Claims against County Prosecutor Dismissed; Immunity Applied

Greg Grant from our Traverse City office recently defended a Michigan county prosecutor in a civil case in Circuit Court.

The plaintiff in the case was a former criminal defendant who was charged with felony animal cruelty after it was alleged by a complaining witness that the plaintiff shot her dog multiple times with a pistol.  The plaintiff vehemently denied the allegations.  The plaintiff was found not guilty at the criminal trial.  After trial, the plaintiff was charged with three counts of possessing unregistered firearms that were discovered during a search of his home by police.  He accepted responsibility for the firearms and paid a fine.

The plaintiff subsequently filed a lawsuit against the county prosecutor alleging various deprivations of his constitutional rights.  Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that the prosecutor violated his Fourth Amendment right by knowingly preparing a search warrant that lacked the requisite probable cause.  He also brought a claim of malicious prosecution arguing that the prosecutor charged him with the three unregistered firearms in retaliation after his acquittal at trial.

In the civil case, Mr. Grant successfully argued that the prosecutor was entitled to absolute prosecutorial immunity pursuant to statute and the common law.  Mr. Grant explained to the Court that the prosecutor’s advocatory actions were conducted in connection with initiating and pursuing a criminal prosecution, thereby entitling him to immunity.  The Circuit Court agreed and dismissed the prosecutor from the case with prejudice.

Greg Grant, an attorney in our Traverse City office, concentrates his practice on municipal law, labor and employment law, insurance defense, and commercial litigation. Additionally, he has successfully represented judges, prosecutors, and public defenders.  He can be reached at (231) 922-1888 or at ggrant@cmda-law.com.