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Claim of false arrest is dismissed despite magistrate's failure to bind over

Gordon Wilson and two others were implicated in a counterfeiting scheme involving a cashier at Target who consistently accepted fake bills for expensive electronics purchases.  After authorities became suspicious and began to surveil the targeted cashier, several individuals purchased a large screen TV with $3,000.00 in fake bills.  They couldn't fit the TV into their trunk, however, and left it in the parking lot with one of the purchasers.  Wilson showed up and allowed the man to put the TV into his trunk, prior to being arrested.  He had counterfeit bills in his possession, as well. 

Ultimately the judge failed to bind over Wilson and the co-Plaintiffs who accompanied him to the parking lot. They then sued alleging a false arrest.  The Court noted that the standard of proof necessary to support "probable cause for an arrest" is lower than the standard of proof necessary to bind a criminal defendant over for trial.  Finding no evidence of malice, bad faith, intent to harm or gross indifference to harm, and considering the evidence available to the officers to have been "reasonably trustworthy" and "more than sufficient to warrant a cautious person to believe that plaintiffs were involved in the commission of a crime" the Court upheld the dismissal of the Plaintiff's 1983 claim.
Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
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Traverse City, Michigan 49684
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