United States Seventh Circuit

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Whitlock v. Brown, 08-2800

In plaintiffs' 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action against an officer with the Department of Natural Resources, alleging violation of their Fourth Amendment rights, district court's grant of qualified immunity for defendant is affirmed where: 1) the constitutional question is not whether there was probable cause for the arrest, but whether the officer intentionally or recklessly withheld material information from his warrant application; 2) the proper focus of the qualified immunity inquiry is whether it would have been clear to a reasonable officer that the information allegedly omitted was material to the probable-cause determination; and 3) officer was entitled to qualified immunity as it is not clear under Indiana law that the information the officer allegedly withheld was material to the probable cause determination for a charge of criminal conversion.

Appellate Information

  • Argued 02/09/2009
  • Decided 02/24/2010
  • Published 02/24/2010


  • SYKES, Circuit Judge., Before POSNER and SYKES, Circuit Judges, and DOW, District Judge.


  • United States Seventh Circuit


  • For Appellant:
  • Michael K. Sutherlin, Sutherlin & Associates, Indianapolis, IN, for Plaintiffs-Appellants.

  • For Appellees:
  • Frances Barrow, Office of the Attorney General, Indianapolis, IN, for Defendant-Appellee.