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Smith v. Almada, No. 09-55334

By FindLaw Staff on October 19, 2010 6:23 PM

Civil Rights Action

In Smith v. Almada, No. 09-55334, an action for false arrest, malicious prosecution, and suppression of exculpatory evidence, and raising a substantive due process claim for deprivation of familial relations, the court affirmed summary judgment for defendant where 1) the changes suggested by plaintiff to defendant's warrant application did not compel the conclusion that "a neutral magistrate would not have issued the warrant"; and 2) even after correcting for the allegedly false and omitted information in defendant's warrant application, probable cause supported plaintiff's arrest for arson.

 

As the court wrote:  "Plaintiffs Anthony Smith and his wife Theresa Smith appeal the district court's grant of summary judgment to Defendant Santa Monica Police Sergeant Robert Almada on Smith's claims for false arrest, malicious prosecution, and suppression of exculpatory evidence and on Theresa Smith's substantive due process claim for deprivation of familial relations. In support of his action against Almada, Smith claims that Sergeant Almada failed to disclose materially exculpatory evidence in Smith's criminal arson trial--including a demonstrably false identification by a key witness against Smith. Although Smith's first trial resulted a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a verdict, he says that access to the exculpatory evidence would have resulted in an acquittal in the first trial, rather than a mistrial. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, and we affirm."

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