Sometimes you can tell where the court is headed by the opening sentence of the opinion. This one is a good example:
This case arises out of Chicago Public School Security Guard Divelle Yarbrough’s decision to handcuff a compliant, six-year-old special education student because she allegedly took candy from a teacher, purportedly to teach the child a lesson—a decision made by Yarbrough without parental consent and despite the fact that the child presented no risk of flight or harm to herself or others.
The court held that this was excessive force and an unreasonable seizure as a matter of law. The law on this was “clearly established” and so the officer was not entitled to qualified immunity, and faces potential personal liability. As to the liability of the school district, the court held that there were too many factual issues to be resolved. Thus the court denied Motions for Summary Judgment filed by both sides.
The case is Wordlow v. Chicago Board of Education, decided by the federal court for the Northern Division of Illinois on November 26, 2018. We found it at 73 IDELR 117.
DAWG BONE: NOT A GOOD IDEA TO USE HANDCUFFS AS A “TEACHING MOMENT” ON A COMPLIANT AND TINY CHILD.
Tomorrow: The return of Intrepid Reporter Rip Snort.