The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked a lawsuit against Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby brought by five city police officers who claimed she maliciously prosecuted them after the death in 2015 of Freddie Gray.
Monday’s ruling by the federal appeals court overturned a January 2017 decision by U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis, who ruled at the time that charges including malicious prosecution, defamation and invasion of privacy could move forward against Mosby and Assistant Baltimore City Sheriff Samuel Cogen, who wrote the statement of probable cause in the case. Garbis dismissed other counts, including false arrest and false imprisonment.
“We resoundingly reject the invitation to cast aside decades of Supreme Court and circuit precedent to narrow the immunity prosecutors enjoy,” Chief Judge Roger Gregory wrote in the court’s opinion. “And we find no justification for denying Mosby the protection from suit that the Maryland legislature has granted her.
“That the Officers disagree with Mosby’s decision to prosecute — as most defendants do — or with the information in the application for Statement of Charges — which inherently contains defamatory information — does not entitle them to litigate their disagreement in court, and much less recover damages,” Gregory wrote.
The officers have 90 days to submit a petition to the Supreme Court to hear the case, according to court documents, the Baltimore Sun reports.