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Mosby appeals immunity ruling in defamation suit, seeks stay

Baltimore City Stateís Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby addresses the media July 27 in west Baltimore, with a mural depicting Freddie Gray behind her, after charges were dropped against the three remaining officers charged in connection with Grayís death. (Maximilian Franz/The Daily Record)

Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby addresses the media July 27 in west Baltimore, with a mural depicting Freddie Gray behind her, after charges were dropped against the three remaining officers charged in connection with Gray’s death. (Maximilian Franz/The Daily Record)

Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby is seeking a stay of trial proceedings in the civil defamation cases pending against her while she appeals a federal judge’s ruling that she is not immune from their claims, according to online court filings.

The cases, filed by five of the Baltimore Police Department officers charged in connection with the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, are pending in U.S. District Court and also claim malicious prosecution, invasion of privacy and Fourth Amendment violations.

Claims of false arrest, false imprisonment, abuse of process, conspiracy and constitutional violations involving the grand jury that charged the officers were dismissed last month by Senior U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis.

In that ruling, Garbis declined to extend absolute or qualified immunity to Mosby on the surviving claims, and her appeal to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, docketed Monday, will focus on that issue.

Mosby is likely to succeed on the merits, according her motion to stay the trial proceedings, because she was acting as a prosecutor when she initiated and pursued the criminal cases, shielding her from civil liability.

She also claims she will suffer irreparable harm if the cases are not stayed because she will be required to submit responsive pleadings, “participate in extensive, burdensome and intrusive discovery,” and “prepare for and appear at trial.”

Discovery in the cases has not yet commenced, according to the motion, and there will be no harm to the plaintiffs in staying the matter while the issue of Mosby’s immunity is appealed. U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Mark Coulson informed the litigants on Friday that discovery would take place in the next 90 days but noted that the appeal was expected.


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