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Becker v. Kroll - Malicious Prosecution Lawsuit

Doctor Versus Prosecutor

In late 1998, Utah state officials demanded that board- certified neurologist Taj Becker, M.D., of St. George, pay $107,000 in returns, fines, and investigative costs, within two weeks, or face criminal prosecution, incarceration, loss of her medical license, and bad publicity. Prosecutor J. Denis Kroll testified that he informed Dr. Becker of the "parade of horrors" (Becker v. Kroll, 340 F. Supp. 2d 1230, 1234 (D. Utah 2004).

There was no basis for this demand or for the criminal prosecution that ensued when Dr. Becker refused to capitulate, and instead complained about the abusive tactics of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) through testimony before legislative committees and letters to officials and the news media. The charges were eventually dropped, and Dr. Becker sued on the basis of malicious prosecution and retaliation for exercising her freedom of speech. While acknowledging that there was evidence for malicious prosecution, the lower court held that years of harassment and threats did not violate Dr. Becker's civil rights because she was never actually incarcerated. Dr. Becker appealed to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

  • US Court of Appeals - Tenth Circuit reverses the District Courts dismissal of Dr. Beckers First Amendment retaliation claims and remands to the District Court - 7/19/2007
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  • AAPS Amicus Brief - 07/25/2005
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  • AAPS Motion for Leave to File Amicus Brief - 02/25/2005
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