March 23, 2016 Articles

Supreme Court Clarifies a "Legal Twilight Zone" in Excessive Force Claims

The Court adopts objective reasonableness as the Fourteenth Amendment standard.

By Sarah E. Ricks – March 23, 2016

The Supreme Court recently resolved an entrenched circuit split about the standard for evaluating excessive force claims by pretrial detainees. Excessive force claims can be litigated under the Fourth, Fourteenth, or Eighth Amendments. Briefly, the Fourth Amendment governs excessive force claims arising during arrest, the Fourteenth Amendment governs claims arising during pretrial detention, and the Eighth Amendment governs claims arising after conviction.

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