Do gov't. officials have absolute discretion to sic the GBI on anyone they choose, and if not, what is the governing law/rules/threshold of conduct that must be met to have the authority to instigate such an investigation?
The GBI may investigate any complaint made to them and they have to investigate based on reasonable suspicion and once they find that there is no probable cause (which means it is likely the person being investigated committed some legal offense) they close the investigation. So, yes they can pretty much investigate anyone reported to them.
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The question was relative to "government officials" instructing the GBI to do an investigation, and any "rules/laws/threshold of conduct that must be met, BEFORE they are allowed to cause the GBI to do so.
I and my fellow co-plaintiffs in a case against the gov., lt. gov., AG., legislative council, sec. of state and general assembly have discovered that one or all of the above defendants have instructed the GBI to investigate each of us, and for no reason other than the fact that we filed a civil lawsuit against them.
I'm thinking that's like using the GBI to investigate a political opponent - that it's not legal.
Government officials, like anyone else can report suspected violations to GBI and there are no rules/laws. If you prove it is being done to intimidate or harass you to dismiss the suit, then this would be the standard a court would look at as to whether or not their report was made in good faith to investigate a possible criminal activity and that is the threshold the court looks at.
JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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