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Court Grants Summary Judgment in s. 1983 Wrongful Arrest and Brady Violation Case

Attorney Sara Mills-Flood recently prevailed on a motion for summary judgment filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin in a § 1983 case involving Fourth Amendment claims of wrongful arrest and conviction based on alleged Brady violations. The plaintiff, who was convicted of arson after a jury trial, alleged that an officer investigating the fire withheld exculpatory evidence and lied when testifying at her trial. Her conviction was ultimately overturned, although the trial court did not issue a ruling specifying its reasoning or commenting on whether evidence was withheld. We argued that the evidence in question was not Brady evidence because it was known and available to the plaintiff prior to trial. Further, even assuming the officer’s trial testimony was false, it was subject to absolute immunity. Finally, we argued that any complaints the plaintiff may have had with the handling of her case or its outcome were caused by ineffective assistance of counsel and not the actions of our client. The court agreed and granted our motion, dismissing claims on their merits. 

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