Published Opinion: Bryan v MacPherson

630 F.3d 805
United States Court of Appeals,
Ninth Circuit.
Carl BRYAN, Plaintiff–Appellee,
Brian MacPHERSON; Coronado Police
Department; City of Coronado, a municipal
corporation, Defendants–Appellants.
No. 08–55622.
Argued and Submitted Oct. 9, 2009.
Filed Nov. 30, 2010.


Background: Arrestee brought action against arresting officer, police department, and city under § 1983 and state law, alleging officer used excessive force in deploying a stun gun during a traffic stop for a seatbelt infraction. The United
States District Court for the Southern District of California, Larry A. Burns, J., 2008 WL 344185,granted summary judgment to city and police department, but determined that officer was not entitled to qualified immunity. Officer appealed.


Viewing the facts, as we must, in the light most favorable to Bryan, we conclude, for the purposes of summary judgment, that Officer MacPherson used unconstitutionally excessive force.

However, a reasonable officer confronting the circumstances faced by Officer MacPherson on July 24, 2005, could have made a reasonable mistake of law in believing the use of the taser was reasonable.

Accordingly we REVERSE the district court's denial of summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity.