Price-Cornelison v. Brooks

524 F.3d 1103 (2008)

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Price-Cornelison v. Brooks

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
524 F.3d 1103 (2008)

Facts

On October 16, 2003, Dana L. Price-Cornelison (plaintiff) obtained an emergency protective order requiring her romantic partner, Vicki Rogers, to leave their farmhouse by the following day. After obtaining the protective order, Price-Cornelison went to work. While at work, Price-Cornelison received a call from a farmhand informing her that Rogers was removing Price-Cornelison’s property from the farmhouse. Price-Cornelison called the county sheriff’s office and spoke to the undersheriff, Steve Brooks (defendant). Brooks informed Price-Cornelison that Rogers could remove any property she desired until the following day. Throughout the day, Brooks received multiple calls from Price-Cornelison, her friend, and her attorney requesting action. Brooks refused, made a degrading comment about Price-Cornelison’s sexuality, and threatened to arrest Price-Cornelison if she returned to the farmhouse to prevent Rogers from taking the property. By the time Price-Cornelison returned home, many of her personal items were missing. On October 31, Price-Cornelison obtained a permanent protective order against Rogers. A few days later, Rogers violated the order by entering the farm while Price-Cornelison was away. A farmhand called Price-Cornelison to alert her of the situation. Price-Cornelison called the county sheriff’s office to request that the protective order be enforced. The request was denied. Price-Cornelison sued Brooks for violating her constitutional rights. Price-Cornelison argued that Brooks had violated her equal-protection rights by not enforcing her protective orders but enforcing a similar permanent protective order obtained by a heterosexual woman. Price-Cornelison also argued that Brooks had violated her constitutional right against unreasonable seizures by preventing her from returning to the farmhouse to protect her property. Brooks claimed that he had qualified immunity as a law-enforcement officer. The district court denied the qualified-immunity claims. Brooks appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ebel, J.)

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