Family allegedly forced from home by police files rare 3rd Amendment suit

by
July 9, 2013

A Nevada family is using a rare legal argument in a lawsuit claiming police tried to commandeer their homes for a surveillance operation and then arrested the homeowners for resisting — invoking the Third Amendment, which bars soldiers from being “quartered” in a residence without permission.

The Mitchell family, in a lawsuit filed July 1, detailed the incident from July 10, 2011. According to the complaint, it all began when the Henderson city police called Anthony Mitchell that morning to say they needed his house to gain “tactical advantage” in a domestic violence investigation in the neighborhood.

The situation turned ugly when Mitchell refused repeated requests to leave and police smashed through the door, the 18-page complaint states.

Mitchell alleges the police, upon entering his home, forced him to the floor at gunpoint, then shot him and his “cowering” dog with a few rounds of pepper-spray pellets. Police then allegedly handcuffed and arrested Mitchell in connection with “obstructing a police officer” before occupying his home.

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