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Contract sale continues / Dogs, contracts, litigation / police dog bite case and qualified immunity
January 7, 2022
Dogs, contracts, litigation
         Upon reading your posts regarding the Police Officer who shot the Pit Bulls and then the ongoing saga of the horrible Surfside collapse, it reminds me of the situation we at Jade Alarm Co. had several years ago.
          One mid-day I was served papers naming my company in a lawsuit – no phone call, no nasty letter, just served papers by the Sherriff. The gist of the lawsuit is that our ‘shear wind detection system failed to properly operate’ and thus an employee of a production plant was snatched up off the ground when he went to roll-up the window of his car at the behest of the site guard. He was then slammed against the building and transport was required to the area hospital where he was in very serious condition.
          HUH??? Our ‘shear what detection system’?????
          Our involvement with this particular subscriber was to get their DSX access control system back in operation since no preventative maintenance had been performed and several of the electric strikes were in-operable due to dust & dirt infiltrating the working mechanisms.
          When I contacted our insurance broker, who personally knew from church the suing attorney, the lawsuit was eventually dropped – after of course an appearance was made in front of a judge.
          That event cost my company $1,500.00 just to so our insurance company’s legal beagles could ‘open a file’ as required by our insurance company’s policy….
once we are handed lawsuit papers, we are MANDATED to contact the insurance company otherwise they can deny the claim at the offset.
          It again goes to show us, in this litigious society, anyone can sue anybody for anything at any time.  Too many lawyers’ just throw it up against the wall and see what sticks for a quick settlement.
          The Police Officer can be sued for shooting dogs who may or may not have eventually attacked him and who knows the Police Officer, in his youth may have had a very bad experience with dogs, so he KNOWS what an animal is capable of!
AND, the public perceives what the ‘world is saved in 1-hour, less commercials time’ and we as an industry ALWAYS know exactly what devices we need to install to PREVENT something horrible from happening!!
          This is why, I have had opportunities to acquire companies and stopped the process after my very FIRST question is answered with “no, we don’t bother with those pesky contracts” we just do the work they want us to do…..when those owners want to retire, they have NOTHING to sell buy a customer list – with customers who have never signed a contract and I doubt would now do so….
         Just my 2-cents!
Joseph (Joe) Pfefer, President & Founder
Jade Alarm Co.
          You did the right thing contacting your insurance company even though you incurred a charge for your deductible.  You may have faced continued a continued lawsuit, legal fees and potential damages.  Failure to notify your insurance carrier timely can result in denial of coverage for the claim.  Even though the K&K contracts, which I know you use, should protect you, the cost of defense can be substantial.  You carry insurance and you’re smart to report all claims and even potential claims sooner than later.
police dog bite case
          Police dog bite case and qualified immunity.  Cops are called by lady accusing her live in boyfriend of various non-lethal abuse.  Cops arrive, enter house, call out his name, he appears in his PJs at top of stairs, with hands up.  But he refuses to come down stairs as directed and continues to insist on being told why the police were there and why he was being arrested.  Cops patience runs out and after warning the boyfriend that the dog would be deployed, one copy releases the dog; the other cops watch. Dog attacks, [cops also shoot boyfriend with a non-lethal bean bag from a shot gun] bring boyfriend to floor and continues to bite for 20 seconds.  Boyfriend, now a plaintiff, sues for violation of his constitutional rights and California state law violations for battery.  The Federal District Judge issues a 48 page decision on a motion by the cops and the City to dismiss discussing qualified immunity.
          Judge finds that use of the dog and bean gun was not a violation of constitutional rights but that allowing the dog to bite for 20 seconds might be a violation, so that part of the case survived the motion to dismiss. 
          Interestingly, the Judge spends a great deal of words emphasizing that his decision is based on case law pre-dating 2019, when the incident occurred.  Times are a-changing, so not sure whether 20 seconds or use of dog at all will be considered a violation of rights today, but clearly qualified immunity definitely does not mean absolute immunity, which by the way, the Judge gets.
          All judges who might be deciding police qualified immunity should be required to train with police and go out on calls for at least 6 months.  Send them in first.
          Here are a few excepts from the case.


