Amicus Briefs

In concert with our legislative advocacy and member education and support, the National Police Accountability Project files amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Courts of Appeals and state appellate courts in cases involving abuses of power by police and corrections officers, as well as other government officials. Our amicus curiae work is motivated by a recognition that positive rulings in significant cases addressing police and corrections officer misconduct stand to create powerful case law that can expand access and avenues to recourse for citizens whose civil rights have been violated.

Instructions for Requesting Amicus Support

Use the fields below to filter by court, amicus counsel or parties, date filed, and tags.

Date Filed

Hart et. al. v. City of Redwood City,

Submitted by Jane Clayton on Tue, 06/18/2024 - 09:01

In this brief we argue that the court should grant rehearing because the Panel opinion conflicts with and would undermine this Court’s decisions in prior cases that make clear that “[w]hen “mental illness” is present and apparent in a police encounter, it “must be reflected in any [Fourth Amendment] assessment of the government’s interest in the use of force.” In other words, this Court has clearly established that when police officers perceive signs of a person’s mental disability, they “should make a greater effort to take control of the situation through less intrusive means.”

Locke v. County of Hubbard et. al.

Submitted by Jane Clayton on Tue, 06/18/2024 - 08:50

In this brief, NPAP urges the Court to reverse the District Court’s grant of qualified immunity to Defendants-Appellees. The District Court’s opinion granting qualified immunity to Defendants- Appellees Aukes and Parks adopted far too restrictive a definition of “clearly established law” and should be reversed.

Anderton v. Unified Government of Wyandotte County / Kansas City, Kansas et. al.

Submitted by Jane Clayton on Tue, 04/23/2024 - 12:24

On February 3, 2023, a KCKPD officer shot Kansas City, Kansas resident Jon Anderton in his back. In the days that followed, KCKPD put out a vague, misleading statement that Jon was armed with a gun—suggesting that he had been a threat to the officer who shot him— but refused to provide the public with any other details. Several months after the shooting, Jon’s brother, Eric Anderton, was able to view the body-worn camera footage of the shooting. What he saw on the video did not match KCKPD’s misleading narrative.

Roy Patrick Sargeant v. Aracelie Barfield

Submitted by Jane Clayton on Thu, 02/22/2024 - 16:04

Sargeant v. Barfield addresses whether an incarcerated person can sue a federal employee for First Amendment retaliation under Bivens. The plaintiff in this case was retaliated against for filing a grievance by an officer that was intentionally placing him in cells with people that had a known propensity for violence. 

Our brief argues accountability in these cases will not chill law enforcement job performance.

Jascha Chiaverini et. al. v. Nicholas Evanoff et. al.

Submitted by Jane Clayton on Thu, 02/08/2024 - 11:38

The issue in question in Chiaverini is whether a person who has been maliciously prosecuted for a crime can sue if a police officer had probable cause to arrest them for a different crime (i.e. the any crime rule).  Our brief uplifts examples of the incredibly unjust outcomes that would result from continued application of the any crime rule (eg.

Adam Cain v. JPAY, Inc. et. al.

Submitted by Jane Clayton on Wed, 01/10/2024 - 16:06

This brief discusses how people that are incarcerated and forced to accept money on release cards are already targeted by financial institutions for predatory schemes and can't afford the high fees and other barriers that come with accessing money through the cards.

Sylvia Gonzalez v. Edward Trevino II, et. al.

Submitted by Jane Clayton on Wed, 12/20/2023 - 17:34

This brief argues that retaliatory arrests that do not involve on-the-spot law-enforcement decisions—or that otherwise present objective suggestions of improper motive—occur with sufficient frequency to make the need for an effective remedy compelling. At the same time, the course of retaliatory-arrest litigation also indicates that the availability of such a remedy would not threaten the ability of law enforcement officers to operate effectively.

Molly Smith et. al. v. Governor John Bel Edwards et. al.

Submitted by Jane Clayton on Mon, 12/04/2023 - 15:11

This brief addresses the decision by the State of Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ) to place Louisiana children in a former death row wing of Angola Prison and subject them to shocking conditions likely to cause severe, lasting harm. Moreover, this devastating deprivation of rights was not imposed equally—Black youth were far more likely to be incarcerated under these traumatic conditions.

Jewell Thomas v. Andrew Nino et. al.

Submitted by Jane Clayton on Fri, 12/01/2023 - 11:11

This brief argues that the text and legislative history of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) doesn't require incarcerated plaintiffs to plead a severe injury to sue for excessive force or denial of medical care.

A huge thank you to NPAP members Jim Davy of All Rise Trial & Appellate, Danielle Hamiliton of Northwestern Federal Appellate Litigation Clinic, and Sam Weiss of RightsBehindBars for their work.