Sadly, the law surrounding whether one can sue for a truly malicious criminal prosecution by the police is shameful at best.
Most people who have not experienced or witnessed unjustified police beatings and their accompanying false arrests and bogus criminal prosecutions, believe that the civilian must have done something wrong, or the officer wouldn’t have done them dirty.
Any system of crime and punishment, even one well constrained by constitutional safeguards, is only as good as the persons acting in their various roles within that system; both the executive and the judicial branches.
If the District Attorney’s Office is a rubber-stamp for the police, the system breaks down; not in the number of prosecutions, but in the sense that justice is much less served.
In the State of California, if a police officer arrests you and procures your criminal prosecution based on know material lies contained in the officer’s police report, and you remain in jail for years awaiting trial because you can’t make bail, even if you are totally innocent and even if you prove that at trial so well that the trial Judge makes a “Finding Of Factual Innocence” (stating that you were not just found not guilty, but that in the Judge’s view you are totally innocent), the police officer cannot be sued for one penny under California law. That has been the law of California since it’s inception; first by “common law” doctrine, and in 1963, by statute.
Frankly Ladies and Gentlemen, this is outrageous, and downright un-American. “Thou shalt not bear false witness”), it’s ethically wrong (what could be worse than framing your victim), and it simply should not be tolerated.
In 1963 the California Law Review Commission studied the then existing common law immunities for public employees, including judges, prosecutors and police officers (i.e. Almada, 640 F.3d 931 (2011), his was a clear misstatement of well established law regarding prosecutorial immunity; that of a public prosecutor. The employing public entity should, therefore, be liable for the damages caused by such abuse of public authority; and, in those cases where the responsible public employee acted with actual malice, the public entity should have the right to indemnity from the employee.” Recommendation relating to Sovereign Immunity; Number 1-Tort Liability of Public Entities and Public Employees January 1963; p.817.
How about if a peace officer orders you to turn around and place your hands behind your back, when you know that you haven’t done anything at all; do you think that you have the right to first ask him “Why” or ask the Officer “What’s going on” prior to doing so?
posting bail to avoid arrest after warrant issued), and, if malicious prosecution actions still need to show the common law elements of the tort of malicious prosecution to succeed on a straight-up malicious prosecution claim.
MALICIOUS CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS BY PEACE OFFICERS ARE COMMON; ESPECIALLY FOR “RESISTANCE OFFENSES”.
A public employee is not liable for injury caused by his instituting or prosecuting any judicial or administrative proceeding within the scope of his employment, even if he acts maliciously and without probable cause.” This is simply malicious prosecution immunity under California state law for any public employee, including peace officers, acting in the course and scope of their employment.
This section represents an exercise of “sovereign immunity“; “the King can do no wrong.” The California Courts have bent-over backwards (or “forwards” for sticking it to you, the body politic) to protect police officers from being liable for damages caused by their attempted framing of persons; including damages for innocents having to sit in jail on trumped-up charges that were almost always brought to justify the unjustified use of force, or brought to justify an officer’s premature arrest of a person.