Cases & Deals

Civil rights plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment case reviewed by U.S. Supreme Court

Client(s) Wesby, Theodore and 15 other individual plaintiffs

Jones Day represented in the United States Supreme Court 16 civil rights plaintiffs who sued the District of Columbia and two of its police officers for conducting an arrest without probable cause.

In 2008, the D.C. police investigated a house party after receiving complaints that the house was supposed to be vacant. The partygoers uniformly told police they had been invited to the party by someone they believed to be a resident of the house. The police discovered, however, that the host had failed to conclude lease negotiations with the owner, and arrested the partygoers for unlawful entry.

After the partygoers prevailed in the D.C. Circuit on their claim for violation of the Fourth Amendment, the Supreme Court granted review to examine whether the police had probable cause to arrest and whether the officers were entitled to qualified immunity. On behalf of the partygoers, Jones Day argued that the police violated the Fourth Amendment by arresting without any evidence that the invitees knew or should have known that they were unwelcome.

District of Columbia v. Wesby, No. 15-01485 (U.S.)