Newsome v. McCabe

256 F.3d 747 (2001)

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Newsome v. McCabe

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
256 F.3d 747 (2001)

  • Written by Sharon Feldman, JD

Facts

James Newsome (plaintiff) was being held by police for armed robbery when they noticed his resemblance to a composite sketch of someone who had committed a murder. Newsome was convicted for the murder and spent 15 years in prison before the conviction was vacated. The state declined to retry Newsome, and the governor of Illinois pardoned him. Newsome did not have a Fourth Amendment claim for wrongful arrest and detention because the claim accrued when he was arrested and was barred by the statute of limitations. Instead, Newsome sued John McCabe and other police officers (defendants) for malicious prosecution under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the federal law that permits state actors to be sued for violating constitutional rights. The trial court denied summary judgment to two officers (the officers) based on evidence that the officers failed to tell prosecutors that Newsome’s fingerprints did not match those obtained at the crime scene and they had coached witnesses at a lineup. The judge concluded that malicious prosecution as defined by state law is a constitutional tort when committed by a state actor and the plaintiff is deprived of liberty. The officers appealed, arguing that Newsome had not established the required elements for a state-law malicious-prosecution claim and that the officers were entitled to qualified immunity.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Easterbrook, J.)

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