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Administrative Agencies Case Explanations

Page history last edited by abogado 5 years, 2 months ago

Team Presentations-Law10-Fall2015

Chapter 43Administrative Agencies



  • Read Riverdale Mills Corp v Pimpare 

  • Explain the following case statements
  • #1 - This episode involves issues of qualified immunity for EPA inspectors who took wastewater samples.
  • #2 - The plaintiffs allege that the agents' sampling, without warrant or consent, of wastewater from underneath a manhole located on Riverdale land in Northbridge, Massachusetts, on the afternoon of October 21, 1997, constituted a violation of the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment claim is pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics,403 U.S. 388, 91 S.Ct. 1999, 29 L.Ed.2d 619 (1971).
  • #3 - Pimpare and Granz defended, inter alia, on grounds of qualified immunity; the district court denied their motion for summary judgment on grounds of qualified immunity, and they properly filed an interlocutory appeal. We reverse because, under the first prong of the qualified immunity test, Knott and Riverdale have no reasonable expectation of privacy in this wastewater under the circumstances shown in the record and therefore they have no Fourth Amendment right. Even were this ruling incorrect, we would reverse under the second prong, since the existence of such a reasonable expectation was not clearly established law. We remand for entry of judgment for Pimpare and Granz on qualified immunity grounds
  • #4 - The two inspectors did not obtain a search warrant, and there is no claim of exigent circumstances. Inspector Pimpare first met with Knott and two high-level employees; Inspector Granz 58*58 arrived sometime during that opening meeting. At that meeting, Pimpare did not assert any statutory authority to search Riverdale property but instead asked Knott to give his consent to an inspection of the wastewater treatment facility, including tests of the wastewater.
  • #5 - Riverdale and Knott were indicted by a grand jury on August 12, 1998, based on evidence found in these searches, for two counts of violating the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq., by discharging industrial waste into publicly owned treatment works in violation of a national pretreatment standard for pH levels. See 33 U.S.C. §§ 1317(b)(1), 1319(c)(2)(A); 40 C.F.R. § 403.5(b)(2). Knott and Riverdale moved to suppress evidence obtained during the October 21, 1997 and November 7, 1997 searches. The district court granted the motion in part: it determined that the afternoon sampling on October 21 had exceeded the scope of Knott's consent because neither Knott nor a designated Riverdale employee had been present. It thus suppressed the fruits of those afternoon searches but declined to suppress any evidence obtained on November 7. Knott, 256 F.3d at 25. The government sought leave of court to dismiss the indictment without prejudice on April 23, 1999, and such leave was granted on May 6, 1999. Id.
  • #6 - Even if Riverdale had a reasonable expectation of privacy in its wastewater at Manhole 1, prior law would not have put an officer on notice that producers of industrial wastewater located underneath a manhole on a private street but headed for a public sewer 300 feet away enjoyed a reasonable expectation of privacy in the wastewater. The officers are entitled to immunity on the second prong of the qualified immunity analysis as well.
  • #7 - The Supreme Court has made it quite clear that the second inquiry is a specific one; it is necessary to look at the particular factual context. See Brosseau, 125 S.Ct. at 599-600; Hope, 536 U.S. at 739-41, 122 S.Ct. 2508Saucier, 533 U.S. at 201-02, 207-09, 121 S.Ct. 2151 (The question under the second prong on the facts of the case was "whether [the] general prohibition against excessive force was the source for clearly established law that was contravened in the circumstances [the] officer faced.");
  • #8 - Pimpare and Granz do not argue that Riverdale is a "pervasively regulated business" that can be searched for this purpose without a warrant. See New York v. Burger, 482 U.S. 691, 699-703, 107 S.Ct. 2636, 96 L.Ed.2d 601 (1987) (discussing the exception to the warrant requirement for inspection of commercial premises in "closely regulated" industries). We do not address this issue. Nonetheless, the commercial context is relevant to the reasonableness of any expectation of privacy
  • #9 - Explain who won and provide conclusion  

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