Muehler v. Mena
United States Supreme Court
544 U.S. 93 (2005)
Officers Muehler and Brill (defendants) obtained a warrant to search the suspected home of a gang member for weapons and evidence of gang activity. On February 3, 1998, a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team secured the home and detained Iris Mena (plaintiff) and the other occupants at gunpoint. The occupants were handcuffed and held in the garage for two to three hours while the search was completed. Officers found weapons, drugs, and other evidence of gang activity. An Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Officer questioned the occupants and asked for immigration documentation. Mena filed suit in district court against Muehler and Brill under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of her constitutional rights. The jury found that the length of the detention and amount of force used were unreasonable and violated the Fourth Amendment and awarded Mena $60,000 in damages. The court of appeals affirmed, holding (1) that it was unreasonable to keep Mena handcuffed in the garage for the length of the search, (2) that Mena should have been released when it became apparent that she was not dangerous, and (3) that questioning Mena about her immigration status was also a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, C.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 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read 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. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 175,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 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.