In his opposition to the Defendants’ motion to dismiss, Plaintiff argues that Officer Dunn Case 5:20-cv-04777-LHK Document 63 Filed 12/23/21 Page 9 of 48 10 Case No. 20-CV-04777-LHK ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF’S THIRD AMENDED COMPLAINT 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 United States District Court Northern District of California “should never have released his K9 in the first place.” Opp. at 9. Plaintiff’s rationale is that a police dog can be a “severe” use of force, and that deploying the police dog was unnecessary because Plaintiff was being “merely uncooperative” with police officers. Id. Even when interpreting the TAC in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, as the Court must in a motion to dismiss, Plaintiff’s characterization of the circumstances facing the officers is understated. According to the Police Report, which Plaintiff has incorporated by reference into the TAC, police officers entered Plaintiff’s home expecting to find a violent suspect who had allegedly strangled his fiancée and had allegedly been violent in the past. See Police Report at 2. Police had reason to believe Plaintiff’s fiancée because they noticed marks on her. Id. at 1.

In sum, officers entered Plaintiff’s home and found more than a “merely uncooperative” suspect. Officers entered the home of a man who they believed had committed a violent crime, who repeatedly refused to follow police instructions despite repeated warnings that a police dog would be deployed, who was standing in the dark at the top of stairs, and who could potentially access weapons on the second floor

The United States Supreme Court has held that the inquiry into whether case law is “clearly established” must be taken in light of the specific context of the case,” Mullenix, 136 S. Ct. at 308 (quoting Brosseau v. Haugen, 543 U.S. 194, 198 (2004) (per curiam)). Given the fact that there was no Ninth Circuit or Supreme Court case law as of September 2019 that would have clearly established that deploying a police dog on an uncooperative person suspected of committing a violent crime who does not comply with repeated police instructions after repeated warnings that a dog would be deployed would constitute an unreasonable use of force, the Court must conclude that Officer Dunn has qualified immunity for deploying his police dog to detain Plaintiff. Therefore, Defendants’ motion to dismiss with regard to Plaintiff’s § 1983 claim about the deployment of the police dog is GRANTED.

In sum, the officers in Watkins and the officers in the instant case both faced a suspect lying on the ground being bitten by a police dog while being surrounded by armed officers with weapons drawn, and in both the instant case and Watkins, the officers allowed the police dog to continue to bite the suspect, which resulted in severe injuries to the suspect. Therefore, the degree of the Fourth Amendment intrusion that Plaintiff suffered was similar to the clearly established constitutional intrusion that Plaintiff suffered in Watkins. Here, where the dog was allegedly allowed to bite Plaintiff for over twenty seconds while officers watched, where Plaintiff suffered serious injuries requiring surgical intervention, and where Plaintiff still suffers the effects of those injuries, and making all inferences in favor of Plaintiff, Manzarek, 519 F.3d at 1031, the Court decides that the intrusion on Plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment interests was severe under the allegations in the TAC

Defendants also argue that the fact that the crime at issue was an alleged domestic violence incident is an important factor to consider in the totality of the circumstances facing the officers. Opp. at 6. But as discussed, Ninth Circuit case law also directs us to consider the fact that this factor is less compelling when the alleged victim of domestic abuse is separated from the perpetrator of that abuse. Smith, 394 F.3d at 702–03 (noting that the fact that the underlying crime was a domestic abuse did not necessitate a severe use of force when the suspect was separated from the victim and was unarmed and clad in pajamas); see also George, 736 F.3d at 839 (holding that the risks to officers responding to a domestic violence call are “less salient ‘when the domestic dispute is seemingly over by the time the officers begin their investigation’” (quoting Mattos, 661 F.3d at 450)). At the motion to dismiss stage, the Court must make all reasonable inferences in the Case 5:20-cv-04777-LHK Document 63 Filed 12/23/21 Page 21 of 48 22 Case No. 20-CV-04777-LHK ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF’S THIRD AMENDED COMPLAINT 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 United States District Court Northern District of California Plaintiff’s favor. Manzarek, 519 F.3d at 1031. Because of the severity of the alleged intrusion into Plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures, and because the government interest in favor of the alleged intrusion was mitigated by other facts alleged in the TAC, the Court finds that Plaintiff has plausibly alleged a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.

Therefore, under the facts alleged in Plaintiff’s TAC, and interpreting all facts in Plaintiff’s favor as the Court is required to do on a motion to dismiss, the Court finds that Plaintiff has plausibly alleged that Officer Dunn’s use of his police canine for over twenty seconds constituted unconstitutionally excessive force under clearly established Fourth Amendment law, and thus, Officer Dunn is not entitled to qualified immunity. The Court therefore DENIES Defendants’ motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s excessive force claim as to the duration of the dog bite.

