Lewis v. KeiAnnotate this Case
While sitting in the driver's seat of his parked truck talking with a customer on his cell phone, Appellee Michael Lewis was approached by a ten-year-old child and asked for a ride home. Appellee did not know the child, but offered to give him a ride. As the child got into the truck, Cedrick Williams, who knew neither the child nor Appellee, came from him home and approached the truck, yelling for the child to get out of the truck. Williams called 911, reporting that he witnessed an attempted abduction. Appellant Officer Brian Kei obtained an arrest warrant for Appellee based solely on the report by Williams. Appellee was held for 41 days in jail. After the Assistant Commonwealth Attorney spoke with the child and verified Appellee's version of the incident, charges against Appellee were dropped nolle prosequi. On petition, the circuit court expunged the record of Appellee's arrest, but the police website, as well as several news station websites still reported the incident, quoting arresting officer Kei with statements that proved to be unfounded. Appellee brought suit alleging malicious prosecution, false imprisonment and defamation against Kei; the court entered an order sustaining a demurrer to all claims against Kei. On appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed the lower court's ruling in favor of the demurrer on all counts except defamation, and remanded the case for further proceedings on that claim.