throbber
(Slip Opinion)
`
`
`
` OCTOBER TERM, 2014
`
`
`Syllabus
`
`1
`
` NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is
`
`
`
` being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued.
`
`
`
` The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been
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` prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader.
`
` See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337.
`
`
`SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
`
`
`
` Syllabus
`
` KINGSLEY v. HENDRICKSON ET AL.
`
`CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR
`
`THE SEVENTH CIRCUIT
` No. 14–6368. Argued April 27, 2015—Decided June 22, 2015
`
`While petitioner Kingsley was awaiting trial in county jail, officers for-
`cibly removed him from his cell when he refused to comply with their
`instructions. Kingsley filed a complaint in Federal District Court
`claiming, as relevant here, that two of the officers used excessive
`force against him in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due
`Process Clause. At the trial’s conclusion, the District Court instruct-
`ed the jury that Kingsley was required to prove, inter alia, that the
`officers “recklessly disregarded [Kingsley’s] safety” and “acted with
`
`reckless disregard of [his] rights.” The jury found in the officers’ fa-
`vor. On appeal, Kingsley argued that the jury instruction did not ad-
`here to the proper standard for judging a pretrial detainee’s excessive
`force claim, namely, objective unreasonableness. The Seventh Cir-
`cuit disagreed, holding that the law required a subjective inquiry into
`
`the officers’ state of mind, i.e., whether the officers actually intended
`to violate, or recklessly disregarded, Kingsley’s rights.
`Held:
`
`1. Under 42 U. S. C. §1983, a pretrial detainee must show only
`that the force purposely or knowingly used against him was objective-
`ly unreasonable to prevail on an excessive force claim. Pp. 5–13.
`
`
`
`(a) This determination must be made from the perspective of a
`reasonable officer on the scene, including what the officer knew at
`the time, see Graham v. Connor, 490 U. S. 386, 396, and must ac-
`
`count for the “legitimate interests [stemming from the government’s]
`need to manage the facility in which the individual is detained,” ap-
`
`propriately deferring to “policies and practices that in th[e] judg-
`ment” of jail officials “are needed to preserve internal order and dis-
`cipline and to maintain institutional security,” Bell v. Wolfish,
`
`441 U. S. 520, 540, 547. Pp. 5–7.
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`

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` KINGSLEY v. HENDRICKSON
`
`
`Syllabus
` (b) Several considerations lead to this conclusion. An objective
`
`
`
`
` standard is consistent with precedent. In Bell, for instance, this
`Court held that a pretrial detainee could prevail on a claim that his
`due process rights were violated by providing only objective evidence
`that the challenged governmental action was not rationally related to
`a legitimate governmental objective or that it was excessive in rela-
`tion to that purpose. 441 U. S., at 541–543. Cf. Block v. Rutherford,
`468 U. S. 576, 585–586. Experience also suggests that an objective
`standard is workable. It is consistent with the pattern jury instruc-
`tions used in several Circuits, and many facilities train officers to in-
`
`teract with detainees as if the officers’ conduct is subject to objective
`reasonableness. Finally, the use of an objective standard adequately
`
`protects an officer who acts in good faith, e.g., by acknowledging that
`
`judging the reasonableness of the force used from the perspective and
`with the knowledge of the defendant officer is an appropriate part of
`
`the analysis. Pp. 7–10.
`
`
`(c) None of the cases respondents point to provides significant
`
`
`support for a subjective standard. Whitley v. Albers, 475 U. S. 312,
`
`
`and Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U. S. 1, lack relevance in this context
`because they involved claims brought by convicted prisoners under
`the Eighth Amendment’s Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause, not
`claims brought by pretrial detainees under the Fourteenth Amend-
`ment’s Due Process Clause. And in County of Sacramento v. Lewis,
`
`523 U. S. 833, a statement indicating the need to show “purpose to
`
`
`cause harm,” id., at 854, for due process liability refers not to wheth-
`er the force intentionally used was excessive, but whether the de-
`fendant intended to commit the acts in question, id., at 854, and
`n. 13. Finally, in Johnson v. Glick, 481 F. 2d 1028 (CA2), a mali-
`cious-and-sadistic-purpose-to-cause-harm factor was not suggested as
`a necessary condition for liability, but as a factor, among others, that
`might help show that the use of force was excessive. Pp. 10–13.
`
`2. Applying the proper standard, the jury instruction was errone-
`
`ous. Taken together, the features of that instruction suggested that
`the jury should weigh respondents’ subjective reasons for using force
`and subjective views about the excessiveness of that force. Respond-
`ents’ claim that, irrespective of this Court’s holding, any error in the
`
`instruction was harmless is left to the Seventh Circuit to resolve on
`remand. Pp. 13–14.
`744 F. 3d 443, vacated and remanded.
`BREYER, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which KENNEDY,
`
`
`GINSBURG, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. SCALIA, J., filed a dis-
`
`
`
`
`senting opinion, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and THOMAS, J., joined. ALITO,
`
`
`
`
`
`J., filed a dissenting opinion.
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`2
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`

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` Cite as: 576 U. S. ____ (2015)
`
`Opinion of the Court
`
`1
`
`
` NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the
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`
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` preliminary print of the United States Reports. Readers are requested to
`
` notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Wash-
`
` ington, D. C. 20543, of any typographical or other formal errors, in order
`
`
` that corrections may be made before the preliminary print goes to press.
`
`
`
`
`SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
`
`_________________
`
` No. 14–6368
`_________________
`MICHAEL B. KINGSLEY, PETITIONER v. STAN
`
`HENDRICKSON, ET AL.
`
`
`ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF
`
`
`APPEALS FOR THE SEVENTH CIRCUIT
`
`[June 22, 2015]
`
`JUSTICE BREYER delivered the opinion of the Court.
`In this case, an individual detained in a jail prior to trial
`
`brought a claim under Rev. Stat. §1979, 42 U. S. C. §1983,
`against several jail officers, alleging that they used exces-
`sive force against him, in violation of the Fourteenth
`Amendment’s Due Process Clause. The officers concede
`that they intended to use the force that they used. But
`the parties disagree about whether the force used was
`excessive.
`The question before us is whether, to prove an excessive
`
`force claim, a pretrial detainee must show that the officers
`were subjectively aware that their use of force was unrea-
`sonable, or only that the officers’ use of that force was
`
`objectively unreasonable. We conclude that the latter
`
`standard is the correct one.
`
`
`
`
`
`I
`
`A
`
`
`Some but not all of the facts are undisputed: Michael
`Kingsley, the petitioner, was arrested on a drug charge
`and detained in a Wisconsin county jail prior to trial. On
`the evening of May 20, 2010, an officer performing a cell
`
`
`
`

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`2
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` KINGSLEY v. HENDRICKSON
`
`Opinion of the Court
`check noticed a piece of paper covering the light fixture
`above Kingsley’s bed. The officer told Kingsley to remove
`it; Kingsley refused; subsequently other officers told
`Kingsley to remove the paper; and each time Kingsley
`refused. The next morning, the jail administrator, Lieu-
`tenant Robert Conroy, ordered Kingsley to remove the
`paper. Kingsley once again refused. Conroy then told
`Kingsley that officers would remove the paper and that he
`would be moved to a receiving cell in the interim.
`
`Shortly thereafter, four officers, including respondents
`
`Sergeant Stan Hendrickson and Deputy Sheriff Fritz
`Degner, approached the cell and ordered Kingsley to
`stand, back up to the door, and keep his hands behind
`him. When Kingsley refused to comply, the officers hand-
`
`cuffed him, forcibly removed him from the cell, carried him
`to a receiving cell, and placed him face down on a bunk
`with his hands handcuffed behind his back.
`
`
`The parties’ views about what happened next differ.
`The officers testified that Kingsley resisted their efforts to
`remove his handcuffs. Kingsley testified that he did not
`resist. All agree that Sergeant Hendrickson placed his
`knee in Kingsley’s back and Kingsley told him in impolite
`language to get off. Kingsley testified that Hendrickson
`and Degner then slammed his head into the concrete
`bunk—an allegation the officers deny.
`
`
`The parties agree, however, about what happened next:
`
`Hendrickson directed Degner to stun Kingsley with a
`Taser; Degner applied a Taser to Kingsley’s back for ap-
`proximately five seconds; the officers then left the hand-
`cuffed Kingsley alone in the receiving cell; and officers
`returned to the cell 15 minutes later and removed Kings-
`ley’s handcuffs.
`
`
`
`
`
`B
`Based on these and related events, Kingsley filed a
`
`§1983 complaint in Federal District Court claiming
`
`
`

