Yolanda Martinez Jul. 23, 2013, 7:29pm

NEW ORLEANS – Two Corpus Christi Police Officers appealed a district court’s decision to deny their motion for summary judgment against claims of excessive force and unlawful arrest. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision regarding an unlawful-arrest claim, but reversed the decision concerning the excessive-force claim.

Officers Robert Cunningham and Chris Potter responded to a child-custody matter at the home of John Hogan. Hogan filed and excessive-force and unlawful-arrest claims after he suffered from two broken ribs when the officers tackled him while he was trying to deny them entry into his house. The police officers filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that they were entitled to qualified immunity, which protects officers from civil liability unless the officers “violated a statutory or constitutional right.”

The district court denied their grant for summary judgment for both claims, questioning the officer’s entitlement to qualified immunity.

The Court of Appeals disagreed with the denial of summary judgment concerning the excessive-force claim, deciding that the officers were entitled to qualified immunity. As to the unlawful-arrest claim, the court decided that the officers were not entitled to immunity and affirmed the district court’s decision.

In a per curiam opinion, Circuit Judges Jolly E. Grady, Priscilla Owen and Leslie H. Southwick affirmed part of the district court’s opinion, and rendered judgment in the officer’s favor and reversing the district court’s denial of summary judgment.

Case No. 1-41029.

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