WPI 342.09 Unlawful Arrest/Seizure of Person—Fourth Amendment—Exception to Warrant Requirement—...
6A WAPRAC WPI 342.09Washington Practice Series TMWashington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil
6A Wash. Prac., Wash. Pattern Jury Instr. Civ. WPI 342.09 (7th ed.)
Washington Practice Series TM
Washington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil
April 2022 Update
Part XVII. Civil Rights
Chapter 342. Civil Rights—Fourth Amendment—Unreasonable Search and Seizure
WPI 342.09 Unlawful Arrest/Seizure of Person—Fourth Amendment—Exception to Warrant Requirement—Probable Cause—Considerations
Probable cause exists when, under all of the circumstances known to the [police officer] [person acting under color of state law] at the time, an objectively reasonable [police officer] [person acting under color of state law] would conclude there is a fair probability that a particular person has committed, or was in the act of committing, a crime.
Those facts [known by the defendant] need not meet the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard that a jury uses for deciding whether to convict a person on trial for a crime. Mere suspicion or common rumor is not enough. There must be evidence that would allow a reasonable officer to conclude that a particular individual has committed or is in the process of committing a criminal offense.
Under [federal] [state] law, it is a crime to(insert elements or description of applicable crime for which probable cause allegedly existed).
NOTE ON USE
Use this instruction for a claim of an unreasonable seizure or arrest under the Fourth Amendment that involves issues of probable cause to arrest for a crime in progress or a crime that just happened.
Use this instruction with WPI 342.08 (Unlawful Arrest/Seizure of Person—Fourth Amendment—Exceptions to Warrant Requirement—Probable Cause to Believe Crime Committed); and WPI 340.01 (Claims Instruction for Section 1983 Cases); WPI 340.02 (Civil Rights—Individual Defendant—Burden of Proof on the Issues); WPI 340.03 (Civil Rights—“Under Color of Law”—Definition); WPI 340.04 (Civil Rights—“Subjects” and “Causes to be Subjected”—Definition); and WPI 342.02 (Definition of “Seizure” of a Person—Fourth Amendment) as applicable. Use the bracketed language as applicable.
The instruction and this Comment are modified from a pattern instruction used by the Ninth Circuit. See 9th Cir. Civ. Jury Instr. 9.23 (2007). This instruction is supported by state and federal precedent. Devenpeck v. Alford, 543 U.S. 146, 152–53, 125 S.Ct. 588, 160 L.Ed.2d 537 (2004); Maryland v. Pringle, 540 U.S. 366, 371, 124 S.Ct. 795, 157 L.Ed.2d 769 (2003); Atwater v. City of Lago Vista, 532 U.S. 318, 354, 121 S.Ct. 1536, 149 L.Ed.2d 549 (2001); Beck v. Ohio, 379 U.S. 89, 97, 85 S.Ct. 223, 13 L.Ed.2d 142 (1964); State v. Pulfrey, 154 Wn.2d 517, 111 P.3d 1162 (2005); State v. Reding, 119 Wn.2d 685, 835 P.2d 1019 (1992).
Probable cause is a mixed question of law and fact: the jury makes a determination about underlying facts if there are material disputes of fact; if there are no material disputes of fact then the court makes the determination whether probable cause existed. See Dubner v. City & County of San Francisco, 266 F.3d 959, 965 (9th Cir. 2001); McKenzie v. Lamb, 738 F.2d 1005, 1007–08 (9th Cir. 1984). Summary judgment on the probable cause defense is appropriate if no reasonable jury could conclude that the police lacked probable cause to arrest plaintiff. Torres v. City of Los Angeles, 548 F.3d 1197, 1208 (9th Cir. 2008). See also the Comment to WPIC 120.07 (Lawful Arrest—Definition).
[Current as of September 2018.]
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