`
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` Cite as: 576 U. S. ____ (2015)
`
`Opinion of the Court
`(among other things) that Hendrickson and Degner used
`excessive force against him, in violation of the Fourteenth
`Amendment’s Due Process Clause. The officers moved for
`summary judgment, which the District Court denied,
`stating that “a reasonable jury could conclude that [the
`officers] acted with malice and intended to harm [Kings-
`ley] when they used force against him.” Kingsley v.
`Josvai, No. 10–cv–832–bbc (WD Wis., Nov. 16, 2011), App
`to Pet. for Cert. 66a–67a. Kingsley’s excessive force claim
`
`accordingly proceeded to trial. At the conclusion of the
`trial, the District Court instructed the jury as follows:
`
`“Excessive force means force applied recklessly that
`is unreasonable in light of the facts and circumstances
`of the time. Thus, to succeed on his claim of excessive
`use of force, plaintiff must prove each of the following
`factors by a preponderance of the evidence:
`“(1) Defendants used force on plaintiff;
`“(2) Defendants’ use of force was unreasonable in
`light of the facts and circumstances at the time;
`
`
`“(3) Defendants knew that using force presented a
`risk of harm to plaintiff, but they recklessly disre-
`garded plaintiff ’s safety by failing to take reasonable
`measures to minimize the risk of harm to plaintiff;
`and
`
`“(4) Defendants’ conduct caused some harm to
`plaintiff.
`
`
`“In deciding whether one or more defendants used
`‘unreasonable’ force against plaintiff, you must con-
`
`sider whether it was unreasonable from the perspec-
`tive of a reasonable officer facing the same circum-
`
`stances that defendants faced. You must make this
`decision based on what defendants knew at the time
`of the incident, not based on what you know now.
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`3
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`

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`4
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` KINGSLEY v. HENDRICKSON
`
`Opinion of the Court
`“Also, in deciding whether one or more defendants
`used unreasonable force and acted with reckless disre-
`
`gard of plaintiff ’s rights, you may consider factors
`such as:
`“• The need to use force;
`“• The relationship between the need to use force
`
`and the amount of force used;
`
`“• The extent of plaintiff ’s injury;
`“• Whether defendants reasonably believed there was
`
`a threat to the safety of staff or prisoners; and
`
`
`“• Any efforts made by defendants to limit the
`amount of force used.” App. 277–278 (emphasis
`added).
`The jury found in the officers’ favor.
`
`
`On appeal, Kingsley argued that the correct standard
`for judging a pretrial detainee’s excessive force claim is
`objective unreasonableness. And, the jury instruction, he
`said, did not hew to that standard. A panel of the Court of
`Appeals disagreed, with one judge dissenting. The major-
`ity held that the law required a “subjective inquiry” into
`
`the officer’s state of mind. There must be “‘an actual
`intent to violate [the plaintiff ’s] rights or reckless disre-
`gard for his rights.’” 744 F. 3d 443, 451 (CA7 2014) (quot-
`
`ing Wilson v. Williams, 83 F. 3d 870, 875 (CA7 1996)).
`The dissent would have used instructions promulgated by
`the Committee on Pattern Civil Jury Instructions of the
`Seventh Circuit, which require a pretrial detainee claim-
`ing excessive force to show only that the use of force was
`objectively unreasonable. 744 F. 3d, at 455 (opinion of
`
`Hamilton, J.); see Pattern Civ. Jury Instr. §7.08 (2009).
`The dissent further stated that the District Court’s use of
`the word “reckless” in the jury instruction added “an
`unnecessary and confusing element.” 744 F. 3d, at 455.
`
`
`
`
`
`

