Some have questioned whether or not HD23 Republican challenger Rick Enstrom has legal grounds for a libel suit against the Democratic 527 group that claims he was arrested for selling cocaine paraphernalia.

We won’t go into what it takes to demonstrate libel in a case like this, as we’re not lawyers, but part of the analysis by a judge would likely focus on the underlying issue: A summons for charges which were then dismissed with prejudice by a judge.

Enstrom was given a summons for a business he owned in the mid-80s related to alleged drug paraphernalia being sold. He was not arrested according to a letter from a District Attorney who handled his case, despite what the liberal 527’s mailer says. The charges were dismissed with prejudice.

So what does it mean for charges to be dismissed with prejudice?

Here’s how explains it:

A court has inherent power to dismiss an action with prejudice if it is vexatious, brought in bad faith, or when there has been a failure to prosecute within a reasonable time.

…In criminal prosecutions, dismissal with prejudice bars the government from prosecuting the accused later on the same charge.

Here’s a description of prejudiced dismissal from the law firm of Google and Associates:

With prejudice means that the district attorney can never EVER re file this case.

The judge bent the DA over his knee and paddled his little be-hind and told him he misapplied the law, overstepped his legal authority, and will never do this again to you.

The Denver Post, in an otherwise down-the-middle piece, failed to mention this fact.

Seems important to the validity of the allegations, eh?

Libel may be hard to prove when dealing with candidates for public office, but Max Tyler’s henchman may have earned that distinction.