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Barnes v. Wright

ELR Citation: 36 ELR 20100
Nos. No. 04-6288, (6th Cir., 06/02/2006)

The court reverses a lower court's denial of qualified immunity to conservation officers in an individual's 42 U.S.C. §1983 case against them for malicious prosecution and unlawful retaliation. Because a jury found the individual guilty for wanton endangerment, he cannot show the absence of probable cause. Thus, the officers should have been granted qualified immunity as to the malicious prosecution claim. And while the individual's criticism of the officers may have been protected by the First Amendment, the officers have probable cause to seek an indictment and to arrest the individual. Thus, the individual's unlawful conduct also bars his retaliation claim.