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

Gervin v. Florence et. al.

Submitted by Jane Clayton on Wed, 10/04/2023 - 10:30

Gervin v. Florence et. al. addresses the case of DeShawn Gervin, whose probation was improperly revoked for violating a probation condition that the judge did not impose. Mr. Gervin spent 104 days in jail because of this error, and this brief supports the argument that Mr. Gervin should be able to sue the probation officer for malicious prosecution. Our brief argues that the 4th Amendment protects people against having to spend time in jail for wrongful probation revocations.

Smith v. Agdeppa et. al.

Submitted by Jane Clayton on Tue, 09/26/2023 - 15:09

The issue on appeal in Smith v. Agdeppa et. al. is whether the duty to provide a warning before using deadly force was clearly established in the 9th Circuit. This brief discusses the flawed foundations of Qualified Immunity in relation to this question.

Rekia Boyd, Angela Helton, and Martinez Sutton v. United States of America

Submitted by Jane Clayton on Mon, 08/14/2023 - 12:48

Petitioners are seeking to amend Section 1983 to eliminate qualified immunity as a defense and make the Fourth Amendment’s objective reasonableness standard less burdensome. Currently, in cases where an officer claims they used force because an individual was holding a weapon, the plaintiff has to prove that a reasonable officer could not have concluded that the weapon posed a risk. Unfortunately, courts often allow officers to justify deadly shootings on the basis of hypothetical possibilities even when there is no supporting evidence.

Hopson v. Alexander et. al.

Submitted by Jane Clayton on Fri, 08/11/2023 - 21:22

An out of uniform detective in an unmarked car decided DeJuan Hopson was planning to commit an armed robbery of a gas station after watching him sit in a car talking with his friend in the parking lot. The detective was baselessly convinced that Mr. Hopson was preparing to the rob the store even though he had watched Mr. Hopson and his friend for over 15 minutes and did not see them engage in any conduct that would suggest they were preparing to commit a robbery. Following his lengthy observation, the detective and several other officers violently extracted Mr.

O.W. v. Carr et. al.

Submitted by Jane Clayton on Thu, 06/01/2023 - 18:38

To establish a conspiracy between defendants to violate a plaintiff's constitutional rights, a plaintiff need only show that the defendants shared a conspiratorial objective to engage in the conduct that caused the deprivation of rights. Our brief argues that the lower court erroneously applied an additional intent requirement in its analysis of Plaintiff-Appellant's civil conspiracy claim. 

Martin, et. al. vs. United States of America, et. al.

Submitted by Jane Clayton on Mon, 05/15/2023 - 16:47

Fourth Amendment principles dating back centuries support liability for an officer’s mistaken execution of a warrant. These principles emphasize the importance of a person’s right to safety in her home; a well-specified warrant; and notice prior to entry. Along these lines, several circuits have held that executing a warrant at the incorrect home amounts to a warrantless search and presumptively violates the Fourth Amendment.

Moore et. al. v. LaSalle Management Company LLC et. al.

Submitted by Jane Clayton on Mon, 03/27/2023 - 19:03

This appeal squarely presents the question of whether private entities performing government functions are exempt from vicarious liability under § 1983, a question this Court has yet to decide. The structure, history and rationale underlying § 1983 all indicate that Congress had no intention to eliminate respondeat superior liability for private entities.

Caraway v. City of Pineville et. al.

Submitted by Jane Clayton on Mon, 03/27/2023 - 18:37

Caraway v. City of Pineville et. al. addresses the case of Timothy Caraway, who brought a Section 1983 action against the City of Pineville, the Pineville Police Department, and multiple individual officers alleging numerous violations of his constitutional rights. The District Court granted summary judgement in favor of the Defendants-Appellees, framing self-serving statements made by the police officers involved in the shooting as the true narrative while simultaneously disregarding evidence--including video footage--that contradicted the officers' version of events.

Ingram v. Kubik et. al.

Submitted by Jane Clayton on Mon, 03/13/2023 - 17:34

Kirby Ingram alleges that he was peacefully cooperating with the police in the midst of a mental health crisis when an officer, annoyed with Ingram’s erratic behavior, body-slammed him, leaving him in the hospital requiring the fusion of two of his vertebrae and the replacement of another. The complaint alleges both excessive force and disability discrimination twice over—both a failure to accommodate his disability as well as intentional discrimination on the basis of it.