Loupe v. O'Bannon, No. 15-30535 (5th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and Louisiana tort law against defendants after plaintiff was called as a witness in state court to testify at a bond hearing for a criminal defendant. At issue is whether a state prosecuting attorney is absolutely immune from suit for money damages for (1) ordering a sheriff’s deputy to make a warrantless arrest without probable cause of a witness in retaliation for the witness’s refusal to testify that her boyfriend had struck her in the face during a domestic violence altercation, and (2) subsequently maliciously prosecuting the witness for making a false report of domestic violence. The court concluded that the prosecuting attorney is absolutely immune from liability for initiating an alleged malicious prosecution against the witness but not absolutely immune from liability for ordering the officer to make a warrantless arrest. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the malicious prosecution claim but otherwise vacated the grant of the attorney's motion to dismiss the suit for money damages based on her alleged wrongful arrest. The court remanded plaintiff's federal and state claims in that respect to the district court for further proceedings.