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Thursday, December 08, 2016

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today

In Sherry Katz-Crank v. Kimberly Haskett (SD Ind., Pratt), a 19-page opinion (including a concur/dissent), Judge Sykes writes:

Sherry Katz‐Crank is a Michigan lawyer with a practice in cemetery management. An unscrupulous client used her services in the course of defrauding cemetery trust funds of $22 million. When Katz‐Crank discovered the fraud, she promptly contacted state regulatory authorities. The client was indicted on embezzlement charges. Katz‐Crank was charged as an aider and abettor, though a jury would ultimately acquit her.

Her reputation disgraced and her law practice in shambles, Katz‐Crank sued the state and county officials who were in any way involved in the prosecution. She alleged that they conspired to violate her federal constitutional rights; she raised several state‐law claims as well. The district judge entered judgment on the pleadings in the defendants’ favor on some claims and dismissed others for failure to state a claim.

We affirm. Most of Katz‐Crank’s claims are barred by the Eleventh Amendment or prosecutorial immunity. The balance of the complaint was properly dismissed for failure to state a plausible claim for relief. * * *

[p. 15] POSNER, Circuit Judge, concurring and dissenting.
I disagree with the majority only in regard to its dismissal of the count of the complaint in which the plaintiff alleges that some of the defendants, notably investigator Haskett, acted outside the scope of their prosecutorial duties “with deliberate indifference to Plaintiff’s constitutional rights.” * * *

We should reverse the dismissal of the defamation claim insofar as it alleges a drastic reduction in the plaintiff’s legal business as a consequence of the misconduct by the defend‐ ants, and remand for a trial.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 8, 2016 05:24 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions