Adam H. Kerman
2021-10-12 17:32:03 UTC
The petty and vindictive actions of people with the mentality of claimants
on a courtroom reality tv show have led to the appeal of a case for
malicious prosecution being heard by the Supreme Court today.
Look at the facts of this case and tell me this doesn't have reality tv
show written all over it.
A poor man with the misfortune of living with his wife and newborn
daughter with his vile sister-in-law (with cognitive delays, whatever
that means) found himself arrested following accusations of child abuse.
Late one even, the vile sister-in-law made a child-abuse complaint
against him observing what was obviously diaper rash. A newborn's diaper
needs to be changed repeatedly but even the most concerned parents can't
prevent it. She called 911 and made the abuse complaint without telling anyone.
EMTs came twice, the first time without examining the baby, returning a
second time with cops who forced their way in. Examining the baby, the
EMT concluded "diaper rash" but still took the baby to hospital where
the conclusion was still no child abuse.
One cop signed a criminal complaint against the father for resisting
arrest and obstruction.
In motions, the man refused the prosecution's offer "adjournment in
contemplation of dismissal" which would have sealed the record without
punishment. The defense moved to dismiss for facial insufficiency; the
judge ordered written briefs. A week later, the prosecution dismissed
the case "in the interest of justice"; the judge so ordered.
The man sued the cop under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 Civil action for
deprivation of rights, which originated in Reconstruction-era civil
The man sued the police officer for "unreasonable seizure" which is
equivalent to malicious prosecution in common law. (I don't really
understand this; I'm just summarizing.)
Now we get to the splitting hairs bit about the law:
The plaintiff must show that the justice process was a "favorable
At trial, the finding was for the cop as the plaintiff must show
"affirmatively indicates innocence", affirmed by 2nd Circuit which
further held against the man as there was no trial and no record of
showing his actual innocence.
The man wants a different standard: "formally ended in a manner not
inconsistent with" innocence.
He's arguing other cases as precedent for his position which I'm not
summarizing, and the Biden administration is backing him.
The police officer's counterargument is the man pursued a Fourth
Amendment claim at the wrong time.