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Jacobson v. Mott, No. 09-2484

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By FindLaw Staff on October 18, 2010 5:00 PM

In Jacobson v. Mott, No. 09-2484, an action against a police officer under 42 U.S.C. section 1983, claiming that defendant violated plaintiff's rights under the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments by arresting and detaining him without probable cause, and by fabricating charges against him so that he would be held in jail over the weekend, the court affirmed judgment for defendant where 1) because the district court's instructions were consistent with the Supreme Court of Minnesota's interpretation of the obstruction statute in Engholm, the district court did not abuse its discretion in rejecting a proposed instruction; and 2) it was of no moment whether defendant also had arguable probable cause to arrest for a different offense.

As the court wrote:  "Richard Jacobson was arrested and detained by Deputy Sheriff Dan Mott for obstructing legal process with force, in violation of Minnesota Statute section 609.50. Jacobson sued Mott under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that Mott violated his rights under the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments by arresting and detaining him without probable cause, and by fabricating charges against him so that he would be held in jail over the weekend. The district court granted Mott's motion for summary judgment on the First and Fourteenth Amendment claims, but denied Mott's motion with regard to the Fourth Amendment claim, because disputed issues of material fact existed as to whether Mott had arguable probable cause to charge Jacobson with obstructing legal process with force. After a trial, a jury determined that Mott had arguable probable cause to arrest and detain Jacobson. Jacobson moved for a new trial pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59, and the district court denied the motion. Jacobson appeals, and we affirm."

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