Sheehan v. City & Cnty. of San Francisco

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Rights § 1983
  • Date Filed: 02-21-2014
  • Case #: 11-16401
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Fisher for the Court; Circuit Judges Noonan and Graber
  • Full Text Opinion

Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, summary judgment should not be granted when a genuine issue of material fact exists in whether a state’s actors were objectively reasonable in forcing a confrontation with a known emotional and mentally ill person.

Teresa Sheehan filed this action against the city and county of San Francisco under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 making claims that her rights, protected by the 4th Amendment and the Americans with Disabilities Act, were violated as well as rising tort and statutory claims under California law, after two police officers entered Sheehan’s room, without a warrant, in order for Sheehan to be taken for a mental health evaluation, and ultimately resulted in Sheehan being shot 5 or 6 times after she threatened the police with a knife. The District Court for the Northern District of California granted summary judgment for the defendants and Sheehan filed this appeal. The Ninth Circuit held that it is a genuine issue of material fact whether the officer’s entry into the room of and forcing a confrontation with an emotional and mentally ill woman was objectively reasonable stands in the way of summary judgment in a § 1983 lawsuit. The issues here are whether the officers’ entrance caused a violation of the 4th Amendment and if the officers are protected by qualified immunity. Here, the officer’s initial entry was justified, however, the subsequent entry of the officers raises tribal issues under the 4th Amendment, and that the officers do have the protection of qualified immunity. AFFIRMED in part, VACATED in part and REMANDED.

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