Here is the synopses
When respondent law enforcement officials entered petitioners' home to execute an arrest warrant for petitioners' son, they invited media representatives to accompany them. Respondents entered the home and restrained petitioner husband, but they did not find the fugitive son. The media took photographs, but did not publish them. Petitioners sued respondents in their personal capacities for money damages, contending respondents' action involving the media violated their U.S. Const. amend. IV rights. Petitioners sued federal officials under Bivens, and state officials under 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983. The court
affirmed the judgment of the appellate court, which held that respondents were entitled to qualified immunity. Although the court held that such a "media ride" violated U.S. Const. amend. IV, it found that the state of the law was not clearly established at the time the search took place. It was not obvious from the general principles of U.S. Const. amend. IV that respondents' conduct violated the Constitution, and there were no judicial opinions holding the practice unlawful. Therefore, it was not unreasonable that respondents believed their actions were lawful.
The court affirmed a judgment which held that respondent law enforcement officials were entitled to qualified immunity in petitioners' action for violation of their constitutional rights, because the state of the law regarding presence of the media at the execution of an arrest warrant was not clearly established at the time of execution. Therefore, it was not unreasonable that respondents believed their actions were lawful.
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