This chapter is being reviewed in light of comments solicited by the Committee from the public.
9.18 PARTICULAR RIGHTS—FOURTH AMENDMENT—UNREASONABLE SEIZURE OF PROPERTY—GENERALLY
As previously explained, the plaintiff has the burden of proving that the act[s] of the defendant[s] [name[s]] deprived the plaintiff of particular rights under the United States Constitution. In this case, the plaintiff alleges the defendant deprived [him] [her] of [his] [her] rights under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution when [insert factual basis of the plaintiff’s claim].
Under the Fourth Amendment, a person has the right to be free from an unreasonable seizure of [his] [her] property. In order to prove the defendant[s] deprived the plaintiff of this Fourth Amendment right, the plaintiff must prove the following additional elements by a preponderance of the evidence:
1. [name[s] of applicable defendant[s]] seized the plaintiff’s property;
2. in seizing the plaintiff’s property, [names of same person[s]] acted intentionally; and
3. the seizure was unreasonable.
A person "seizes" the property of the plaintiff when the person takes possession of or controls the property in a manner that meaningfully interferes with the plaintiff’s right to possess the property.
[A person acts "intentionally" when the person acts with a conscious objective to engage in particular conduct. Therefore, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant intended to [insert the factual basis for the plaintiff’s claim]. It is not enough to prove that the defendant negligently or accidentally engaged in that action. But while the plaintiff must prove that the defendant intended to act, the plaintiff need not prove that the defendant intended to violate the plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment rights.].]
Use this instruction only in conjunction with the applicable elements instructions, Instructions 9.3–9.8, and with an appropriate definition of an unreasonable seizure. See Instruction 9.19 (Particular Rights—Fourth Amendment—Unreasonable Seizure of Property—Exceptions to Warrant Requirement).
"A ‘seizure’ of property occurs when there is some meaningful interference with an individual’s possessory interests in that property." Lavan v. City of L.A., 693 F.3d 1022, 1027, 1030-33 (9th Cir.2012) (recognizing homeless person’s possessory interest in unabandoned property left temporarily unattended, even if person, who was in violation of city ordinance prohibiting leaving of any personal property on public sidewalk, could not be said to have had expectation of privacy); see also Patel v. City of L.A., 738 F.3d 1058, 1061-62 (9th Cir.2013) (en banc) (citing Florida v. Jardines, 133 S.Ct. 1409, 1418-19 (2013)) (Kagan, J., concurring)) (recognizing hotel’s property and privacy interest in guest records "are more than sufficient to trigger Fourth Amendment protection").
"The impoundment of an automobile is a seizure within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment." Miranda v. City of Cornelius, 429 F.3d 858, 862 (9th Cir.2005).
"Section 1983 contains no state-of-mind requirement independent of that necessary to state a violation of the underlying constitutional right." OSU Student Alliance v. Ray, 699 F.3d 1053, 1071-72 & n.12 (9th Cir.2012) (quoting Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327, 330 (1986)). It is well settled that "negligent acts do not incur constitutional liability." Billington v. Smith, 292 F.3d 1177, 1190 (9th Cir.2002). Specific intent to violate a person’s rights "is not a prerequisite to liability under § 1983." Caballero v. City of Concord, 956 F.2d 204, 206 (9th Cir.1992).
With respect to the Fourth Amendment, the Supreme Court has defined a seizure of a person as "a governmental termination of freedom of movement through means intentionally applied." Brower v. Cnty. of Inyo, 489 U.S. 593, 596-97 (1989) (emphasis in original); see also Nelson v. City of Davis, 685 F.3d 867, 876-77 (9th Cir.2012) (discussing intent and concluding that defendant officers intentionally seized plaintiff under the Fourth Amendment). The Committee assumes the same intentional mental state is required to prove a § 1983 claim based on an unreasonable seizure of property in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Thus, this instruction includes an optional definition of the term "intentionally" for use when it would be helpful to the jury.