From Reason: The Supreme Court Says You Can Sue Cops Who Frame You on False Charges
Police officers could frame people, file bogus charges, conjure evidence out of thin air—and, in most of the U.S., they would still be immune from facing any sort of civil accountability for that malicious prosecution. Until yesterday.
Yesterday, the highest court in the country struck that requirement down, ruling that Thompson should indeed have a right to sue the officers at the center of his case. “A plaintiff such as Thompson must demonstrate, among other things, that he obtained a favorable termination of the underlying criminal prosecution,” wrote Justice Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court. “We hold that a Fourth Amendment claim…for malicious prosecution does not require the plaintiff to show that the criminal prosecution ended with some affirmative indication of innocence.”
From THOMPSON v. CLARK ET AL.:
Held: To demonstrate a favorable termination of a criminal prosecution for purposes of the Fourth Amendment claim under §1983 for malicious prosecution, a plaintiff need not show that the criminal prosecution ended with some affirmative indication of innocence. A plaintiff need only show that his prosecution ended without a conviction.
Thompson has satisfied that requirement here.
Thompson v. Clark was decided 6-3. (Alito wrote the dissent, with Thomas and Gorsuch joining.)