Detective Wins Summary Judgment Based On Qualified Immunity

Judge Robert Miller, United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, ruled that detective Ronald Lawson is entitled to qualified immunity from liability as to plaintiff Michelle Wheeler's claim under the Fourth Amendment alleging an unreasonable search and seizure. The court stated "Detective Lawson investigated the fire at Ms. Wheeler's garage and found evidence of a methamphetamine lab, a quantity of methamphetamine, and a surveillance camera focused on the garage that could be monitored from inside Ms. Wheeler's house. Based on the totality of the circumstances then known to Detective Lawson and reasonable inferences drawn from those circumstances, Detective Lawson had probable cause to believe criminal activity had occurred on Ms. Wheeler's property and probable cause to arrest Ms. Wheeler for maintaining a common nuisance under Ind. Code 35-48-4-13." The full opinion can be found at 2007 WL 844870.