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Marilyn Mosby’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Marilyn Mosby’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Federal judge rules police officers’ malicious prosecution suit can proceed

It couldn’t happen to a nicer person.

A Federal judge has ruled that Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby may be civilly sued for malicious prosecution by the police officers she targeted following the in-custody death of Freddie Gray, reports the Baltimore Sun.

Gray’s demise was followed by days of rioting, looting, and arson in the City of Baltimore.  While the riots were ongoing Prosecutor Mosby announced a wide array of charges against six Baltimore officers involved in Gray’s arrest, including charges as serious as murder, based largely on the flimsiest of evidence or no evidence whatever.

We covered the Freddie Gray cases extensively right here at Legal Insurrection.

Five of these six officers prosecuted by Mosby are in the process of suing her in Federal court (the exception is van driver Officer Goodson).  Although several of the claims they brought against her—including false arrest, false imprisonment and abuse of process—have been dismissed, the malicious prosecution claim remains.

The distinction between the dismissed claims and remaining claim appears to be the nature of Mosby’s role with regard to each.  As a prosecutor Mosby enjoys absolute immunity from civil suit for actions taken in the performance of her job.  In the case of the Freddie Gray case, however, Mosby engaged in activities that fall outside the scope of her role as a prosecutor.

Specifically, Mosby claimed to have conducted an investigation independent of and parallel to the investigation undertaken by law enforcement.  It was this extra-prosecutorial activity that apparently pierces her otherwise existing immunity from civil suit. As Federal Judge Marvin Garbis noted in his 65-page ruling, “Plaintiffs’ malicious prosecution claims relate to her actions when functioning as an investigator and not as a prosecutor.”

Notably, Judge Garbis stated that he may later re-consider whether prosecutorial immunity might apply even to this last remaining claim of malicious prosecution.  At the present time, however, Judge Garbis believes that the claim has a sufficient basis to warrant further discovery and “greater factual development.”

Judge Garbis’ ruling opens the door for full-out discovery in this case, including the deposition under oath of Prosecutor Mosby and personnel from her office involved in the independent investigation of the officers.

Of the six officers criminally charged by Mosby, the first resulted in a hung jury and the next two resulted in bench acquittals.  At that point the charges were dropped against the remaining officers.

–-Andrew


Andrew F. Branca is an attorney and the author of The Law of Self Defense, 3rd Edition, and a host on The Outdoor Channel’s TV show, The Best Defense.

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Comments

“Hey, when I got my Affirmative Action card they told me that I would never suffer any adverse consequences for anything I did. That I could escape personal responsibility from everything. No fair.”

2017 is going to be a very food year.

Mr. Branca:

I don’t suppose that the State of Maryland allows out-of-state residents to volunteer for particular jury duty, do they?

Asking for a friend.

A lot of her staff has been jumping off the sinking ship lately; 2 more just resigned.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-mosby-departures-20170105-story.html

“On Wednesday night, spokeswoman Rochelle Ritchie e-mailed members of the media saying she had resigned. The former WJZ-TV reporter later posted a statement on Twitter that read: “I am thrilled to start a new chapter in my life where my 12 years of media experience will be appreciated and where I will be under respectable and seasoned leadership.”

Note the last line there – Mosby’s office must be an absolutely wonderful place to work!!!

So, if I understand the fine legal details here, she was hoisted by her own petard?

Henry Hawkins | January 7, 2017 at 6:55 pm

Time for two specific actions proven effective in recent decades:

1. Pull and play the Minority Privilege card.

2. Ignore actual laws and invoke the nonexistent “intent” clause. Good intentions as well as ends always justify means.

I remember watching her performance on TV, thought at the time that she was making a pitch to be noticed by the WH. ‘Maybe they’ll see how cool I am, maybe they’ll hire me, maybe I’ll become Michelle’s BFF!’ Sad for her. I hope this little girl learns some humility.

She violated numerous ethical rules by her comments to the media, false statements made, etc during her reign of terror.

She is not protected from that; hopefully, Trump people can follow up on those actions.

Looks like Mike Nifong has gotten a soulmate.

Legally, it’s still a steep hill to climb, but Mosby deserves every bad thing the legal system can hand her.

Harry Callahan: A man’s GOT to know his limitations.

The first thing I thought of when reading that Mosby doesn’t have immunity for the investigation.

Good thing that Obama won’t be around to pardon her.

For some unknown reason Baltimore is having trouble hiring policemen. Could there be a connection? sark

    Eric R. in reply to Bob00. | January 8, 2017 at 5:15 am

    I would hope the entire P.D. quits.

    If the black community wants to end the police “occupation” of their neighborhoods, I am all for it.

    Just don’t complain to me about the consequences.

Good luck to her as an adjunct professor to the Mike Nifong School of Typing for the fingerless and criminally insane.

“Uhm, your Honor? Can’t you see what color I am?”

I think that this is the Judge’s polite and very PUBLIC way of telling the City “Make a reasonable offer and settle this thing and get it out of my Court.”

I have a feeling that the City and the City insurer/surety are going to have a very long, very painful talk about how the city will ultimately be paying for a multi-million dollar settlement for each of these officers.

My advice to the officers: take a payout number sufficient to retire on TODAY, have YOUR financial planner manage it and live comfortably off the interest (something in the neighborhood of $3.5 Million should comfortably net them $105K annually in growth/interest after taxes with careful management).

    Milhouse in reply to Chuck Skinner. | January 8, 2017 at 12:45 am

    What’s the city got to do with this? Why would it be on the hook if the plaintiffs were to win?

      Quite right. Mosby is the State’s Attorney. She works for the State of Maryland, not the City of Baltimore.

      The City of Baltimore won’t be on the hook for damages any more than the rest of the state.

        The CITY is on the hook, because Mosby was ELECTED by the City populace.

        In 2013, she announced plans to run for State’s Attorney for the city of Baltimore. She ran against incumbent Gregg L. Bernstein in the Democratic primary. In the Democratic primary, Mosby defeated Bernstein with 55 percent of the vote. She faced no opposition in the general election. Mosby won the general election, receiving 94 percent of the vote, defeating Independent Russell A. Neverdon Sr., who staged a write-in campaign. At the time of her election, Mosby was the youngest top prosecutor in a major US city.

        Mosby was elected as the top law enforcement officer OF THE CITY. Just because she prosecutes “on behalf of the State of Maryland” doesn’t mean that she works FOR the State of Maryland.

        Just like the prosecutors of the District Attorney’s of El Paso prosecute “On behalf of the State of Texas” and are called the “State’s Attorneys.” But they’re HIRED by the COUNTY of El Paso, not the Attorney General or the State of Texas.

        Same thing here. Mosby is ELECTED by the CITY of Baltimore, even though she is the “State” prosecutor.

Maryland is about one-third black, so you have to figure any jury in the state will have at least four black jurors on it. If it is in the city of Baltimore, the percentage is much higher.

It takes ten of twelve jurors, if I am not mistaken, to convict in a civil case.

Therefore, she walks. I do not see black jurors convicting her and then going home to face the wrath of their community. And that is if they are even inclined to convict her.

PersonFromPorlock | January 8, 2017 at 11:33 am

What’s the State’s Attorney’s responsibility in Maryland? If it’s simply to prosecute the case handed to her, she has a problem; but it it’s to ‘seek truth’, then I think she may be able to argue the investigation was pursuant to her duties.

    she’s the state prosecutor, not the state investigator.

    law enforcement investigates, not the attorneys. the only “truth seeking” they do is in court.

Best.

Malicious prosecution suit.

Ever.

Donald Trump was wrong. I’m not yet sick of WINNING!

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