A federal court judge for the Western District of New York has agreed with the arguments of Bouvier Law LLP, and granted summary judgment in favor of a local police lieutenant who entered a home to conduct a welfare check on an elderly gentleman. The court found that the officer was entitled to qualified immunity and dismissed the complaint.
The police department had received a telephone call from Adult Protective Services seeking assistance. When officers arrived at the house, the gentleman’s grandson approached them in the driveway and was confrontational, and refused to provide access to the gentleman or bring the gentleman to the door to verify the welfare of the individual. The grandson went back into the house and the officer followed. The officer was eventually permitted to speak with the elderly gentleman, confirmed his welfare, and left the house. The plaintiffs claimed that their Fourth Amendment rights were violated by the warrantless entry of the police officer.
The judge found that the officer was entitled to qualified immunity as there was no clearly established law at the time regarding this particular situation. Based on qualified immunity, the lawsuit was dismissed. The court elected not to decide whether there was a Fourth Amendment decision.