Jorge Corona (the plaintiff in this civil suit) was a backseat passenger in a car pulled over for a routine traffic stop by a Clovis police officer. Corona was arrested when he did not produce identification in response to the officer’s demand for ID. The officer charged Corona with resisting, evading, or obstructing an officer and concealing his identity. The district attorney’s office dismissed the concealing-identity charge, and a jury later acquitted Corona of the charge against him for resisting, evading, or obstructing an officer. Corona subsequently sued the arresting officers, the City of Clovis, and the Clovis Police Department for alleged constitutional violations under 42 U.S.C. 1983. Corona alleged the officer violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unlawful arrest by arresting him without probable cause. The officer moved for partial summary judgment based on qualified immunity, but the district court denied his motion. The officer appealed arguing he was entitled to qualified immunity. The Tenth Circuit disagreed. The Tenth Circuit determined the officer arrested the plaintiff without probable cause. “Additionally, clearly established law would have put a reasonable officer in Defendant Aguilar’s position on notice that his conduct violated Plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment right to be free from unlawful arrest.” Accordingly, the court held the officer was not entitled to qualified immunity.
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