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United States Ninth Circuit

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Lisker v. Monsue, 13-55374

Plaintiff was convicted of second-degree murder, served over twenty-six years in custody, and was released in 2009 after a federal judge determined that falsified evidence had been introduced at trial and conditionally granted a writ of habeas corpus. The state then dismissed the charges against plaintiff, who subsequently filed this action against defendants, two police detectives, who plaintiff alleges fabricated police reports, investigative notes, and photographs of the crime scene during their homicide investigation. The district court's order denying absolute witness immunity to defendants is affirmed, where: 1) defendants' notes, investigative reports, and photographs of the crime scene were analogous to the sorts of documentary and physical evidence that fall outside the protection of absolute immunity; 2) policy interests behind absolute immunity for testimony do not apply to the investigative materials in this case; and 3) defendants plainly acted in an investigative capacity in producing the notes, reports, and crime-scene photographs, and qualified immunity provided sufficient protection for these activities.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 03/20/2015
  • Published 03/20/2015


  • Hurwitz


  • United States Ninth Circuit


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