X

Legal Memorandum: Level of Force Used in Making Arrests

Issue: Under Louisiana law, what level of force may be used to make an arrest?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Force used to make the arrest; Standard of reasonableness; Unlawful arrest
Jurisdiction: Louisiana
Cited Cases: 353 So. 2d 969; 479 So. 2d 506
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 10/01/2006

  It sometimes is argued that, if an arrest was unlawful, any force used to make the arrest is inappropriate force.  See TA s "Labauve v. State, 618 So. 2d 1187 (La. App. 3 Cir. 1" c 1 l "Labauve v. State, 618 So. 2d 1187 (La. App. 3 Cir. 1993)"Labauve v. State, 618 So. 2d 1187 (La. App. 3 Cir. 1993).  The correct test, however, is that an officer’s conduct must be measured by the standard of reasonableness, looking at the situation as it occurred rather than using hindsight.  The case of Kyle v. City of N.O., 353 So. 2d 969 (La. 1977) is on point.

Whether the force used is reasonable depends on the totality of the facts and circumstances in each case.  A court must evaluate the officers’ actions against those of ordinary, prudent, and reasonable men placed in the same position as the officers and with the same knowledge of the officers.  The degree of force used is a factual issue.  As such the trial court’s finding is entitled to great weight.

TA s "Kyle v. City of N.O., 353 So. 2d 969, 971 (La. 1977)" c 1Id. at 973.

This standard of reasonableness in light of the circumstances is appropriate, because law-enforcement officers must make quick decisions in stressful, changing, and frequently dangerous situations.     See also TA s "Bellamore v. City of Westwego, No. Civ. A. 00-1511, " c 1 l "Bellamore v. City of Westwego, No. Civ. A. 00-1511, […]

Subscribe to Litigation Pathfinder

To get the full-text of this Legal Memorandum ... and more!

(Month-to-month and annual subscriptions available)