Elder v. Holloway

PETITIONER: Elder
RESPONDENT: Holloway et al.
LOCATION: Pomona Police Department

DOCKET NO.: 92-8579
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1993-1994)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

CITATION: 510 US 510 (1994)
ARGUED: Jan 10, 1994
DECIDED: Feb 23, 1994

ADVOCATES:
Andrew J. Pincus - for the American Civil Liberties Union as amicus curiae urging reversal
James J. Davis - on behalf of the Respondent
Michael E. Tankersley - on behalf of the Petitioner
Steven R. Shapiro - for the American Civil Liberties Union as amicus curiae urging reversal

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Elder v. Holloway

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 10, 1994 in Elder v. Holloway

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - February 23, 1994 in Elder v. Holloway

William H. Rehnquist:

The opinion of the Court in No. 92-8579, Elder against Holloway will be announced by Justice Ginsburg.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

The Court has reached a unanimous decision in this civil rights action brought by petitioner Charles Elder against Idaho Police Officers for injuries Elder sustained during a white list arrest.

The police officers prevailed in the District Court on the plea of qualified immunity.

Qualified immunity is a doctrine that shields public officials from suits for damages unless the officers' conduct violated clearly established law.

The District Court found that in arresting Elder the Idaho police did not violate clearly established law.

On Elder's appeal the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit noticed a decision of that Circuit closely in point a decision that appeared to favor Elder.

However, the decision had not been mentioned in the District Court and for that reason the Court of Appeals refused to take it into account.

We hold that the Court of Appeals should have taken account of the decision, when an appellate court reviews the judgment holding a public official immune from an action for damages for violation of the federal right that review should be conducted and might of all relevant authorities not just those sided to or discovered by the District Court.