New Jersey criminal defendants who enter a pretrial intervention program give up the chance to bring federal civil rights suits over the underlying events, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

In Fernandez v. City of Elizabeth , decided March 15, the judges applied a U.S. Supreme Court precedent that requires favorable termination of criminal proceedings to file Section 1983 actions and concluded that entry to New Jersey’s PTI program does not meet that definition.

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