Authored By: Elizabeth Kapamas
On April 4, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision that has made various civil-rights claims easier to file after criminal cases end, reversing the previous standard that was more challenging throughout the country.
Plaintiffs need only to show their criminal cases ended without conviction to bring a malicious-prosecution case in federal court, Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote.
At the October oral argument, Kavanaugh described the prevailing standard in lower courts as "upside-down" as it required plaintiffs to show affirmative evidence of innocence.
“Until today, police officers who framed an innocent person—for instance falsifying or planting evidence—could get a free pass,” “After the bogus charges were dismissed, the innocent person whose life had been upended had no recourse in court. That unjust rule applied across most of the country,” said Amir Ali, lawyer and executive director of the MacArthur Justice Center.
“Not anymore. Today’s Supreme Court opinion unqualifiedly held that the innocent person can bring a federal civil rights action against the officer.” Ali said.
To read the supreme court opinion, click here.