In 2018, Mario Rosales became the victim of a deputy’s road rage. He was driving his yellow Mustang home when he passed Chaves County Sheriff’s Deputy David Bradshaw, who was off-duty and in his personal pickup truck. To vindicate his constitutional rights, Mario sued Bradshaw and the county sheriff who hired him. Predictably, Bradshaw invoked qualified immunity—a doctrine that the Supreme Court invented in 1982 to protect most government workers from being sued for unconstitutional conduct.
The Institute for Justice and Mario appealed his case to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Through its Project on Immunity and Accountability, IJ seeks to ensure that the Constitution limits the government in fact, not just in theory, and that our constitutional rights are enforceable guarantees, not empty words.
Immunity and Accountability
Lawsuit Appeal Asks Court If Deputy Should Get Immunity Even Though His Actions Landed Him in Prison
Mario Rosales was held at gunpoint by an off-duty sheriff's deputy even though he had done nothing wrong. Still, a court granted the officer qualified immunity and dismissed Mario's civil rights lawsuit.