University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Lane v. District of Columbia PN-DC-0008
Docket / Court 1:14-cv-01316 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Policing
Attorney Organization Equal Justice Under Law
Case Summary
On August 4, 2014, a 71-year old grandmother living in Washington, DC filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the District of Columbia. The plaintiff, represented by the non-profit organization Equal Justice Under Law, asked ... read more >
On August 4, 2014, a 71-year old grandmother living in Washington, DC filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the District of Columbia. The plaintiff, represented by the non-profit organization Equal Justice Under Law, asked the court for compensatory damages, punitive damages, costs, and reasonable attorneys' fees, claiming that her constitutional rights were violated. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that the police verbally and physically abused her during a search of her home that was conducted despite the fact that she was under no suspicion of any wrongdoing.

On October 27, 2012, two officers were on patrol and passed the plaintiff's home and saw three men near her property "outside the fence line." One of the men was the plaintiff's grandson. After conversing with the men, the three were arrested for possession of an open container of alcohol and possession of synthetic marijuana. A handgun was also found. One of the other men admitted that all of the illicit items belonged to him and no charges were pressed against the plaintiff's grandson.

Even though no charges were pressed against the plaintiff's grandson, the police sought to search the plaintiff's home on the basis that there might have been evidence related to illegal firearms in the home. According to the plaintiff's complaint, the search warrant application was vague and did not specify any specific reason for searching the home. Furthermore, the complaint alleges that the basis given for the warrant was inadequate.

Both before and after obtaining the warrant, the plaintiff alleges that she was kept from entering her home and treated abusively by the police. After the search did not turn up anything illegal, the plaintiff claims that she reentered her home to find that it had been torn apart by the police.

As of February 5, 2015, this case is still ongoing.

Brian Dressel - 02/05/2015


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Constitutional Clause
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Aggressive behavior
Assault/abuse by staff
Confinement/isolation
Over/Unlawful Detention
Racial profiling
Search policies
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) The District of Columbia
Plaintiff Description 71-year-old private citizen and grandmother whose home was allegedly searched illegally and without cause.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Equal Justice Under Law
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
Case Studies Federal Enforcement of Police Reform
By: Stephen Rushin (University of Illinois College of Law, University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program )
Citation: 82 Fordham Law Review 3189 (2014)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Panopticism for Police: Structural Reform Bargaining and Police Regulation by Data-Driven Surveillance
By: Mary D. Fan (University of Washington)
Citation: Forthcoming, 87 Washington L. Rev. __ (2012).
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  What Happens When Police Are Forced to Reform?
Written: Nov. 13, 2015
By: Kimbriell Kelly, Sarah Childress and Steven Rich (Frontline/Post)
Citation: Washington Post (Nov. 13, 2015)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:14-cv-01316-RDM (D.D.C.) 01/28/2015
PN-DC-0008-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 08/04/2014
PN-DC-0008-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss 09/16/2014
PN-DC-0008-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Moss, Randolph Daniel (D.D.C.)
PN-DC-0008-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Karakatsanis, Alec (District of Columbia)
PN-DC-0008-0001 | PN-DC-0008-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Finkhousen, Aaron J. (District of Columbia)
PN-DC-0008-0002 | PN-DC-0008-9000
Gonzalez, Joseph A. (District of Columbia)
PN-DC-0008-9000
Nathan, Irvin B (District of Columbia)
PN-DC-0008-0002
Pittman, Jonathan H. (District of Columbia)
PN-DC-0008-0002
Valentine, George C. (District of Columbia)
PN-DC-0008-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -