- Associated Press - Thursday, July 16, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - A federal appeals court has ruled in an Arizona case that prosecutors’ blanket immunity from lawsuits applies in civil forfeiture proceedings, but that their immunity is limited when they perform duties outside their function as prosecutors.

Ruling on a challenge to seizures of money transfers allegedly connected to smuggling, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld a trial judge by ruling that prosecutors’ blanket immunity in criminal cases also applies to civil forfeiture cases.

However, the 9th Circuit ruled that the blanket immunity doesn’t apply when prosecutors perform functions of police officers by serving warrants, as one of the state prosecutors in the Arizona case did.

The appellate court’s ruling returns the case to trial court to decide whether the prosecutors have limited immunity under the circumstances.

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