Henderson v. Williams
To prevail on claims of false arrest, a plaintiff must prove underlying charges ended in his favor. Allegedly, Meriden Police Officers Eldridge and Graham entered a club known as the "2041 Club" several times and paid for sex, then obtained arrest warrants for various individuals, one of whom was the plaintiff, David Henderson. Henderson was arrested and pled guilty to charges of promoting prostitution, conspiracy to permit prostitution and violating Connecticut General Statutes §53-395, the Corrupt Organization and Racketeering Act. Other charges allegedly were nolled. Henderson claimed that the state abandoned charges of voyeurism and tampering with a witness, and that police officers lacked probable cause to arrest on those charges. Henderson sued the defendant police officers, alleging false arrest and malicious prosecution, and requested $2.7 million in compensatory and $5 million in punitive damages. The plaintiff failed to serve Officers Eldridge and Graham within 120 days after the filing of his complaint, and the court dismissed charges against Officers Eldridge and Graham. The plaintiff failed to prosecute allegations against Attorneys Turcott and Seth Garbinski, and the court granted their motion to dismiss. The remaining defendants moved to dismiss, and the court elected to treat the motion as a motion for summary judgment. To prevail on claims of false arrest or malicious prosecution, a plaintiff must prove underlying charges ended in his favor. A nolle can, in some instances, qualify as a favorable result, if the nolle is not entered as part of an arrangement with the defendant. Here, the record established that Henderson pled guilty to felony counts and that other counts were nolled as part of the plea agreement. Henderson failed to prove voyeurism and tampering with a witness charges ended in his favor, because the charges were nolled as part of a plea agreement, and the court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment.