Carroll v. County of Monroe

712 F.3d 649 (2013)

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Carroll v. County of Monroe

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
712 F.3d 649 (2013)

Facts

In 2006, a narcotics-enforcement team with the County of Monroe (defendant) entered Sherry Carroll’s (plaintiff) home by breaking the front door. The team had received a no-knock warrant, which allowed the officers to enter the premises without announcing themselves. Officer Sheriff James Carroll (defendant) was the first member of the team to enter Sherry’s home. Upon James’s entry, Sherry’s dog began aggressively moving toward James. James then fatally shot the dog. Although the team was aware that Sherry had a dog, no action plan was created for handling the dog, and the officers never received training on nonlethal methods to control a threatening dog. Sherry sued the county and officers involved on the ground that the killing of her dog amounted to an unconstitutional seizure violative of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. At the trial, James testified that the dog had posed a threat and that Sherry was not in near proximity to restrain the dog. A sergeant with the force testified that, in executing no-knock warrants, the officers’ top priority is safely entering the premises, which sometimes requires lethal force against pets that pose a safety threat. The jury found that James had acted reasonably in shooting Sherry’s dog and therefore Sherry’s Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable seizures had not been violated. Sherry moved for the district court to set aside the judgment as a matter of law or, alternatively, for a new trial. The district court denied Sherry’s motion. Sherry appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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