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Case Name Furlow v. Belmar PN-MO-0007
Docket / Court 4:16-cv-00254 ( E.D. Mo. )
State/Territory Missouri
Case Type(s) Policing
Attorney Organization ArchCity Defenders
Center for Constitutional Rights
Case Summary
On February 2, 2016, a class of St. Louis County residents, primarily impoverished and African-American, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Missouri. The plaintiffs sued St. Louis County and the St. Louis County Police Department under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, ... read more >
On February 2, 2016, a class of St. Louis County residents, primarily impoverished and African-American, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Missouri. The plaintiffs sued St. Louis County and the St. Louis County Police Department under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming violations of their Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The plaintiffs, represented by attorneys from the ArchCity Defenders and the Center for Constitutional Rights, asked the court for injunctive relief and monetary damages.

The plaintiffs claimed that St. Louis County Police maintain a practice of issuing arrest warrants excessively and without judicial oversight. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that police officers issue arrest warrants, referred to as “Wanteds,” without seeking any judicial determination on probable cause. The “Wanteds” are visible to law enforcement throughout the state and beyond, and remain active indefinitely. The complaint alleged that this was an unaccountable exercise of police power that was particularly devastating to the largely impoverished black residents of St. Louis County.

The case was initially assigned to Judge Carol E. Jackson. The plaintiffs amended their complaint on July 8, 2016, adding two additional named plaintiffs. The parties engaged in discovery throughout 2016 and 2017. On July 28, 2017, the case was reassigned to Judge John A. Ross.

On August 25, 2017, the parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment and the plaintiffs moved to certify a class, requesting certification of two classes: Class 1, consisting of "all persons who, since February 24, 2011, have been arrested pursuant to a Wanted issued by Defendants without a judicial determination of probable cause either prior to or promptly after their arrest, including those persons who were arrested without probable cause; and Class 2, consisting of "all persons who, since February 24, 2011, have been the subject of a Wanted issued by Defendant St. Louis County and have been denied procedural remedies to quash the Wanted." Oral argument on the motions for summary judgment and class certification was held on February 28, 2018.

On March 9, 2018, Judge Ross entered an order of recusal, stating that "on the Court’s own motion and after further review of the case, I have determined that I
should disqualify myself to avoid any potential appearance of impropriety." The case was reassigned to Judge Henry Edward Autrey that day. This case is ongoing.

Michael Abrams - 10/06/2016
Sarah McDonald - 08/19/2018


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Self-incrimination
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
Failure to discipline
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
False arrest
Over/Unlawful Detention
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) St. Louis County
Plaintiff Description A class of St. Louis County residents, primarily impoverished and African-American, who have been affected by arrest warrants issued by police without probable cause or judicial oversight.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ArchCity Defenders
Center for Constitutional Rights
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2016
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Furlow v. Belmar
Center for Constitutional Rights
Date: Feb. 28, 2018
(Center for Constitutional Rights)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
4:16−cv−00254−CEJ (E.D. Mo.)
PN-MO-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/27/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint [ECF# 1]
PN-MO-0007-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/24/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Class Action Complaint
PN-MO-0007-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/08/2016
Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Judges Autrey, Henry Edward (E.D. Mo.)
PN-MO-0007-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Atri, Sima (Missouri)
PN-MO-0007-9000
Azmy, Baher (New York)
PN-MO-0007-0001 | PN-MO-0007-0002
Carroll, Nathaniel R. (Missouri)
PN-MO-0007-0001 | PN-MO-0007-0002 | PN-MO-0007-9000
Charney, Darius (New York)
PN-MO-0007-0001 | PN-MO-0007-0002 | PN-MO-0007-9000
Cohen, Jay (New York)
PN-MO-0007-9000
Farah, Omar (New York)
PN-MO-0007-0001 | PN-MO-0007-0002 | PN-MO-0007-9000
Goldberg, Emily Beth (New York)
PN-MO-0007-9000
Grossman, Elizabeth (New York)
PN-MO-0007-9000
Guisado, Angelo R. (New York)
PN-MO-0007-9000
Hall, Edward James (Missouri)
PN-MO-0007-0001 | PN-MO-0007-0002 | PN-MO-0007-9000
Hamilton, Charles Jordan (New York)
PN-MO-0007-9000
Harvey, Thomas B. (Missouri)
PN-MO-0007-0001 | PN-MO-0007-0002 | PN-MO-0007-9000
Holland, Timothy James (New York)
PN-MO-0007-9000
Stone, Eric Alan (New York)
PN-MO-0007-9000
Strode, Blake Alexander (Missouri)
PN-MO-0007-0001 | PN-MO-0007-0002 | PN-MO-0007-9000
Voss, Michael-John (Missouri)
PN-MO-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Hughes, Michael E. (Missouri)
PN-MO-0007-9000
Other Lawyers Flojo, Raymond B. (Missouri)
PN-MO-0007-9000

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