Summary judgment on behalf of a local municipality and police sergeant.
The plaintiff’s wife reported to police that the plaintiff tried to kill her by firing a shotgun at her while she slept. Following a thorough investigation and witness interviews, police arrested the plaintiff and charged him with attempted murder. The next day, the wife recanted her story and told police that she was the one who fired a shotgun in the couple’s home in an effort to frame her husband for attempted murder. Police immediately had the plaintiff released from prison. The wife was later charged with, and pleaded guilty to, making false statements to authorities. Thereafter, the plaintiff sued the police department and arresting officer, claiming the defendants falsely arrested and imprisoned him and maliciously prosecuted him without probable cause in violation of his 4th and 14th Amendment rights. Following discovery, a motion for summary judgment was filed on behalf of the defendants. The court found that the undisputed facts of record clearly showed the existence of probable cause at the time of arrest, and summary judgment was granted in favor of the defendants.