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Smokey Arrested By Mistake
Highest Court California Court of Appeal
Year Ended 1974
Plaintiffs Robinson, Smokey
Defendants Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Police Officer(s)
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description In 1967, an individual rented a limousine for three days, impersonating Smokey Robinson. The limo owner filed a complaint, and Robinson sued the city and police department after he was arrested at a San Francisco nightclub. Officers arrested him despite his attempts to show them he was not the individual on the warrant, and that they just shared aliases. The police officer made no effort to figure out if Robinson was actually Robinson. At trial, Robinson was found not guilty. A police officer has immunity for false arrest if the arrest was without malice and in reasonable belief that the person arrested is the person in the warrant. Robinson argued that the jury could have questioned the reasonableness of the officer's actions. The Appellate Court reversed the summary judgment for the police officer because a jury could decide whether the officer's was unreasonable in not allowing Robinson to prove his identity at the arrest. - JMC

Legal Issues
General Affirmative Defenses Governmental Immunity
Torts Intentional Torts False Arrest/Imprisonment

Opinions Robinson v. City and County of San Francisco
116 Cal. Rptr. 125
California Court of Appeal , August 26, 1974 ( Civ. 33713 )

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Related Searches Parties
Municipal Entity and/or Official(s) ( Defendant )
Police Officer(s) ( Defendant )
Robinson, Smokey ( Plaintiff )

Legal Issues
General / Affirmative Defenses / Governmental Immunity
Torts / Intentional Torts / False Arrest/Imprisonment

California Court of Appeal (highest court)

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