470 U.S. 1035 (1985), 84-1018, San Filippo v. United States Trust Company of New York

Docket Nº:No. 84-1018
Citation:470 U.S. 1035, 105 S.Ct. 1408, 84 L.Ed.2d 797
Party Name:Augustin J. SAN FILIPPO v. UNITED STATES TRUST COMPANY OF NEW YORK et al No. 84-763 UNITED STATES TRUST COMPANY OF NEW YORK et al. v. Augustin J. SAN FILIPPO and Robert M. Morgenthau, District Attorney For County of New York
Case Date:March 04, 1985
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 1035

470 U.S. 1035 (1985)

105 S.Ct. 1408, 84 L.Ed.2d 797

Augustin J. SAN FILIPPO

v.

UNITED STATES TRUST COMPANY OF NEW YORK et al

No. 84-763

UNITED STATES TRUST COMPANY OF NEW YORK et al.

v.

Augustin J. SAN FILIPPO and Robert M. Morgenthau, District Attorney For County of New York

No. 84-1018

United States Supreme Court.

March 4, 1985

OPINION

On petitions for writs of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

The petitions for writs of certiorari are denied.

Justice WHITE, dissenting.

Augustin San Filippo sued United States Trust Company and two of its officers under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for malicious prosecution. San Filippo alleged that the U.S. Trust officers had conspired with a New York County Assistant District Attorney to present false testimony to a grand jury that was investigating San Filippo's alleged fraud in obtaining loans from U.S. Trust for two of his clients. Although the grand jury had returned an indictment against San Filippo, a jury had subsequently acquitted him of all charges.

The defendants asserted several affirmative defenses in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, including their absolute immunity from § 1983 liability for their grand jury testimony or prior discussions with the prosecutor. Partly on the basis of this claimed immunity, they sought a protective order against further discovery and also moved for dismissal or summary judgment. These motions were denied bye the

Page 1036

District Court, and the defendants appealed. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that the denials of these motions were properly before it under the "collateral final order" doctrine of Cohen v. Beneficial Industrial Loan Corp., 337 U.S. 541, 546, 69 S.Ct. 1221, 1225, 93 L.Ed. 1528 (1949), at least insofar as they were premised on a rejection of the defendants' absolute immunity defense. 737 F.2d 246, 254 (1984). On the merits, the court reasoned that the defendants were entitled to absolute immunity for their actual testimony before the grand jury, citing Briscoe v. LaHue, 460 U.S. 325, 103 S.Ct. 1108, 75 L.Ed.2d 96 (1983), but not for any extrajudicial conspiracy between themselves and the prosecutor leading to the giving of the allegedly false testimony. The court then went on, however, to hold that San Filippo's...

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