Holmes v. Garrett, No. 17-1309 (8th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff sought a certificate of innocence under 28 U.S.C. 2513 and, simultaneously but separately, filed the instant case against Defendants Garrett and Sharp, among others, under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The jury subsequently returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff in the section 1983 action and defendants appealed. The Eighth Circuit affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in excluding evidence of plaintiff's prior arrests on drug offenses; in permitting limited testimony by the U.S. Attorney who prosecuted defendant Garrett as the evidence helped the jury understand the criminal charges which had been filed; and in permitting plaintiff to introduce expert testimony on police practices from a psychologist who was also a former police captain and police psychologist. The court also held that there was sufficient evidence to establish a conspiracy to violate plaintiff's civil rights and to support the jury's verdict on his state law claims for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. Finally, the court rejected challenges to jury instructions on conspiracy, malicious prosecution, and damages.