`
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`5
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` Cite as: 576 U. S. ____ (2015)
`
`Opinion of the Court
`Kingsley filed a petition for certiorari asking us to de-
`
`termine whether the requirements of a §1983 excessive
`force claim brought by a pretrial detainee must satisfy the
`subjective standard or only the objective standard. In
`light of disagreement among the Circuits, we agreed to do
`so. Compare, e.g., Murray v. Johnson No. 260, 367 Fed.
`Appx. 196, 198 (CA2 2010); Bozeman v. Orum, 422 F. 3d
`1265, 1271 (CA11 2005) (per curiam), with Aldini v. John-
`son, 609 F. 3d 858, 865–866 (CA6 2010); Young v. Wolfe,
`478 Fed. Appx. 354, 356 (CA9 2012).
`II
`
`
`A
`
`We consider a legally requisite state of mind. In a case
`
`like this one, there are, in a sense, two separate state-of-
`mind questions. The first concerns the defendant’s state
`of mind with respect to his physical acts—i.e., his state of
`mind with respect to the bringing about of certain physical
`consequences in the world. The second question concerns
`the defendant’s state of mind with respect to whether his
`use of force was “excessive.” Here, as to the first question,
`there is no dispute. As to the second, whether to interpret
`the defendant’s physical acts in the world as involving
`force that was “excessive,” there is a dispute. We conclude
`with respect to that question that the relevant standard is
`objective not subjective. Thus, the defendant’s state of
`mind is not a matter that a plaintiff is required to prove.
`
`Consider the series of physical events that take place in
`
`
`the world—a series of events that might consist, for exam-
`ple, of the swing of a fist that hits a face, a push that leads
`to a fall, or the shot of a Taser that leads to the stunning
`of its recipient. No one here denies, and we must assume,
`that, as to the series of events that have taken place in the
`world, the defendant must possess a purposeful, a know-
`ing, or possibly a reckless state of mind. That is because,
`as we have stated, “liability for negligently inflicted harm
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`

`
`
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` KINGSLEY v. HENDRICKSON
`
`Opinion of the Court
`is categorically beneath the threshold of constitutional due
`process.” County of Sacramento v. Lewis, 523 U. S. 833,
`
`849 (1998) (emphasis added). See also Daniels v. Williams,
`474 U. S. 327, 331 (1986) (“Historically, this guarantee of
`due process has been applied to deliberate decisions of
`government officials to deprive a person of life, liberty, or
`property”). Thus, if an officer’s Taser goes off by accident
`
`
`or if an officer unintentionally trips and falls on a detainee,
`causing him harm, the pretrial detainee cannot prevail on
`an excessive force claim. But if the use of force is delib-
`erate—i.e., purposeful or knowing—the pretrial detainee’s
`claim may proceed. In the context of a police pursuit of a
`
`suspect the Court noted, though without so holding, that
`recklessness in some cases might suffice as a standard for
`imposing liability. See Lewis, supra, at 849. Whether
`that standard might suffice for liability in the case of an
`alleged mistreatment of a pretrial detainee need not be
`decided here; for the officers do not dispute that they acted
`purposefully or knowingly with respect to the force they
`
`used against Kingsley.
`
`We now consider the question before us here—the de-
`fendant’s state of mind with respect to the proper interpre-
`tation of the force (a series of events in the world) that the
`defendant deliberately (not accidentally or negligently)
`used. In deciding whether the force deliberately used is,
`constitutionally speaking, “excessive,” should courts use
`an objective standard only, or instead a subjective stand-
`ard that takes into account a defendant’s state of mind? It
`
`is with respect to this question that we hold that courts
`
`must use an objective standard. In short, we agree with
`
`
`the dissenting appeals court judge, the Seventh Circuit’s
`jury instruction committee, and Kingsley, that a pretrial
`detainee must show only that the force purposely or know-
`
`ingly used against him was objectively unreasonable.
`
`A court (judge or jury) cannot apply this standard me-
`
`chanically. See Lewis, supra, at 850. Rather, objective
`
`
`
`
`
`
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`6
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`

