Case against State Trooper dismissed
Andrew Strane chose to challenge a State Trooper over his "power trip" and ultimately lost. Strane was bicycling in Emmet County with another man when he stopped to adjust his shorts. The trooper, Jeffrey Ruthig, mistakenly thought he was urinating in public and told him to pull over. When Strane chose to continue several hundred yards to stop in a convenience store parking lot, Ruthig admittedly lost his temper and became confrontational. Strane then made the mistake of insulting Ruthig about his breath and was ultimately issued a citation for failing to obey an officer. Strane called the Post to complain, and a few days later when he learned that his complaint would not be heard, he called to complain about that: in consequence, that night he was arrested and charged with a felony.
The District Court judge dismissed the felony charge after a hearing and the prosecutor did not appeal. Strane then sued Ruthig and his supervisor for abusing their authority. The trial court dismissed all claims and Strane appealed. The higher court upheld the dismissal, ruling that the trooper's conduct did not meet the higher threshold of fault necessary to pursue a claim against a government employee.