Lowe v Raemisch and Trani

Raemisch and Trani appealed the denial of their qualified immunity motions on Lowe’s claim that his rights were violated when he was barred form outdoor exercise for 25 months. The panel reversed. It held it had jurisdiction over the appeal as the case presented a purely legal issue of sufficiency of the allegations and qualified immunity denials on legal issues are reviewable under the collateral order doctrine. It held that there was no on point circuit precedent that denying outdoor exercise for 25 months was unconstitutional and the district court case relied upon by Lowe involved a 12 year denial, the United States Supreme Court has rejected knowing violation base don district court decisions and in any event qualified immunity is not effected by defendant’s knowledge of district court decisions.

Apodaca v Raemisch and Trani

Raemisch and Trani appealed the denial of their qualified immunity motions on Apodaca’s class action claim that 11 months without outdoor exercise violated their 8th amendment rights. The panel reversed. It held there was appellate jurisdiction under the collateral order doctrine as Raemisch and Trani argue immunity under the facts alleged in the complaint. It held the 11 month denial of outdoor exercise did not violate clearly established law as the circuit precedent relied upon by Apodaca involved denial of out of cell exercise and it is unclear whether that precedent extends to denials of outdoor exercise as it could be read either to cover outdoor exercise or not and thus prison officials could not be put on notice an 11 month ban on outdoor exercise was unconstitutional.  It also held that the district court case relied upon by Lowe involved a 12-year denial, the United States Supreme Court has rejected knowing violation based on district court decisions and in any event, qualified immunity is not effected by defendant’s knowledge of district court decisions.