FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) – Four Fairbanks men will appeal the rejection of their malicious prosecution lawsuit against the city of Fairbanks.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports federal Judge H. Russel Holland last week tossed out the case filed by the men known as the Fairbanks Four against the city and several police officers.

Holland referred to a 1994 U.S. Supreme Court case that outlines how a defendant must be cleared before seeking monetary damages for malicious prosecution.

Holland says the men must have their criminal convictions invalidated, not simply vacated, before they can sue.

George Frese, Kevin Pease, Marvin Roberts and Eugene Vent were convicted of murder in 1997.

The convictions were vacated in December 2015. They were released after they agreed not to sue but they contend they were coerced into that agreement.