Friday, August 03, 2018

Qualified Immunity For Issuing Citation To Street Preaher

In Roy v. City of Monroe, (WD LA, Aug. 1 2018), a Louisiana federal district court granted defendant's motion for reconsideration and dismissed on qualified immunity grounds the damage portion of a claim by a street preacher against a police officer.  At issue was a claim that issuance of a citation and summons to the preacher for disturbing the peace violated his First Amendment rights. The court said in part:
Sergeant Booth issued a citation to Roy for disturbing the peace based upon Falcon’s complaint to him, in which she said Roy followed her across the street, called her names, and scared her. Falcon’s complaints were corroborated by Falcon appearing scared and by her direct identification of Roy. Sergeant Booth did not issue a citation to Roy for preaching in a public forum. Viewed from the standpoint of an objectively reasonable police officer, Booth had probable cause, and is entitled to qualified immunity.
Plaintiff's claims for injunctive and declaratory relief and attorneys' fees were set for trial.