California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)

3027. Unruh Civil Rights Act - Civil Penalty (Civ. Code, §§ 51.7, 51.9)

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3027.Affirmative Defense—Emergency
[Name of defendant] claims that a search warrant was not required. To
succeed on this defense, [name of defendant] must prove that a peace
officer, under the circumstances, would have reasonably believed that
violence was imminent and that there was an immediate need to protect
[[himself/herself]/ [or] another person] from serious harm.
New December 2013
Directions for Use
The emergency defense is similar to the exigent circumstances defense. (See CACI
No. 3026, Affırmative DefenseExigent Circumstances.) Emergency requires
imminent violence and a need to protect from harm. In contrast, exigent
circumstances is broader, reaching such things as a need to prevent escape or the
destruction of evidence. (See Hopkins v. Bonvicino (9th Cir. 2009) 573 F.3d 752,
Sources and Authority
• “ ‘There are two general exceptions to the warrant requirement for home
searches: exigency and emergency.’ These exceptions are ‘narrow’ and their
boundaries are ‘rigorously guarded’ to prevent any expansion that would unduly
interfere with the sanctity of the home. In general, the difference between the
two exceptions is this: The ‘emergency’ exception stems from the police
officers’ ‘community caretaking function’ and allows them ‘to respond to
emergency situations’ that threaten life or limb; this exception does ‘not [derive
from] police officers’ function as criminal investigators.’ By contrast, the
‘exigency’ exception does derive from the police officers’ investigatory function;
it allows them to enter a home without a warrant if they have both probable
cause to believe that a crime has been or is being committed and a reasonable
belief that their entry is ‘necessary to prevent . . . the destruction of relevant
evidence, the escape of the suspect, or some other consequence improperly
frustrating legitimate law enforcement efforts.’ (Hopkins,supra, 573 F.3d at p.
763, original italics, internal citations omitted.)
• “The testimony that a reasonable officer would have perceived an immediate
threat to his safety is, at a minimum, contradicted by certain portions of the
record. The facts matter, and here, there are triable issues of fact as to whether
‘violence was imminent,’ and whether [defendant]’s warrantless entry was
justified under the emergency exception.” (Sandoval v. Las Vegas Metro. Police
Dep’t (9th Cir. 2014) 756 F.3d 1154, 1165, internal citation omitted.)
• “In sum, reasonable police officers in petitioners’ position could have come to
the conclusion that the Fourth Amendment permitted them to enter the . . .
residence if there was an objectively reasonable basis for fearing that violence
was imminent.” (Ryburn v. Huff (2012) — U.S. —, — [132 S.Ct. 987, 992, 181
L.Ed.2d 966].)
• “[O]fficer safety may also fall under the emergency rubric.” (Sandoval,supra,
756 F.3d at p. 1163.)
Secondary Sources
8 Witkin, Summary of California Law (10th ed. 2005) Constitutional Law, §§ 816,
819 et seq.
3 Civil Rights Actions, Ch. 10, Deprivation of Rights Under Color of State
Law—Law Enforcement and Prosecution, ¶ 10.04 (Matthew Bender)
11 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 113, Civil Rights: The Post-Civil
War Civil Rights Statutes, § 113.14 (Matthew Bender)
3028–3039. Reserved for Future Use