In an opinion by Judge Jerome A. Holmes, the Tenth Circuit of Appeals AFFIRMED the district court’s decision holding that the arrest was unconstitutional, because nothing could possibly have given the officer probable cause to think Scott was intending to create any interference—he had simply been on his way to quietly sit in the janitor’s office. The opinion states, “and since a warrantless arrest without probable cause violates the Fourth Amendment, Scott has shown that Officer Hensley violated Scott’s right to be free from unlawful arrest.” But the court still gave the officer qualified immunity, on the ground that the meaning of the statute was not clearly established at the time of the offense. Although there was ample state law defining the term “willfully” to mean “conscious or intentional,” there was no state supreme court decision interpreting “willfully” in the context of this specific statute. The Panel argues, “Scott has not identified any clearly-established law that would have given Officer Hensley ‘fair notice that his conduct would be unlawful in the circumstances he confronted.’” In essence, because there existed no exact, en point precedent deciding the constitutionality of the exact actions taken by Officer Hensley in January of 2009, Officer Hensley is entitled to qualified immunity from all damages and further suit.
- December 4, 2015 – Brief of Plaintiff-Appellant
- January 11, 2016 – Brief of Defendant-Appellee
- January 26, 2016 – Reply Brief of Plaintiff-Appellant
- August 16, 2016 – 2016.08.16 - Supplemental Brief-Appellant
- August 30, 2016 – Reply Brief of Defendant-Appellee
- September 6, 2016 – Supplemental Brief-Appellee
- October 5, 2017 – Opinion