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`7
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` Cite as: 576 U. S. ____ (2015)
`
`Opinion of the Court
`reasonableness turns on the “facts and circumstances of
`
`
`each particular case.” Graham v. Connor, 490 U. S. 386,
`396 (1989). A court must make this determination from
`the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, includ-
`ing what the officer knew at the time, not with the 20/20
`vision of hindsight. See ibid. A court must also account
`for the “legitimate interests that stem from [the govern-
`ment’s] need to manage the facility in which the individual
`is detained,” appropriately deferring to “policies and prac-
`tices that in th[e] judgment” of jail officials “are needed to
`preserve internal order and discipline and to maintain
`institutional security.” Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U. S. 520, 540,
`547 (1979).
`
`Considerations such as the following may bear on the
`reasonableness or unreasonableness of the force used: the
`relationship between the need for the use of force and the
`amount of force used; the extent of the plaintiff ’s injury;
`any effort made by the officer to temper or to limit the
`amount of force; the severity of the security problem at
`issue; the threat reasonably perceived by the officer; and
`whether the plaintiff was actively resisting.
` See, e.g.,
`Graham, supra, at 396. We do not consider this list to be
`exclusive. We mention these factors only to illustrate the
`types of objective circumstances potentially relevant to a
`determination of excessive force.
`B
`
`Several considerations have led us to conclude that the
`appropriate standard for a pretrial detainee’s excessive
`force claim is solely an objective one. For one thing, it is
`consistent with our precedent. We have said that “the
`Due Process Clause protects a pretrial detainee from the
`use of excessive force that amounts to punishment.” Gra-
`
`ham, supra, at 395, n. 10. And in Bell, we explained that
`
`such “punishment” can consist of actions taken with an
`“expressed intent to punish.” 441 U. S., at 538. But the
`
`
`
`
`
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`
`

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`
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`8
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` KINGSLEY v. HENDRICKSON
`
`Opinion of the Court
`Bell Court went on to explain that, in the absence of an
`expressed intent to punish, a pretrial detainee can never-
`theless prevail by showing that the actions are not “ra-
`tionally related to a legitimate nonpunitive governmental
`purpose” or that the actions “appear excessive in relation
`to that purpose.” Id., at 561. The Bell Court applied this
`latter objective standard to evaluate a variety of prison
`conditions, including a prison’s practice of double-bunking.
`
`In doing so, it did not consider the prison officials’ subjec-
`tive beliefs about the policy. Id., at 541–543. Rather, the
`
`Court examined objective evidence, such as the size of the
`rooms and available amenities, before concluding that the
`conditions were reasonably related to the legitimate pur-
`pose of holding detainees for trial and did not appear
`excessive in relation to that purpose. Ibid.
`Bell’s focus on “punishment” does not mean that proof of
`
`intent (or motive) to punish is required for a pretrial de-
`tainee to prevail on a claim that his due process rights
`were violated. Rather, as Bell itself shows (and as our
`later precedent affirms), a pretrial detainee can prevail by
`providing only objective evidence that the challenged
`governmental action is not rationally related to a legiti-
`mate governmental objective or that it is excessive in
`relation to that purpose. Cf. Block v. Rutherford, 468 U. S.
`576, 585–586 (1984) (where there was no suggestion that
`the purpose of jail policy of denying contact visitation was
`to punish inmates, the Court need only evaluate whether
`the policy was “reasonably related to legitimate govern-
`mental objectives” and whether it appears excessive in
`
`
`relation to that objective); Schall v. Martin, 467 U. S. 253,
`269–271 (1984) (similar); see also United States v. Salerno,
`481 U. S. 739, 747 (1987) (“[T]he punitive/regulatory
`distinction turns on ‘whether an alternative purpose to
`which [the restriction] may rationally be connected is
`assignable for it, and whether it appears excessive in
`relation to the alternative purpose assigned [toit]’” (quot-
`
`
`
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`

