Rehberg v. Paulk

Docket No., 10-788

Argument Date: Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Questions Presented

In Briscoe v. LaHue, 460 U.S. 325 (1983), this Court held that law enforcement officials enjoy absolute immunity from civil liability under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for perjured testimony that they provide at trial. But in Malley v. Briggs, 475 U.S. 335 (1986), this Court held that law enforcement officials are not entitled to absolute immunity when they act as "complaining witnesses" to initiate a criminal prosecution by submitting a legally invalid arrest warrant. The federal courts of appeals have since divided about how Briscoe and Malley apply when government officials act as "complaining witnesses" by testifying before a grand jury or at another judicial proceeding.

The question presented in this case is:

Whether a government official who acts as a "complaining witness" by presenting perjured testimony against an innocent citizen is entitled to absolute immunity from a Section 1983 claim for civil damages.

 

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