Supreme Court Confirms: All Pretrial Detention Claims Are Governed by the Fourth Amendment

In Manuel v. City of Joliet, No. 14-9496, 2017 WL 1050976 (U.S. Mar. 21, 2017), the Supreme Court clarified that all claims alleging unlawful pretrial detention—both before legal process (i.e., before a probable cause hearing, grand jury indictment, or preliminary examination) and after legal process—are governed by the Fourth Amendment. The Seventh Circuit had held that the Due Process Clause applied to claims alleging unlawful detention after legal process, but the Supreme Court disagreed and concluded that the Fourth Amendment is the constitutional source.  The Court declined to decide when post-legal-process claims accrue (on the date of the initiation of legal process or after dismissal of the criminal charges), leaving that question for the Seventh Circuit on remand.