“Here, I’ve got your G*d-d*mn*d ring.”

by Walter Olson on April 10, 2013

In the South, a wedding engagement gone sadly wrong leads to a compulsively readable opinion by Judge William Pryor for an Eleventh Circuit panel, complete with reference to the TV show The Dukes of Hazzard. [Myers v. Bowman, PDF; summary judgment affirmed against civil rights claim](bad link fixed now)

{ 6 comments }

1 Ben 04.10.13 at 3:19 pm
2 Bored Lawyer 04.10.13 at 4:23 pm

All that trouble over a dog.

3 Eric 04.10.13 at 5:02 pm

Dogs are worth fighting for. They’re loyal, for one thing.

The ex-bride, in this case, not so much. Dustin dodged a bullet there, and in the long run should be happy to be rid of her and his would-be father-in-law.

On first reading, Judge Pryor seems to go out of his way to help Murry out with the “he acted in private capacity.” Ho ho ho.

Best wishes to Dustin in state court.

4 DEM 04.10.13 at 8:46 pm

As I understand this holding, a local magistrate commits no actionable tort by using his position and influence to enlist the police to settle a petty private dispute via means of an entirely pretextual “arrest.” And that is so even when the magistrate and arresting officer admit as much (“this is my county”) and the magistrate stretches the truth (at a minimum) about whether the crime is a misdemeanor or felony, since the dog is very likely worth nowhere near $700.

One could abide this as a matter of settled federal law, I suppose, if an 11th Circuit admonishment went the magistrate’s way. But no — Pryor goes so far as to claim, sans citation, that Murray’s complaints were entitled to be treated as gospel because he works for the government. Puh-leeze.

5 bacchys 04.10.13 at 10:33 pm

That’s some Boss Hogg fecal matter there.

6 The Curmudgeonly Ex-Clerk 04.12.13 at 12:00 pm

From the opinion: “Evans was entitled to presume that Murry and Thompson were particularly reliable and trustworthy sources because they were government officials.” That strikes me as an odd an unsound principle of law in general; that facts of this particular case affirmatively undermine such a presumption.

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