United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
JUNE B. GREINER, Plaintiff,
CAMERON WALL, et al., Defendant.
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO APPLY LAW OF
THE CASE DOCTRINE AND MANDATE RULE
B. Leighton, United States District Judge.
MATTER is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Apply
Law of the Case Doctrine and Mandate Rule. Dkt # 146. This
case involves the execution of a search warrant by special
agents from the United States Department of Homeland Security
and the Internal Revenue Service.
and IRS believed Plaintiff June Greiner unknowingly bought
her home on behalf of a suspected money launderer, Jason
Hagen. The agents obtained and executed a search warrant at
Greiner's home to search for evidence of Hagen's
money laundering. The agents claim they knocked on
Greiner's door and announced their presence and that
Greiner refused to let them in. They used a “ram”
to open the door and execute the warrant.
sued, claiming the agents did not “knock and
announce” before forcing their way into her home, in
violation of her Fourth Amendment rights (and in violation of
the federal “knock and announce” statute).
individual Defendants moved for summary judgment. They argued
that Greiner's claim that she did not hear the knock and
announce is not enough to survive summary judgment in the
face of “overwhelming” evidence that they did
knock and announce-including her admission that she heard
“something, ” including “voices” and
a “loud bang.” Greiner claimed that she did not
hear anything resembling a knock and announce; instead, she
heard one loud crash followed by the sound of men murmuring
at her door. She checked her entryway, saw a group of men
huddled around her door, turned, and retreated to call 9-1-1.
Court granted the individual Defendants' Motion for
Summary Judgment on Greiner's Fourth Amendment claim. Dkt
# 119. The Court held that Greiner's evidence did not
establish a factual issue as to whether the agents knocked
appealed. During oral arguments, Greiner's counsel
arguably conceded to the Ninth Circuit that “the knock
was there” prior to the Defendants entering
Mr. Anderson: [T]he issue is was there a
sufficient knock and announce. Bam. Bam. Bam. Police.
Warrant. Open the door. You have to have both . . . . And if
I don't convince you, I, the knock was there.
She somehow got to the door . . . .
Question: But you just said they met the
knock and I'm trying to see if you agree that what
occurred here was the knock.
Mr. Anderson: I don't think they
properly knocked, but that's an inference. I think
that they did something to cause her to go to the front
door that satisfies it . . . . What they did though, is
they never clearly announced . . . .
Dkt # 149 at 4-5 (emphasis added). The Ninth Circuit briefly
addressed the knock in a footnote when they stated that the
Plaintiff's counsel “conceded” that the knock
did occur, and the court would focus instead on the
[A]t oral argument, Greiner's counsel conceded that
“the knock was there, ” and agreed that the
Agents “did something that caused [Greiner] to go to
the front door.” Based on that concession we are
satisfied that a “knock” occurred, and
focus our attention instead to the related question of
whether the officers announced their purpose and
authority before forcibly entering the house.
Dkt # 139 at 3 n. 1 (emphasis added). The Ninth Circuit held
that Greiner had “demonstrated a triable issue of
material fact concerning whether the Agents complied with the
knock and announce statute.” It vacated this
Court's Order ...