a noise complaint told plaintiff to stop praying while the officers were in the middle of talking with her in her apartment about the complaint. According to the court:
While Officer Stevans's instruction to Plaintiff to stop praying may have offended her, it does not constitute a burden on her ability to exercise her religion. Plaintiff fails to provide any allegations that would suggest Officer Stevans's actions coerced her into conduct contrary to her religious beliefs, or that he otherwise prevented her from practicing her religion.