Can a police officer be held liable for not investigating thoroughly before filing charges?

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Can a police officer be held liable for not investigating thoroughly before filing charges?

If an individual was wrongly accused of being involved in an altercation (for being with the wrong people at the wrong place at the wrong time), and subsequently is charged with Assault, and his name was defamed in a newspaper article concerning the incident, as to of which he had no involvement in, yet the police officer does not interview any of the witnesses for the event, or the accused to determine who actually took part in the event prior to filing charges, what repercussions can be made against the officer for the harm done to the persons character, lawyer and court costs, lost work, etc.

Asked on November 23, 2010 under Personal Injury, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It is very difficult to prove the kind of case that you wish to prove against the police and the prosecutor's office.  Generally speaking these two bodies of law enforcement have immunity from these type of suits.  In order to bypass the immunity you would have to prove that the actions of the police and the prosecutor's office were malicious and resulted in wrongful arrest.  If you believe that the actions done were intentional and that it was not just bad investigating in the matter then I would seek help from an attorney in your area.  It sounds as if you have thought this through now you just have to prove it.  Good luck.


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