Misidentified victim of search and arrest can sue one officer
Curtis Newell sued two deputies and Oakland County after he was arrested as a suspected drug dealer. Newell's home was raided, he was arrested by masked officers with a gun to his head, and after suffering chest pains, he was handcuffed to a hospital bed, before police concluded that the arrest and search were in error. Newell filed suit alleging assault, battery, false imprisonment and gross negligence. The Court concluded that his claims should be dismissed with the exception of his claim that Deputy Chad Lee Allen should be held accountable for false and deliberately misleading statements that led to Newell's mis-identification.
The Court concluded that the County and the other involved individuals acted within the law and were immune from liability for Newell's misfortune. It noted, however, that Allen's search warrant affidavit contained inconsistencies that were so incongruous as to provide a basis for Newell's claim against Allen to go to a jury. The court ruled that if Allen cannot substantiate and explain the basis for his attestations at trial, the evidence would support Newell's claim that he was falsely accused and arrested directly as a result of Allen's knowing or reckless falsehoods in the affidavit Allen executed.