District Judge Pamela Chen


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Defendants moved for summary judgment in §1983 action, alleging that defendants, an assistant district attorney and detective investigator, unlawfully entered plaintiff’s dwelling and stole belongings in violation of his 4th Amendment rights. Defendants did not dispute that they entered the apartment without a warrant. The building’s owner asserted that plaintiff and girlfriend were squatting in the apartment. Defendants were investigating an assault on plaintiff’s girlfriend; defendants retrieved some of her belongings and took photographs relating to plaintiff’s allegation that his girlfriend hit her head on the wall. Plaintiff was later indicted for assault, but the photographs taken in the apartment were suppressed. The court granted defendants’ motion, rejecting plaintiff’s arguing that he had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the apartment because he was legally a trespasser. The court further held that plaintiff had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the building’s common stairwell. The court also held that collateral estoppel could not apply the criminal court proceeding since defendants were not parties. Finally, the court concluded defendants were entitled to qualified immunity as a trespasser had no clearly established right to privacy.