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Former university soccer coach’s lawsuit after charges dropped fails

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the lower court Monday that a lawsuit brought by a former soccer coach at Oakland City University against an arresting officer should be dismissed for being time-barred. Christian Serino alleged his constitutional rights were violated and multiple state-law torts were committed after trespass and resisting law enforcement charges against him were dropped.

Serino was arrested by Oakland City Chief of Police Alec Hensley in September 2008 after Serino was told by the university that he was suspended. The charges were eventually dismissed. Serino filed his lawsuit in March 2012 alleging false arrest and malicious prosecution in violation of the U.S. Constitution. He also included Indiana tort claims for false arrest, malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The District Court granted Hensley’s and the police department’s motion to dismiss, finding his claims to be time-barred or barred under the Indiana Tort Claims Act. The 7th Circuit affirmed in Christian Serino v. Alec Hensley and City of Oakland City, Indiana, 13-1058. Federal and state law requires Serino to have brought his claims for false arrest by Sept. 15, 2010, two years after his arraignment. Thus, these claims are untimely.

The judges agreed with the District Court that Serino did not present a cognizable Section 1983 claim for malicious prosecution, but for different reasons. The District Court dismissed on the ground that Indiana already provides a remedy for Serino’s harm; but his claim failed before the 7th Circuit because he did not state a constitutional violation independent of the alleged wrongful arrest, Judge Joel Flaum wrote.

The judges also upheld the finding that the state-law malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims should be dismissed on grounds of Hensley’s immunity under the Indiana Tort Claims Act.
 

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  1. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  2. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

  3. She must be a great lawyer

  4. Ind. Courts - "Illinois ranks 49th for how court system serves disadvantaged" What about Indiana? A story today from Dave Collins of the AP, here published in the Benton Illinois Evening News, begins: Illinois' court system had the third-worst score in the nation among state judiciaries in serving poor, disabled and other disadvantaged members of the public, according to new rankings. Illinois' "Justice Index" score of 34.5 out of 100, determined by the nonprofit National Center for Access to Justice, is based on how states serve people with disabilities and limited English proficiency, how much free legal help is available and how states help increasing numbers of people representing themselves in court, among other issues. Connecticut led all states with a score of 73.4 and was followed by Hawaii, Minnesota, New York and Delaware, respectively. Local courts in Washington, D.C., had the highest overall score at 80.9. At the bottom was Oklahoma at 23.7, followed by Kentucky, Illinois, South Dakota and Indiana. ILB: That puts Indiana at 46th worse. More from the story: Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee and Maine had perfect 100 scores in serving people with disabilities, while Indiana, Georgia, Wyoming, Missouri and Idaho had the lowest scores. Those rankings were based on issues such as whether interpretation services are offered free to the deaf and hearing-impaired and whether there are laws or rules allowing service animals in courthouses. The index also reviewed how many civil legal aid lawyers were available to provide free legal help. Washington, D.C., had nearly nine civil legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty, the highest rate in the country. Texas had the lowest rate, 0.43 legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty. http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2014/11/ind_courts_illi_1.html

  5. A very thorough opinion by the federal court. The Rooker-Feldman analysis, in particular, helps clear up muddy water as to the entanglement issue. Looks like the Seventh Circuit is willing to let its district courts cruise much closer to the Indiana Supreme Court's shorelines than most thought likely, at least when the ADA on the docket. Some could argue that this case and Praekel, taken together, paint a rather unflattering picture of how the lower courts are being advised as to their duties under the ADA. A read of the DOJ amicus in Praekel seems to demonstrate a less-than-congenial view toward the higher echelons in the bureaucracy.

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