Lum v. Koles

[TORT LAW]

In Lum v. Koles,[1] the supreme court held that unlawful entry by a police officer does not make any subsequent use of force per se unreasonable.[2] After receiving a domestic disturbance emergency telephone call from a third party, police officers entered the Lum’s apartment without knocking or announcing their presence.[3]An altercation ensued and the police officers pepper sprayed and handcuffed Daniel Lum.[4] After the Lums sued the officers for excessive force and unlawful entry, the lower court granted summary judgment for the officers based on qualified immunity.[5] On appeal, the Lums argued that the unlawful entry and subsequent acts of force should be considered together, defeating the officers’ qualified immunity by making their use of force per se unreasonable.[6] The supreme court affirmed the lower court’s decision, reasoning that, in an excessive force analysis, the court must look solely at the use of force at the time the force was applied.[7] Thus, according to the court, unlawful entry does not make applied force per se unreasonable and, consequently, the force ultimately used here was reasonable at the time it was applied.[8] Affirming the lower court’s decision, the supreme court held that unlawful entry by a police officer does not make any subsequent use of force per se unreasonable.[9]

 



[1] 314 P.3d 546 (Alaska 2013).

[2] Id. at 555.

[3] Id. at 551.

[4] Id.

[5] Id. at 552.

[6] Id. at 552, 554.

[7] Id. at 554.

[8] Id. at 554–55.

[9] Id. at 555.

Lum v. Koles

[TORT LAW]

In Lum v. Koles,[1] the supreme court held that unlawful entry by a police officer does not make any subsequent use of force per se unreasonable.[2] After receiving a domestic disturbance emergency telephone call from a third party, police officers entered the Lum’s apartment without knocking or announcing their presence.[3]An altercation ensued and the police officers pepper sprayed and handcuffed Daniel Lum.[4] After the Lums sued the officers for excessive force and unlawful entry, the lower court granted summary judgment for the officers based on qualified immunity.[5] On appeal, the Lums argued that the unlawful entry and subsequent acts of force should be considered together, defeating the officers’ qualified immunity by making their use of force per se unreasonable.[6] The supreme court affirmed the lower court’s decision, reasoning that, in an excessive force analysis, the court must look solely at the use of force at the time the force was applied.[7] Thus, according to the court, unlawful entry does not make applied force per se unreasonable and, consequently, the force ultimately used here was reasonable at the time it was applied.[8] Affirming the lower court’s decision, the supreme court held that unlawful entry by a police officer does not make any subsequent use of force per se unreasonable.[9]

 



[1] 314 P.3d 546 (Alaska 2013).

[2] Id. at 555.

[3] Id. at 551.

[4] Id.

[5] Id. at 552.

[6] Id. at 552, 554.

[7] Id. at 554.

[8] Id. at 554–55.

[9] Id. at 555.