Lawsuit brought against Billings by couple accused in alleged dog attacks dismissed | Crime & Courts

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A judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the city for prosecuting a couple after its dog is believed to have killed two other dogs. The couple had claimed malicious prosecution.

Larry and Tori Reinlasoder brought the lawsuit in October 2016, after a jury acquitted them in February on charges of owning a potentially dangerous animal, a city code violation.

Prosecutors said the couple’s Great Dane, on three separate instances, killed two smaller dogs and injured a third at a Billings dog park.

After the acquittal, the Reinlasoders sued the city of Billings and Jacqueline Grewell, the city prosecutor who tried the case, saying her “strategy was to stack charges on Larry in the hope the jury would find him guilty of something.” The Reinlasoders said the city defamed him in the process.

The Reinlasoders had claimed negligence, abuse of process, defamation, violation of Montana’s anti-intimidation act, malicious prosecution, state constitution claims and conspiracy.

But in a ruling signed Tuesday, District Court Judge Donald Harris found both the city and its prosecutor were protected from the Reinlasoders’ claims by prosecutorial immunity.

A February trial date in the case is now vacated.

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