United States Seventh Circuit

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Carlson v. Bukovic, 09-2578

In plaintiff's civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 against an officer for excessive force and the city for failure to train the officer, district court's judgment in favor of the defendants is affirmed where: 1) mere physical contact by an officer, although significant factor, does not automatically qualify an encounter as a Fourth Amendment seizure; 2) district court correctly submitted the question of whether a seizure took place to the jury; 3) the jury was entitled to determine that, at the time the officer touched plaintiff's arm, officer's action was more exhortatory than commanding; 4) because plaintiff's section 1983 Fourth Amendment excessive force claim failed, her failure-to-train claim against the city fails as well; and 5) plaintiff's claim that the district judge was biased need not be addressed as recusal was unnecessary in this case.

Appellate Information

  • Argued 02/17/2010
  • Submitted 09/02/2010
  • Decided 09/02/2010
  • Published 09/02/2010


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  • United States Seventh Circuit