Supreme Court of the United States
CITY OF CINCINNATI
Decided March 25, 1986
Justice O’Connor, Concurring
|Topic: Civil Rights*||Court vote: 6–3|
|Note: No other Justices joined this opinion.|
|Citation: 475 U.S. 469||Docket: 84–1160||Audio: Listen to this case's oral arguments at Oyez|
* As categorized by the Washington University Law Supreme Court Database
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JUSTICE O'CONNOR, concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.
For the reasons stated by JUSTICE WHITE, I agree that the municipal officers here were acting as policymakers within the meaning of Monell v. New York City Dept. of Social Services, 436 U. S. 658 (1978). As the city of Cincinnati freely conceded, forcible entry of third-party property to effect an arrest was standard operating procedure in May, 1977. Given that this procedure was consistent with federal, state, and local law at the time the case arose, it seems fair to infer that respondent county's policy was no different. Moreover, under state law as definitively construed by the Court of Appeals, the county officials who opted for the forcible entry "had the authority to approve or disapprove such entries." Ante at 475 U. S. 485 (WHITE J., concurring). Given this combination of circumstances, I agree with JUSTICE WHITE that the decision to break down the door "sufficiently manifested county policy to warrant reversal of the judgment below." Ibid. Because, however, I believe that the reasoning of the majority goes beyond that necessary to decide the case, and because I fear that the standard the majority articulates may be misread to expose municipalities to liability beyond that envisioned by the Court in Monell, I join only Parts 475 U. S. S. 477|>II-A of the Court's opinion and the judgment.
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