Hanlon v. Berger, 526 U.S. 808 (1999) (per curiam)

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HANLON et al. v. BERGER et ux.

certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the ninth circuit

No. 97-1927. Argued March 24, 1999—Decided May 24, 1999

Respondents filed this suit for damages under Bivens v. Six Unknown

Fed. Narcotics Agents, 403 U. S. 388, alleging that petitioners—United States Fish and Wildlife Service special agents and an assistant United States attorney—violated their Fourth Amendment rights when the agents, accompanied by Cable News Network, Inc., photographers and reporters, searched respondents' ranch and its outbuildings pursuant to a warrant.

Held: Although respondents allege a Fourth Amendment violation under

Wilson v. Layne, ante, p. 603, petitioners are entitled to a qualified immunity defense. In Wilson, this Court held that police violate homeowners' Fourth Amendment rights when they allow the media to accompany them during the execution of a warrant in a home, but that because the law was not clearly established before today, the police in that case were entitled to a qualified immunity defense. Wilson makes clear that respondents' right was not established in 1992, and the parties here have cited no decisions which would have made the law any clearer when this search took place a year later.

129 F. 3d 505, vacated and remanded.

Richard A. Cordray argued the cause for petitioners. With him on the briefs was James A. Anzelmo.

Henry H. Rossbacher argued the cause for respondents. With him on the brief for respondents Berger et al. were Nanci E. Nishimura and Jay F. Lansing. P. Cameron DeVore, Jessica L. Goldman, and David C. Kohler filed briefs for respondents Cable News Network, Inc., et al.*

*A brief of amici curiae urging reversal was filed for ABC, Inc., et al. by Lee Levine, James E. Grossberg, Jay Ward Brown, Henry S. Hoberman, Richard M. Schmidt, Jr., Susanna M. Lowy, Harold W. Fuson, Jr., Barbara Wartelle Wall, Ralph E. Goldberg, Karlene W. Goller, Jerry S.

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