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Shadwick v. City of Tampa
United States Supreme Court
407 U.S. 345 (1972)
The charter of the City of Tampa (defendant) authorized municipal court clerks to issue arrest warrants for people charged with violating city ordinances. Municipal court clerks, who were not required to have any legal training, were appointed by the city clerk and assigned to work primarily for the municipal court judge. Gerald Shadwick (plaintiff) was arrested for impaired driving pursuant to a warrant issued by a municipal court clerk. Shadwick moved to quash the warrant, arguing that, because it was issued by a nonjudicial officer, it violated his rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Shadwick’s motion was denied, and he filed a petition for a writ of common-law certiorari in the Florida courts. Ultimately, the Florida Supreme Court held that Tampa’s municipal court clerks were neutral and detached magistrates within the requirements of the Constitution and were authorized to issue arrest warrants for violations of municipal ordinances. Shadwick appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Powell, J.)
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