Supreme Court overturns claim against police based on home invasion
Curtis Newell had sued two Oakland County deputies, arguing that their sloppy police work and gross negligence had resulted in a search warrant that led to the September, 2004 invasion of Newell's home by a drug task force. Newell's door was broken down without warning by masked officers who beat him, handcuffed him and dragged him down a stairway resulting in physical injuries, a cardiac scare and later, injury to his reputation. Newell alleged that he was wrongly chained to a hospital bed after the incident, while being interviewed by investigators. Ultimately, the Defendants and the County acknowledged that Newell was innocent and had been mistakenly identified as a marijuana seller by the Defendant officers. Newell argued that the officers' false statements in the affidavit they executed to obtain a search warrant for Newell's home were the cause of his mistreatment.
In July of 2009, the Court of Appeals agreed with Newell and ruled that his case could go forward against the Oakland County officer who had apparently fudged what he knew in seeking a search warrant. This month, the Supreme Court disagreed and dismissed Newell's remaining claims. Its brief opinion concluded that there was enough truth in the Defendant's affidavit to warrant the issuance of a search warrant, and therefore the officer's embellishment of what he knew was not actionable. So, Newell, by all accounts an innocent victim of shoddy police work, has no recourse for being terrorized. A citizen living in Nazi Germany or Stalin's Russia could have expected no more.