The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that there is no blanket immunity for actions police take to obtain a warrant. The decision overruled the dismissal of a libel lawsuit brought by Sgt. Robert Smith and former Detective Vicki Mengel who were subject to a search warrant that claimed they had drugs in their desks and lockers. Drugs were found in the raid but they were never charged. Both denied any wrongdoing.
The defense argued that investigating officers Detective Sgt. Scott Danielczyk and Detective John Jendrek had immunity since the warrant was a part of the judicial process. This was unanimously rejected by the court, which found that, as judges often don’t have the time or ability to review warrants for accuracy, officers are responsible for the accuracy of information contained in the warrant.
Concerns are that the ruling may result in fruitless warrants generating lawsuits. It isn't clear how being sure that a warrant is well grounded before issuing it is a bad thing. However, the threat litigation could curtail the willingness to seek warrants and burden the police with legal fees.