Iowa Court of Appeals Affirms Dismissal of Civil Rights Claim against County Attorney

Posted on: January 4th, 2021

In June 2018, Plaintiff Jeffrey Simmermaker filed an action pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1983, against Jeffrey Renander individually and in his official capacity as the Cedar County Attorney, asserting malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, defamation of character, and violations of Simmermaker’s constitutional rights.

In short, Plaintiff claimed that Renander had violated his constitutional rights “by approving an investigation, issuing an invalid search warrant affidavit to the magistrate, . . . . filing false charges brought by a[n] illegal search and seizure from fabricated witness testimony” and “viciously, vindictively and maliciously dismiss charges against Plaintiff to be able to hand case to the Federal Government, because of more severe penalties in the Government.”

The District Court entered summary judgment in favor of Renander and dismissed Plaintiff’s claims.

In affirming the District Court’s grant of summary judgment, the Court of Appeals noted that the county attorney had no role in the grant of the warrant, was not involved in the prosecution, and turned the case over to the federal authorities per their request.

Simmermaker v. Cedar County Attorney, No. 19-0130 (IA Ct. App. 2020).

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