Personal Injury Claims Against Police Officers Dismissed

Posted on: June 26th, 2012       Attorney Thomas Newell

A June 2010 legal ruling of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania affirmed the dismissal of personal injury claims versus 5 police officers.  The cops were staking out a home they suspected was being used for drug dealing.  A search warrant was obtained and the officers found 336 packets of crack cocaine, marijuana and other drugs, as well as drug paraphernalia.  The adult son of the property owners, who was observed making the drug sales, and his parents were arrested.

At the preliminary hearing, the only evidence presented was against the son who was later convicted of all criminal charges.  The charges against the parents were dismissed.  Their PA personal injury attorney filed suit alleging false arrest, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress and other legal claims versus the police officers.

Those personal injury claims were dismissed via a Motion for Summary Judgment.  The Court ruled that there was probable cause to arrest the parents.  They owned the home, they had access to the freezer, barbecue grill and bedroom where the drugs were located.  They were also present when their son conducted his drug sales at their front door.  Manley v. Fitzgerald, 997 A.2d 1235 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2010).

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