Can the Government be held Accountable for Malicious Prosecution?

SQ Attorneys

SQ Attorneys

Has the door for suing the government for malicious prosecution been blown wide open? Some say yes due to a recent United States Supreme Court ruling. In that ruling the court paved the way for a Brooklyn man to sue the NYPD after he was falsely arrested for resisting arrest in a child molestation related case.

The case was ultimately dismissed and the man sued the government claiming he was the victim of malicious prosecution, which happens when one party has knowingly, and with malicious intent, initiated a baseless claim against another party. Such a claim is principled upon one’s right to be free from constitutional violations.

The Supreme Court of the United States found that such a claim need not require some affirmative indication of innocence. The ruling clarified the ‘favorable termination’ rule in civil claims. In essence, any outcome that ends without an actual conviction is deemed a ‘favorable termination’. In the case at issue, the prosecutor – without explanation – dropped the case after the man had spent 48 hours in jail. This is a big nod to the Fourth Amendment.

Police and prosecutors alike best watch out, this ruling could call into question many arrest and prosecution decisions moving forward – the civil rights of an accused simply cannot be summarily trampled under the broad brush stroke of the frequently bellowed … ‘in the name of justice’.

If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a criminal charge, immediately contact a Seattle Criminal Attorney. A Criminal lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle Criminal Lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their criminal charge, and many times even get them dismissed. So it should go without saying that someone cited for a misdemeanor or felony should hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Lawyer as soon as possible. Criminal charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with a crime in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle Criminal Lawyer, like SQ Attorneys (206) 441-0900.

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