Tatum v. Moody, No. 10-55692 (9th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, now deceased, was incarcerated for two years pending trial on charges arising from a series of demand-note robberies. Plaintiff filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against the two detectives responsible for investigating the crimes, Steven Moody and Robert Pulido, for depriving plaintiff of liberty without due process of law by failing to disclose material exculpatory evidence, and for malicious prosecution. The jury returned a verdict against plaintiff on the malicious prosecution claim. In regards to the due process claim, the detectives challenged the judgment against them on the ground that the Constitution does not confer on plaintiff the right that the jury found them to have violated. The court held that the Constitution does protect plaintiff from prolonged detention when the police, with deliberate indifference to, or in the face of a perceived risk that, their actions will violate the plaintiff's right to be free of unjustified pretrial detention, withhold from the prosecutors information strongly indicative of his innocence. The jury's determination that the detectives acted with deliberate indifference or reckless disregard for plaintiff's rights satisfied the standard applicable to violations of due process. Holding that the jury instructions described a cognizable constitutional claim, the court affirmed the district court's enforcement of the jury verdict.