Hodge v. Board of County Commissioners of Bernalillo County, et al. 1:20-CV-01212-WJ-JHR/ No. 21-2125

This case against the Board of County Commissioners of Bernalillo County arose from a Complaint for Damages for Injuries, Civil Rights Violations, and New Mexico Tort Claims Act Violations, stemming from a traffic stop in Albuquerque in October 2018. The Complaint asserted violations of the First and Fourth Amendment as well as state law.

Defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on the Basis of Qualified Immunity in March of 2021. On September 13, 2021, the District Court entered a Memorandum Opinion and Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment on the Basis of Qualified Immunity. The District Court dismissed Plaintiff’s illegal seizure and First Amendment claims, but denied the deputy’s request for qualified immunity as to the excessive force claims. This firm appealed the District Court’s denial of qualified immunity as to Plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment excess force claim.

After oral argument in November 2022, before the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, Circuit Judges Hartz, McHugh and Moritz reversed the District Court’s Memorandum Opinion and Order, noting that the law does not clearly establish the unconstitutionality of the Deputy’s alleged conduct. Thus, the Tenth Circuit awarded the deputy qualified immunity and dismissed the last of Plaintiff’s federal claims.  This firm is proud to represent law enforcement in the state of New Mexico and are pleased with the Court of Appeals’ decision to grant the Deputy qualified immunity.

Posted in