Swint v. Chambers County Commission

514 U.S. 35 (1995)

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Swint v. Chambers County Commission

United States Supreme Court
514 U.S. 35 (1995)

Facts

Police raided a nightclub in Chambers County, Alabama. The nightclub’s owners, among others (plaintiffs), filed a lawsuit against the Chambers County Commission, the city, and police officers involved in the raid (defendants), alleging civil-rights violations. The police officers filed motions for summary judgment, arguing that they were entitled to qualified immunity. The trial court denied the police officers’ motion. The trial court also denied the county commission’s motion for summary judgment, leaving the county potentially liable. The trial court specifically stated that it would rule on the county’s liability closer to trial. The police officers appealed from the trial court’s denial of their motion for summary judgment based on qualified immunity, which is an allowable interlocutory appeal. The county commission appealed as well, alleging that the denial of its summary-judgment motion should be immediately appealable based on pendent appellate jurisdiction. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit accepted jurisdiction of the county commission’s appeal based on pendent appellate jurisdiction and ruled that the county commission was entitled to summary judgment. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ginsburg, J.)

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