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Tag Archives: probable cause

Tort/Negligence – Malicious Prosecution – Malice – Defendant’s Investigation – Contract – Real Property – Lease with Option to Buy (access required)

Armstrong v. Velasquez (Lawyers Weekly No. 14-16-0313, 21 pp.) (Sam Ervin IV, J.) Appealed from Wayne County District Court (Charles Gaylor III, J.) N.C. App. Unpub. Holding: Plaintiffs assert that defendant failed to adequately investigate before she instigated criminal proceedings ...

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Tort/Negligence – Malicious Prosecution & False Imprisonment – Probable Cause – District Court Conviction – ‘Procured by Fraud’ Allegation (access required)

Simpson v. Sears, Roebuck & Co. In support of her claims of malicious prosecution and false imprisonment, plaintiff alleged not only that she was acquitted in superior court, but also that the verdict against her in district court was procured “fraudulently or unfairly.”

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Criminal Practice – Malicious Conduct by a Prisoner – Probable Cause to Arrest – DWI (access required)

State v. Williams Where officers responded to a one-car accident; the officers found the keys in the ignition, defendant lying on the ground behind the car, and no sign of anyone else in the area; and defendant had bloodshot eyes, a strong odor of alcohol and slurred speech and was extremely unsteady on his feet, the officers had probable cause to arrest defendant for driving while impaired.

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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Probable Cause — Traffic Stop – Visual Speed Estimate — Insufficient (access required)

U.S. v. Sowards A deputy’s visual estimate of a driver’s speed – uncorroborated by radar or pacing and unsupported by any other indicia of reliability – did not provide probable cause to stop the driver for driving 75 in a 70-mph zone, and the 4th Circuit says the district court erred in denying defendant’s motion to suppress cocaine discovered in the car after the traffic stop.

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Tort/Negligence – Malicious Prosecution – Public Official Immunity – Arrest Warrant – Probable Cause – Teacher Touching Students (access required)

Beeson v. Palombo Police Captain McKenzie informed a magistrate that the plaintiff-teacher had “touched [the] breast area” of two minor female students even after at least one of the students had covered herself with her arms and asked plaintiff not to touch her. This is certainly enough for a reasonable person to conclude that an offense had been committed and that plaintiff was the perpetrator. This finding of probable cause is not affected by defendant McKenzie’s failure to inform the magistrate that the minors and their parents may not have considered the matter criminal or that someone from the district attorney’s office thought there was not enough evidence to proceed with criminal charges.

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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure – Probable Cause – Motel Room – Drug Activity Report – Suspicious Actions & Items (access required)

State v. Biber In response to defendant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained as a result of a search of the motel room in which he was staying, the state was only required to show probable cause, not sufficient evidence to convict defendant. A complaint of drug activity in the room by the person who rented the room, drug paraphernalia visible from the open motel room door, an occupant’s rush to the bathroom and a flushing sound before she would come out, and defendant’s insistence that the room was his all contributed to the officers’ reasonable belief that the suspected drugs hidden in the bathroom belonged to defendant. We reverse the Court of Appeals’ award of a new trial.

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Civil Rights – 42 U.S.C. § 1983 – Malicious Prosecution – Probable Cause – Theft of Dog of Dog – Conspiracy – Family Relationship (access required)

Lewis v. Jordon. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-03-1011, 12 pp.) (Wallace W. Dixon, USMJ) M.D.N.C. Holding: Even though plaintiff alleged that defendants arrested plaintiff for larceny of a dog without probable cause, defendants submitted affidavits to support their allegations that plaintiff’s ...

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Tort/Negligence – Malicious Prosecution – Probable Cause – Civil Action – Real Property – Anticipatory Breach of Contract (access required)

Gupton v. Son-Lan Development Co. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-07-0596, 17 pp.) (John C. Martin, Ch.J.) Appealed from Harnett County Superior Court. (Robert H. Hobgood, J.) N.C. App. Holding: Plaintiff had a contract to buy land from its owner and another ...

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