Court Tosses Suit Over Colorado Traffic Stops

     (CN) – Police in a Denver suburb didn’t violate clearly established Fourth Amendment rights by stopping and ticketing drivers outside their jurisdiction, the 10th Circuit ruled.

     Two drivers claimed that Mountain View police officers stopped and cited them for traffic violations in 2006, even though the drivers weren’t in the small suburb of about 600 people. The stops took place on border streets within Denver and just outside Mountain View.
     Christopher Swanson and Geraldine Schmidt said the stops violated their right to be free from unreasonable seizures.
     The district court rejected the town’s motion to dismiss, but the Denver-based appeals court reversed.
     “[E]ven assuming a constitutional violation,” Judge Tymkovich wrote, “a reasonable police officer would not have known in 2006 that the extra-jurisdictional, but within the same state, traffic stops constituted a violation of clearly established Fourth Amendment law, when no dispute exists that the officer observed traffic violations before effectuating the stops.”

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