Convicted murderer loses malicious prosecution claim over dropped bad-checks charge

By Melissa Busch | Apr 14, 2017

PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania appeals court has affirmed summary judgment against a Philadelphia convicted murderer who was accused of writing bad checks in Bucks County.

On March 23, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania upheld the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas decision to grant summary judgment in favor of Middletown Township police officers Andrew Amoroso and Patrick McGinty, according to court records.

The appeal filed by Mustafa Ali involves a malicious prosecution claim for a bad-checks charge initiated in 2007. Due to judicial economy, the case against Ali was abandoned by the state in 2011 because he was convicted of first-degree murder in Philadelphia and sentenced to life in prison in 2010 before the bad-check case could be resolved.

In March 2016, the Bucks County court granted a motion for summary judgment against Ali, who was convicted in the shooting deaths of two armored car drivers.

According to court records, Ali argued the trial court made a mistake in granting summary judgment because the trial court concluded his claims were time-barred. He further argued that Amoroso and McGinty failed to complete discovery in violation of the trial court’s order because there were material issues of fact in dispute and they lacked probable cause to arrest him.

The police argued that Ali’s claim is barred by the statute of limitations and that he failed to establish required grounds of malicious prosecution, according to court records.

According to court records, the trial court granted summary judgment because Ali failed to make “any good faith effort to serve the complaint until 19 months after it was filed." The county court found that Ali failed to toll the statute of limitations and produce any evidence to support his claim that police initiated the proceedings without probable cause.

The Superior Court affirmed the county court’s decision because Ali failed to show that the trial court erred in granting the motion for summary judgment.

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