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`9
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` Cite as: 576 U. S. ____ (2015)
`
`Opinion of the Court
`ing Schall, supra, at 269; emphasis added and some inter-
`
`nal quotation marks omitted)). The Court did not suggest
`in any of these cases, either by its words or its analysis,
`that its application of Bell’s objective standard should
`
`involve subjective considerations. Our standard is also
`consistent with our use of an objective “excessive force”
`standard where officers apply force to a person who, like
`Kingsley, has been accused but not convicted of a crime,
`but who, unlike Kingsley, is free on bail. See Graham,
`supra.
`
`For another thing, experience suggests that an objective
`standard is workable. It is consistent with the pattern
`jury instructions used in several Circuits. We are also told
`that many facilities, including the facility at issue here,
`train officers to interact with all detainees as if the offic-
`ers’ conduct is subject to an objective reasonableness
`standard. See Brief for Petitioner 26; App. 247–248; Brief
`for Former Corrections Administrators and Experts as
`Amici Curiae 8–18.
`
`Finally, the use of an objective standard adequately
`
`protects an officer who acts in good faith. We recognize
`that “[r]unning a prison is an inordinately difficult under-
`
`taking,” Turner v. Safley, 482 U. S. 78, 84–85 (1987), and
`that “safety and order at these institutions requires the
`
`expertise of correctional officials, who must have substan-
`tial discretion to devise reasonable solutions to the prob-
`lems they face,” Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of
`County of Burlington, 566 U. S. ___, ___ (2012) (slip op., at
`5). Officers facing disturbances “are often forced to make
`split-second judgments—in circumstances that are tense,
`uncertain, and rapidly evolving.” Graham, 490 U. S., at
`397. For these reasons, we have stressed that a court
`must judge the reasonableness of the force used from the
`perspective and with the knowledge of the defendant
`officer. We have also explained that a court must take
`account of the legitimate interests in managing a jail,
`
`
`
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`
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`

`
`10
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` KINGSLEY v. HENDRICKSON
`
`Opinion of the Court
`acknowledging as part of the objective reasonableness
`analysis that deference to policies and practices needed to
`maintain order and institutional security is appropriate.
`
`
` See Part II–A, supra. And we have limited liability for
`excessive force to situations in which the use of force was
`the result of an intentional and knowing act (though we
`
`leave open the possibility of including a “reckless” act as
`well). Ibid. Additionally, an officer enjoys qualified im-
`munity and is not liable for excessive force unless he has
`violated a “clearly established” right, such that “it would
`[have been] clear to a reasonable officer that his conduct
`
`was unlawful in the situation he confronted.” Saucier v.
`
`Katz, 533 U. S. 194, 202 (2001); see also Brief for United
`States as Amicus Curiae 27–28. It is unlikely (though
`theoretically possible) that a plaintiff could overcome
`these hurdles where an officer acted in good faith.
`C
`Respondents believe that the relevant legal standard
`
`should be subjective, i.e., that the plaintiff must prove that
`
`the use of force was not “applied in a good-faith effort to
`maintain or restore discipline” but, rather, was applied
`“maliciously and sadistically to cause harm.” Brief for
`Respondents 27. And they refer to several cases that they
`
`believe support their position. See id., at 26–31 (citing
`Whitley v. Albers, 475 U. S. 312 (1986); Hudson v. McMil-
`
`
` lian, 503 U. S. 1 (1992); Lewis, 523 U. S. 833; Johnson v.
`
`Glick, 481 F. 2d 1028 (CA2 1973)).
`The first two of these cases, however, concern excessive
`
`force claims brought by convicted prisoners under the
`Eighth Amendment’s Cruel and Unusual Punishment
`Clause, not claims brought by pretrial detainees under the
`Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. Whitley,
`supra, at 320; Hudson, supra, at 6–7. The language of the
`
`two Clauses differs, and the nature of the claims often
`
`differs. And, most importantly, pretrial detainees (unlike
`
`
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`
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`

