LANSING, Mich. (CN) – The Michigan Supreme Court allowed the Tri-County Metro Narcotics Squad to appeal a favorable judgment in order to stop a former undercover agent from pursuing claims that the narcotics squad blew his cover, putting him and his family in danger.
The high court allowed the squad to appeal a judgment that was decidedly a victory, but opened the door for Iskander Manuel to file a similar lawsuit in another court.
The narcotics squad had hired Manuel to help bring down drug kingpins by posing as a dealer and earning the trust of local dealers. He lodged a complaint in Ingham Circuit Court, claiming the squad “negligently exposed him and his family to danger by acting in such a manner that targeted drug dealers could readily deduce Manuel’s cooperation with law enforcement.”
The district court ruled for the squad on all claims, but the narcotics squad still appealed, challenging its designation as a state agency. Any claim against a state agency must be filed in a claims court rather than a circuit court, where Manuel lost his initial claims. This would allow Manuel to pursue his case in a claims court.
Justice Markman concluded that the squad is not a state agency bound by the claims courts. Thus, while the squad was the prevailing party, it had been “aggrieved” by the district court’s ruling.