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Case / Legal Brief for Scott V. Harris - 127 S. Ct. 1769

Updated on July 16, 2012


This hub will be a brief on the case Scott V. Harris case number 127 S. Ct. 1769


1 Title and citation: Scott V. Harris - 127 S. Ct. 1769

2 Type of Action: Violation of the 4th amendment right of seizure.

3 Facts : The facts of the case are as follows. A Georgia County Deputy clocked on radar Mr. Harris driving 73 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone. When The deputy turned on lights and siren, Mr. Harris fled. The officer called this in over dispatch, which is when a few officers including Scott joined in. Scott had authorization to stop the suspect, and used a maneuver with his car to stop the suspect while he was driving. This caused the car to lose control, flip over, and now Mr. Harris is a quadriplegic.

4 Issues : 1) Does Mr. Scott who stops a high-speed chase by ramming Mr. Harris’s car violate the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable seizure?

5 History/Decision: In the lower district courts Mr. Harris asked for summary judgment in his favor, and was denied. When he appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals Eleventh Circuit the decision was upheld. The decision was then overturned by the United States Supreme Court.

Reasoning: The reasoning behind the Supreme Court to overturn is as follows. They find that Officer Scott had the right to use deadly force when ramming the back of the car of Mr. Harris because he was endangering the general public. That because the video tape proved that Mr. Harris was an imminent threat to the public, he was not protected under the 4th amendment from being forcibly stopped.

7 Rule of law : What we take away from this case is that while the 4th amendment can protect you from being unreasonably seized, if you pose an imminent threat to the general public you are waiving your 4th amendment rights, and can be stopped at any means necessary to protect the general public.


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