Duration of Dog Bite Plaintiff alleges that Officer Dunn battered him by allowing his police dog to bite Plaintiff for over twenty seconds. TAC ¶ 54 Above, the Court determined that Officer Dunn used excessive force against Plaintiff by allowing the police dog to continue to bite Plaintiff for over twenty seconds. Supra Section III.A.2. Therefore, Defendants’ argument that Plaintiff has not successfully stated a claim as to the duration of the dog bite fails, and Defendants’ motion to dismiss the battery charge against Officer Dunn is DENIED.
THE SALE HAS STARTED AND RUNS THROUGH JANUARY 14, 2022.  ORDERS ARE FILLED AS RECEIVED [UP TO 6 WEEK WAIT for sale orders - longer for update orders] ORDERS ARE FILLED AS RECEIVED [UP TO 6 WEEK WAIT for sale orders - longer for update orders]  
The Standard Form Agreements are all updated.  This year there are important updates.  All contracts should be updated this year.  One change is the inflation and supply chain delay provision; there are many others. 2022 updated contracts are ON SALE now; SAVE THOUSANDS DURING THIS SALE
    The Standard Form Agreements have been updated for 2022.  This year, because of unprecedented economic issues that have recently affected the alarm industry, all contracts should be updated.  Check with our Contract Administrator, Eileen Wagda, at 516 747 6700 ext 312 to see if your forms need updating.  Keep in mind that updates are free for 6 months and half price for 12 months from your original order date. Requests for updates will be processed after the new orders are processed.  The sale ends January 14, 2022; the sooner you order the sooner you will get the contracts.  Please do not call requesting priority unless you are a Concierge Client or have paid for expedited service.

How to order: order at - ordering is easy - order on-line during the sale and save thousands of dollars.  Need help ordering?  Call our Contract Administrator Eileen Wagda at 516 747 6700 x 312 for assistance. Concierge Clients can call our Concierge Program Coordinator Stacy Spector, Esq for assistance at 516 747 6700 x 304. Concierge Clients receive an additional 10% off the sale price.  You can join the Concierge Program before ordering to receive the discount and you should take advantage of this program.
    Contract sale runs through January 14, 2022, ending at midnight EST. The discount will be applied to orders received between now and January 14, 2022 by midnight*.  This will definitely be the best deal of 2022. When you place the order the full price will come up. We will apply the discount manually when we process the order.  Contracts will be delivered by email only.

Here's the deal:
    Buy 1 All in One Residential, Commercial or Fire All in One and get $100 off and $50 off Disclaimer Notice  save $150
    Buy 2 All in One forms and get $100 off first and $200 off second and $75 off Disclaimer Notice and $100 off rider and $100 off the Honeywell Notifier rider.   Save up to $575.
    Buy 3 or more All in One forms and get same as above and $300 off the third form and $400 off the fourth form.  Save up to $1275.00 [Residential, Commercial, Fire, Home Automation]
    Commercial Mobile Surveillance Lease $1000.  Save $250
    Fire All in One with Security Rider $1275.00. Save $300.00  Add the Commercial Fire All in One and the Commercial All in One and get $200 off each.  Save $700.00
    Qualifier Agreement $1200.00   Save $300.00
    Digital Sign And Display Sales, Hosting And Service  $437.50  save 50% $437.50
    Computer Consulting and Service   $437.50  save 50% $437.50
    Nationwide DIY with monitoring.  $3500.00    save $1000.00**
    Nationwide PERS with or without GPS tracking. $3500.00 Save $1000.00**
* Your order must be placed on line at and received by our office no later than January 14, 2022 by midnight EST.  Orders must contain valid credit card payment and be processed; you will receive confirmation.  Fill out the order form; the full prices will show and we will apply the discount before processing the order.  Orders arriving after sale ends will be processed at regular published rates.  Orders will be processed in order received.  Rush orders, delivered by email within 48 hours, add 15% - call Eileen to process.
Concierge Clients will receive their Concierge Program Discount on the Sale Price.  Sign up for the Concierge Program before placing your contract order to receive the additional discount.
** Does not include consultation or modification
     What's our Guarantee policy re updates?      
Free updates within 6 months of purchase***      
Half price within 6 months to 1 year***  
*** applies to original purchase only

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301