Former lacrosse players denied audience of Supreme Court
On Monday the case, Evans v. City of Durham, was listed as one of many cases denied certiorari by the Court. David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann—all members of the 2006 lacrosse team—petitioned for the court to review a federal civil-rights claim that was ruled against in their December 2012 case by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The plaintiffs have argued that the City of Durham and a number its officials, including several officers from the Durham Police Department and former Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong, mishandled rape charges made against them that were eventually discredited.
The Circuit Court did not reject the plaintiffs' argument that their state constitutional rights were violated by investigators' unjustified prosecution, but denied their claim for damages under federal law. The three players can still pursue the state law claims under the December ruling, but can no longer pursue the federal law claim because of Monday's decision.
Evans, Finnerty and Reade were accused of raping stripper, dancer and escort Crystal Magnum in 2006. The accusations were eventually proven false after months of national media attention, but several lawsuits were filed in the fallout of the controversy. The final case involving the University, filed by 38 former lacrosse players, was settled last February.
The Supreme Court's order list from Monday did not include explanations for the rejection.