Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Fourteenth Amendment Not Violated By Arrest Without Probable Cause

The U.S. Supreme Court held that an arrestee's allegation that his
arrest without probable cause violated substantive due process did not
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The petitioner surrendered to
police upon issuance of a warrant charging him with the sale of a
substance resembling an illicit drug, and was subsequently held over for
trial. Charges were later dismissed as Illinois had no law prohibiting
such acts. Petitioner brought a § 1983 action against the charging police
officer, claiming his Fourteenth Amendment right to substantive due
process was violated. A U.S. district court dismissed, and the Court of
Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed at 975 F.2d 343 (1992).

The U.S. Supreme Court also affirmed. Citing its general
reluctance to expand the concept of substantive due process," the Court
held that petitioner's contention that his right to substantive due
process was violated did not support a claim under § 1983. The Court
implied, however, that the Fourth Amendment, which has been held relevant
to deprivations of liberty in criminal prosecutions, may have been a more
appropriate vehicle under which to seek relief. See: Albright v. Oliver,
510 U.S. 266, 114 S.Ct. 807, 127 L.Ed.2d 114 (1994).

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login