California police officers cannot be sued because they used a warrant that may have been defective to search a woman's house, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today, 6 to 3, according to the Associated Press. The court threw out the lawsuit against Los Angeles County Sheriff's Detective Curt Messerschmidt and other police officials. They were sued after searching Augusta Millender's house looking for her foster son, who shot at his ex-girlfriend with a sawed-off shotgun.
The warrant said the police could look for any weapons on the property and gang-related material. The weapon and the shooter were not found but police confiscated Millender's shotgun. Millender contended that the lawsuit was overbroad. Lower courts let her sue officers personally despite their claims of immunity. The high court reversed that ruling in an opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts; the court’s three female members dissented.