Schedule a Consultation | Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Trial lawyers specializing in personal injury and civil litigation

Court of Appeals reverses trial judge; grants two police officers immunity

Andre Johnson sued two officers and his ex-wife after he was acquitted of charges of domestic violence.  He argued that the officers were not entitled to immunity because collectively they and his wife colluded to "press" prosecutors to pursue the domestic violence charges, despite evidence that should have informed the officers that his wife's claims weren't credible.  The officers sought summary disposition based on qualified immunity, but the judge denied their motion, allowing discovery to go forward.

The officers appealed and this month the Sixth Circuit reversed.  It held that despite the "notice" pleading requirement of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Johnson was required to plead facts that detailed why the officers were not immune from liability for their alleged wrongful conduct.  The Judges held that his general allegations that the officers were on notice of his {now ex-] wife's lack of credibility were evidence of negligence by the officers.  They concluded that he needed to provide factual proof of actual malice or at least some element of deliberate blameworthiness or culpability.  On that basis, they reversed the trial judge and summarily dismissed Johnson's civil rights claim. 

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Fax: 231-929-7262