Sunday, September 07, 2003

Jonesborough sued for false arrest

The Kingsport paper (registration required) has this story on a lawsuit filed by a businessman for stealing another man's property. The plaintiff claims there is a dispute over whether the property was paid for, and claims that the police should not have arrested him on the criminal charges initiated by his creditor. The criminal charges were later dismissed.

One of my law school professors once said in class that he was opposed to the criminalization of debtor-creditor relations. (Actually, he said "debtitor-creditor relations," which may be how I remember the phrase.) It is usually a mistake for a commercial party to try to use criminal procedure to settle a dispute over who owes what to whom. (For one thing, it makes the guy who gets arrested really, really mad.)

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