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Friday, March 1, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Bogus Scalping Arrest Merits a Second Look

(CN) - Nevada police will get another chance to fight claims that they illegally arrested a father who was trying to sell tickets outside of a fair with his children, with the 9th Circuit agreeing Wednesday to rehear the lawsuit it revived in August.

Since scalping is not illegal in Nevada, a sheriff's deputy charged Hershel Rosenbaum under an obscure law dredged from the "bowels of a library," a three-judge panel ruled in August.

Woshoe County Deputy Sheriff James Forbus arrested Rosenbaum in 2006 outside of the Nevada State Fair in Reno for "abuse, neglect or endangerment of a child, and obtaining money under false pretenses."

With no real crime to prosecute, the charges were soon dropped.

Rosenbaum and his children later sued, alleging violations of the Fourth and 14th Amendments.

A federal judge granted qualified immunity to Forbus, but the appeals panel reversed from San Francisco.

"Qualified immunity for an unlawful arrest should not arise because some enterprising official after the fact searched the bowels of a library to find a little known or entirely unknown old statute that may apply to the facts," according to the August decision.

Withdrawing that ruling on Wednesday, the court announced that the panel will take a second look at the case. The parties now have 14 days to file further petitions for rehearing.

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