Byline: Derek Hawkins
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Case Name: Stephen Linder v. United States of America
Case No.: 15-1501
Officials: EASTERBROOK, SYKES, and BRENNAN, Circuit Judges.
Focus: 6th Amendment Violation Confrontation Clause
While tracking down a fugitive, Deputy Marshal Stephen Linder interrogated the fugitive's father. Another deputy marshal later stated that he had seen Linder punch the father in the face. After an investigation by the Marshals Service and the Inspector General of the Department of Justice, Linder was indicted for federal felonies (witness tampering and using excessive force in violation of the father's civil rights). The Service put Linder on leave, and Darryl McPherson, the U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Illinois, instructed other deputies not to communicate with Linder or his lawyers without approval. Frustrated by this barrier to getting information from potential witnesses, Linder's lawyers asked the district court to dismiss the indictment as a sanction. That was done, see 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29641 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 5, 2013), the United States did not appeal, and Linder returned to work. He remains employed as a deputy marshal.
Linder's suit accuses the United States of two torts: malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress. His principal argument is that the discretionary function...