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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. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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