Judge denies immunity for animal control officer
posted Aug 15 2012 4:53PM
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal judge in Richmond has refused to toss out a malicious prosecution verdict against a Powhatan County deputy sheriff and animal control officer.
U.S. District Judge Robert Payne said Wednesday that Christine Boczar (BO'-zahr) exercised her power irresponsibly when she arrested a Henrico County animal welfare advocate for failing to give her the address of a dog that bit her. Payne denied Boczar's motion for qualified immunity.
Boczar renewed the motion after a jury found in Eileen McAfee's favor on one of two malicious prosecution counts and awarded her damages of $2,943. Payne said Boczar falsely claimed that McAfee refused to tell her the location of the dog. He said such conduct by a law enforcement officer is not protected by the doctrine of qualified immunity.