This lawsuit against D.C. and numerous MPD officers sought damages for the 4 a.m. entry and search of a home in the Trinidad neighborhood of Northeast D.C. by a police SWAT team in August 2008. Police entered by smashing windows and tossing in stun grenades. The homeowner, a longtime D.C. Public Schools employee, was held on the floor at gunpoint, half-naked, and police turned every room of her three-story house upside-down. No evidence of crime was found.  There was a search warrant, but it did not authorize, nor did the supporting affidavit justify, a nighttime no-knock entry. 

We filed our lawsuit in 2009. After lengthy discovery, the district court denied the defendants’ motions for summary judgment in 2011, and the defendants appealed on the ground that they should have received immunity from suit because the homeowner’s rights were not clearly established. In 2012, the court of appeals ruled that the police officer defendants were entitled to qualified immunity from certain of our Fourth Amendment claims, finding that on the facts of this case the search warrant did authorize a nighttime search and that a “no-knock” entry was not clearly unconstitutional. Remaining claims were not at issue in the appeal, and the case returned to the district court for trial.

On remand, the case settled on the eve of a jury trial in December 2012, for a substantial sum that our client asked us not to publicize.

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

Jenner & Block LLP

Date filed

December 22, 2008