Suing the Police over Tight Handcuffs

On Friday, the Supreme Court of North Carolina decided a civil case in which an arrestee alleged that he was handcuffed too tightly by the arresting officer. The court allowed the suit to proceed over the officer’s claim of public official immunity. This post provides more detail about that case and about the law of tight handcuffing more broadly.

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Malicious Prosecution and the Supreme Court’s Recent Ruling in Thompson v. Clark

The Supreme Court of the United States decided a malicious prosecution case earlier this month. The case is Thompson v. Clark, 596 U.S. __ (2022), and it has been the subject of some overheated media reports. For example, one outlet claimed that before Thompson, “[p]olice officers could frame people, file bogus charges, [and] conjure evidence out of thin air” yet “still be immune from facing any sort of civil accountability.” Billy Bunion, The Supreme Court Says You Can Sue Cops Who Frame You on False Charges (April 5, 2022). That’s not right, but Thompson is still an important opinion. This post will lay out the basics of malicious prosecution, explain what the Court did in Thompson, and offer some thoughts about the significance of the new ruling.

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Prosecutors’ Civil Liability for Brady Violations

The United States Supreme Court decided Connick v. Thompson yesterday. In a nutshell, the plaintiff, John Thompson, spent 18 years in prison as a result of a Brady violation. After he was exonerated, he sued the district attorney’s office, claiming that the office failed to train prosecutors adequately about their Brady obligations. A jury agreed … Read more