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Civil Rights – Assault & Battery Arrest – Probable Cause – Conflicting Stories

Even though the arresting officer knew of the complainant’s history of aggression towards the plaintiff’s decedent, the statements of the complainant and her son gave the officer probable cause to arrest the decedent for assault and battery after her altercation with the complainant.

We affirm summary judgment for the officer on plaintiff’s federal claims. However, as to certain of plaintiff’s state claims, we vacate and remand for reconsideration

The district court declined to consider the arguments raised in plaintiff’s objections regarding his state claims and improperly reviewed the magistrate judge’s recommendations only for clear error. While certain of plaintiff’s objections were adequately considered by the district court when considering identical arguments with regard to his federal claims, we conclude that the following state claims were not adequately reviewed de novo by the district court: gross negligence and recklessness, intentional infliction of emotional distress, state malicious prosecution, defamation, and negligent hiring, training, retention, and supervision. Accordingly, we vacate the portions of the district court’s order granting summary judgment on the state law claims listed above and remand for de novo review of the magistrate judge’s report and recommendation.

Brown v. Lott (Lawyers Weekly No. 003-026-22, 9 pp.) (Per Curiam) No. 21-6928. Appealed from USDC at Columbia, S.C. (Michelle Childs, J.) Chris Truluck for appellant; Andrew Lindemann and Robert Garfield for appellee. 4th Cir. Unpub.

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