Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

Dismissal of criminal charge in exchange for stipulation of probable cause

with one comment

Phillips v. Manning, Dist. Court, ND Ohio 2018

What happened: Criminal court’s “journal” showed that she stipulated to probable cause for her arrest as part of a deal for dismissal of charges. District Court held that that was sufficient to preclude a civil claim for false arrest.

Burger’s Review:  Thumbs down


First of all, I don’t think this reflects the law — that is, I don’t think the executive branch can use deals regarding criminal charges to preemptively bargain away any later possible civil suits.

Second, if what happened here is not illegal then it should be. It provides bad incentives to have potential police misconduct compromise impartial and evenhanded handling of criminal charges.

Third, plaintiff said that she didn’t make the stipulation that the criminal court’s “journal” (not a transcript, by the way) reflected. Court refused to entertain the argument that the journal could be inaccurate. Not fair.

Fourth, because the journal did not include a transcript of the alleged stipulation of the existence of probable cause, it is impossible to tell whether any such stipulation was properly informed as to later consequences (most notably, the foreclosure of a later civil claim for false arrest).

Written by Burgers Allday

January 29, 2018 at 7:57 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. […] taking plea bargains were required in each case to “stipulate as to probable cause” as a condition of their plea, in order words to issue a mea culpa while getting the State […]

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