Carson v. Polley
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
689 F.2d 562 (1982)
Arthur Carson (plaintiff) was arrested. Carson sued the Dallas County sheriff, the Dallas County constable, and seven of their deputies (defendants) for violating his civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Specifically, Carson alleged that he was arrested without probable cause and that the arresting officers used excessive force. At trial, the defendants sought to introduce a knife that, according to the defendants, was similar to a knife the officers had found on Carson when they arrested him. Carson denied having a knife on his person at the time of the arrest and claimed that the knife admitted into evidence was not his. The knife was relevant to both Carson’s probable-cause and his excessive-force claims. Outside of the presence of the jury, the district court decided to admit the knife into evidence as illustrative evidence. Back in front of the jury, a witness for the defendants testified that the knife was “the knife” that had been taken from Carson. The jury returned a verdict for the defendants. Carson appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Williams, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 709,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 709,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 44,500 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.