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` Cite as: 576 U. S. ____ (2015)
`
`Opinion of the Court
`convicted prisoners) cannot be punished at all, much less
`
`
`
` “maliciously and sadistically.” Ingraham v. Wright, 430
`U. S. 651, 671–672, n. 40 (1977); Graham, supra, at 395,
`n. 10 (1989); see also 4 W. Blackstone, Commentaries *300
`
`(“[I]f the offence be not bailable, or the party cannot find
`bail, he is to be committed to the county [jail] . . . [b]ut . . .
`
`only for safe custody, and not for punishment”). Thus,
`there is no need here, as there might be in an Eighth
`Amendment case, to determine when punishment is un-
`constitutional. Whitley and Hudson are relevant here only
`insofar as they address the practical importance of taking
`into account the legitimate safety-related concerns of those
`who run jails. And, as explained above, we believe we
`have done so.
`Lewis does not prove respondents’ point, either. There,
`
`the Court considered a claim that a police officer had
`violated due process by causing a death during a high-
`speed automobile chase aimed at apprehending a suspect.
`
`We wrote that “[j]ust as a purpose to cause harm is needed
`for Eighth Amendment liability in a [prison] riot case, so it
`ought to be needed for due process liability in a pursuit
`case.” 523 U. S., at 854. Respondents contend that this
`statement shows that the Court embraced a standard for
`due process claims that requires a showing of subjective
`intent. Brief for Respondents 30–31. Other portions of
`
` the Lewis opinion make clear, however, that this state-
`ment referred to the defendant’s intent to commit the acts
`in question, not to whether the force intentionally used
`
`
`was “excessive.” 523 U. S., at 854, and n. 13. As ex-
`plained above, the parties here do not dispute that re-
`spondents’ use of force was intentional. See Part II–A,
`supra.
` Nor does Glick provide respondents with significant
`support.
`In that case Judge Friendly, writing for the
`Second Circuit, considered an excessive force claim
`brought by a pretrial detainee under the Fourteenth
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
` 11
`
`

`
`
`
` KINGSLEY v. HENDRICKSON
`
`Opinion of the Court
`Amendment’s Due Process Clause. Judge Friendly pointed
`out that the “management by a few guards of large num-
`bers of prisoners” in an institution “may require and justify
`the occasional use of a degree of intentional force.” 481
`F. 2d, at 1033. He added that, in determining whether
`that intentional use of force “crosse[s]” the “constitutional
`
`line,” a court should look:
`“to such factors as [(1)] the need for the application of
`force, [(2)] the relationship between the need and the
`amount of force that was used, [(3)] the extent of in-
`jury inflicted, and [(4)] whether force was applied in a
`good faith effort to maintain or restore discipline or
`maliciously and sadistically for the very purpose of
`causing harm.” Ibid.
`
`This statement does not suggest that the fourth factor
`(malicious and sadistic purpose to cause harm) is a neces-
`sary condition for liability. To the contrary, the words
`
`“such . . . as” make clear that the four factors provide
`examples of some considerations, among others, that
`might help show that the use of force was excessive.
`
`Respondents believe these cases nonetheless help them
`
`make a broader point—namely, that a subjective standard
`
`“protects against a relative flood of claims,” many of them
`perhaps unfounded, brought by pretrial detainees. Brief
`for Respondents 38. But we note that the Prison Litiga-
`tion Reform Act of 1995, 42 U. S. C. §1997e, which is
`designed to deter the filing of frivolous litigation against
`prison officials, applies to both pretrial detainees and
`convicted prisoners. Nor is there evidence of a rash of
`
`
`unfounded filings in Circuits that use an objective standard.
`
`We acknowledge that our view that an objective stand-
`ard is appropriate in the context of excessive force claims
`brought by pretrial detainees pursuant to the Fourteenth
`Amendment may raise questions about the use of a subjec-
`tive standard in the context of excessive force claims
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`12
`
`
`

