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Defendants Claim Their 14th Amendment Rights Violated


The plaintiffs and appellants in the case are Lois White et al. The defendants and appellees in the case are the Scrivner Corporation et al. The case is being heard in the fifth circuit of the United States Court of Appeals.

Case History

A New York Drug Crime Lawyer said one night Lois and her daughter Sandra White, along with her sister Gloria Pratt, went shopping at a food store owned by Scrivner Corporation, the assistant manager of the shop accused Lois of taking a roast out of the meat department of the store. The assistant manager requested that Lois and her daughter and sister come with him to an area located at the rear of the store. He asked for permission to search through their purses and while looking through the women’s purses he found a pistol located in Lois Whites purse. He told the women to stand by the wall and he made a call to the police department. The police arrived and arrested White for having a weapon that was concealed. The food goods that White was accused of stealing were never found.

Lois White and her sister and daughter filed a suit against the Scrivner Corporation and their employees stating that the search and detention infringed upon their fourteenth amendment rights. A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said the case was tried in front of a district court and there was not a jury present. The judge found in favor of the defendants and ruled that no rights were violated. This is the verdict that is being appealed in court today.

Case Discussion and Conclusion

In order to make a claim under the United States Constitution 42, the plaintiffs must prove that the defendants were acting under the color of the state laws and deprived them of a right that is preserved by the Constitution. The plaintiffs have offered three arguments to meet this requirement. First, the plaintiffs argue that by detaining them and searching through their belongings the employees were performing an act that is reserved specifically for the state. Second, the plaintiff’s state that the act should be found as the defendants acted under a statute made by the state that allows suspected shoplifters to be detained. Finally, the plaintiffs argue that the state action is part of this case because the defendants acted with the police in order to seize and search their property and to detain them.

The defendants searching the women’s purses cannot be characterized as functions that are reserved only for the state. While it is true that most of the time these actions are performed by the police, it is not uncommon for the shop owner to search someone who is expected of shoplifting. This is to attempt to discover whether or not goods have been stolen before contacting the police. A Nassau County Drug Possession Lawyer said when the gun was found, detaining the individuals was not unacceptable. It is quite common for a private citizen to intervene when they feel that a crime is being committed.

A Queens Drug Possession Lawyer said the arguments of the plaintiffs fail to show the defendants acted under the color of the law. These arguments are not backed by significant evidence to prove these facts. For this reason, we affirm the original ruling in the case in favor of the defendants. All counts in the case are dismissed and there is no recovery for damages given to the plaintiffs.

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