Behrens v. Pelletier

In Behrens v. Pelletier, U.S. 116 S. Ct. 834 (1996), the defendants hadunsuccessfully appealed the district court's denial of their Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 12(b)(6) motion on qualified immunity grounds. When they took a subsequent appeal from the district court's later denial of their motion for summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dismissed the appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction. Reversing, the Supreme Court held that "Mitchell clearly establishes that an order rejecting the defense of qualified immunity at either the dismissal stage or the summary-judgment stage is a 'final' judgment subject to immediate appeal." Id. at 116 S. Ct. at 839.