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I am very sorry to hear about this situation.
be a case here, indeed. To sue in a state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract
," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state because they all stem from the same common law. A pleading in Court needs at least one
cause of action, although it is not unusual to have more than one.
Herein, the following may apply, depending on what the officers and prosecutors actually knew or did not know:FEDERALTitle
42, U.S.C., Section 14141 makes it unlawful for state or local law enforcement agencies to allow officers to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct that deprives persons of rights protected by the Constitution
or U.S. laws. This includes false arrest and fabrication of evidence.
Title 18, U.S.C., Section 242
Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law
This statute makes it a crime for any person acting under color of law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom to willfully deprive or cause to be deprived from any person those rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution and laws of the U.S.
Title 42, U.S.C., Section 14141
Pattern and Practice
This civil statute was a provision within the Crime Control Act of 1994 and makes it unlawful for any governmental authority, or agent thereof, or any person acting on behalf of a governmental authority, to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct by law enforcement officers or by officials or employees
of any governmental agency with responsibility for the administration of juvenile
justice or the incarceration of juveniles that deprives persons of rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.
Whenever the Attorney General
has reasonable cause to believe that a violation has occurred, the Attorney General, for or in the name of the United States, may in a civil action
obtain appropriate equitable and declaratory relief to eliminate the pattern or practice. Types of misconduct
covered include, among other things:
1. Excessive Force
2. Discriminatory Harassment
3. False Arrest
4. Coercive Sexual Conduct
5. Unlawful Stops, Searches, or Arrests*
*From FBI Color of Law link - here
False arrest - In the context of a claim for false arrest or false imprisonment
, "the essential elements of plaintiff's claim for relief are (1) an arrest performed by defendant, and (2) the unlawfulness of such arrest." Lundeen v. Renteria, 302 Minn. 142, 146, 224 N.W.2d 132, 135 (1974).Malicious prosecution
- To state a claim for malicious prosecution, appellant must demonstrate that: (1) the action was brought without probable cause or reasonable belief that the plaintiff would ultimately prevail on the merits; (2) the action must be instituted and prosecuted with malicious intent; and (3) the action must terminate in favor of Plaintiff. Dunham v. Roer, 708 NW 2d 552 - Minn: Court of Appeals 2006
(internal citations omitted). However note that the prosecutor's exercise of his independent discretion in initiating and maintaining a prosecution is generally a complete defense to an action for malicious prosecution. (Id). So there had to have been some malicious intent.
SD has similar laws.
If the officer/prosecutors did engage in covering up a malicious, false prosecution based on an error, before it was finally dropped in one's favor, then the above federal/state laws may apply. I would talk to an attorney as soon as possible. Please let me know if you need help finding someone.
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