`
`
`
`
`
` Cite as: 576 U. S. ____ (2015)
`
`Opinion of the Court
`brought by convicted prisoners. We are not confronted
`
`with such a claim, however, so we need not address that
`issue today.
`
`
`
` 13
`
`
`III
`
`We now consider the lawfulness of the jury instruction
`given in this case in light of our adoption of an objective
`standard for pretrial detainees’ excessive force claims. See
`Part II–A, supra. That jury instruction defined “excessive
`force” as “force applied recklessly that is unreasonable in
`light of the facts and circumstances of the time.” App.
`277. It required Kingsley to show that the officers “reck-
`lessly disregarded [Kingsley’s] safety.” Id., at 278. And it
`suggested that Kingsley must show the defendants “acted
`with reckless disregard of [Kingsley’s] rights,” while tell-
`ing the jury that it could consider several objective factors
`in making this determination. Ibid.
`
`Kingsley argues that the jury instruction is faulty be-
`cause the word “reckless” suggests a need to prove that
`
`respondents acted with a certain subjective state of mind
`with respect to the excessive or nonexcessive nature of the
`force used, contrary to what we have just held. Reply
`Brief 20–22. Respondents argue that irrespective of our
`holding, any error in the instruction was harmless. Brief
`for Respondents 57–58. And the Solicitor General sug-
`gests that, because the instructions defined “recklessness”
`with reference to objective factors, those instructions
`effectively embody our objective standard and did not
`confuse the jury. Brief for United States as Amicus Curiae
`28–32.
`
`We agree with Kingsley that the instructions were
`erroneous. “[R]eckles[s] disregar[d] [of Kingsley’s] safety”
`was listed as an additional requirement, beyond the need
`to find that “[respondents’] use of force was unreasonable
`in light of the facts and circumstances at the time.” App.
`278. See also ibid. (Kingsley had to show respondents
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
`

`
`14
`
`
`
`
` KINGSLEY v. HENDRICKSON
`
`Opinion of the Court
`“used unreasonable force and acted with reckless disre-
`
`gard of [Kingsley’s] rights” (emphasis added)). And in
`
`determining whether respondents “acted with reckless
`disregard of [Kingsley’s] rights,” the jury was instructed to
`“consider . . . [w]hether [respondents] reasonably believed
`there was a threat to the safety of staff or prisoners.” Ibid.
`(emphasis added). Together, these features suggested the
`jury should weigh respondents’ subjective reasons for
`using force and subjective views about the excessiveness of
`the force. As we have just held, that was error. But be-
`
`cause the question whether that error was harmless may
`depend in part on the detailed specifics of this case, we
`leave that question for the Court of Appeals to resolve in
`the first instance.
`
`The decision of the Court of Appeals is vacated, and the
`case is remanded for proceedings consistent with this
`
`opinion.
`
`
`
`
`
`
`It is so ordered.
`
`

`
`
`
`
`
` Cite as: 576 U. S. ____ (2015)
`
`SCALIA, J., dissenting
`
`SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
`
`1
`
`_________________
`
` No. 14–6368
`_________________
`MICHAEL B. KINGSLEY, PETITIONER v. STAN
`
`HENDRICKSON, ET AL.
`
`
`ON

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