User Login    
 + Register
PDQ Cleaning
News : Defendants Want Claims Dismissed In Ferguson Case
Posted by Randy on 2014/4/30 7:30:00 (472 reads) News by the same author

(columbiatribune.com) - Attorneys for six of the 13 defendants in Ryan Ferguson's civil rights lawsuit last week filed motions in federal court to dismiss some or all of the claims against their clients, according to online court records.
Click to see original Image in a new window

Former Columbia police Chief Randy Boehm's counsel filed Thursday a motion to dismiss three of the eight claims against him: defamation, malicious prosecution and a Monell claim, named for a precedent-setting case in the 1960s that said a person or entity found to have violated another person's rights also is civilly liable.

Boehm's attorneys did not seek to dismiss the other five claims against him in the eight-count complaint: destruction or suppression of exculpatory evidence, fabrication of evidence, failure to investigate, conspiracy to deprive constitutional rights and false arrest.

Defendants seeking to have all of their claims dismissed are Boone County, the city of Columbia, investigator Ben White and current Boone County Circuit Judge Kevin Crane, who was the county prosecutor at the time of Ferguson's trial. Then-Sgt. Stephen Monticelli's lawyer is looking to have one of six counts against him dismissed, malicious prosecution.

Ferguson was arrested in March 2004 and convicted in 2005 of first-degree robbery and second-degree murder for the Nov. 1, 2001, death of Tribune Sports Editor Kent Heitholt. Maintaining his innocence throughout his incarceration, he was freed Nov. 12, 2013, after a three-judge state appellate court panel vacated his convictions based on several Brady violations by the prosecution, headed by Crane. Brady v. Maryland, a 1960s U.S. Supreme Court decision, mandated that the prosecution in criminal cases must hand over all exculpatory evidence to the defendant's lawyers.

Ferguson's counsel, led by Kathleen Zellner, filed the civil suit in March and amended the complaint in early April. Other defendants include investigator William Haws, who played a central role in oral arguments and at least one Brady violation determined by the appellate judges, and six former police detectives, five of whom have since retired.

Boehm and Monticelli want to be removed from the claim of malicious prosecution under the qualified immunity doctrine, which makes it nearly impossible to sue an agent of the state or a city who was performing the normal duties of their role.

Crane's counsel wants both counts against him tossed: defamation and the Monell claim, in which he is sued in his capacity as prosecutor. The motion says Crane's comments about Ferguson after he was released were clearly opinions and that defamation must be an issue of fact and that Crane can no longer be sued as prosecutor since he no longer holds the office. Boehm's attorneys seek to have his defamation count dismissed on the same grounds as Crane.

On April 16, attorneys filed the motion for White, who wants out on all three claims against him: failure to investigate, malicious prosecution and conspiracy to deprive constitutional rights on the grounds, according to court records, that White only interviewed one witness and the complaint fails to state specific claims against him or provide evidence to support them.

The city, which, along with the county, is only a defendant in the Monell claim, hopes to be dismissed on the basis that there are insufficient facts supporting the claim. The county's motion also claims that Ferguson's attorneys don't fulfill the necessary conditions to substantiate a Monell claim.

U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey has not yet ruled on the motions, and Ferguson's counsel has not answered the motions.

Several attorneys for defendants and Zellner either declined to comment or couldn't be reached for this story.

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article


Other articles
2015/5/21 14:21:21 - NCMC Foundation Presents "Salute Awards"
2015/5/21 11:35:05 - Marshall Man, Accused Of Shooting At Police, Captured In Alabama
2015/5/21 11:25:26 - Police Surround Home Of Suspected Murderer In Sedalia
2015/5/21 10:20:00 - Daily Room Rate At Sunnyview Increases By Eight Dollars
2015/5/21 10:20:00 - Milling Work Scheduled To Begin Next Week In Trenton
2015/5/21 10:10:04 - Kansas Truck Driver Injured In U.S. 36 Accident
2015/5/21 10:07:54 - Putnam County Teens Injured In Late Night Accident
2015/5/21 10:00:00 - AP : Suddenlink Sold To European Company
2015/5/21 10:00:00 - Local Bank Purchases Tax Credits, In Hopes Of Improving Trenton's Downtown
2015/5/21 9:47:51 - Efforts Underway To Repair Lawn Damage At Grundy County Courthouse
2015/5/20 10:55:08 - Area Organizations Plan To Distribute Money-Saving Light Bulbs
2015/5/20 10:47:05 - Gallatin Library Receives $5,628 Grant
2015/5/20 10:00:00 - Area Rivals Tie For 3rd At Class 1 Boys Golf Tournament
2015/5/20 9:10:00 - Trenton High School Announces "Underclassman Awards"
2015/5/19 11:31:12 - Grundy County Commission Will Not Adopt Health Ordinance
2015/5/19 11:27:03 - Trenton Middle School Announces End-Of-Year Awards/Honors
2015/5/19 10:20:00 - Roadwork Planned For Highway 6, East Of Trenton
2015/5/19 10:02:11 - Missouri Farm Bureau Sponsors Photo Contest
2015/5/19 9:53:21 - Caldwell County Fairgrounds In Facebook Competition For Grant Money
2015/5/19 9:44:00 - Special Olympics "Torch Runs" Planned For Area Communities
2015/5/19 9:34:19 - Simpson Park To Host Darin Bryan Memorial Day Race
2015/5/19 9:07:36 - ATV Accident Injures Unionville Girl
2015/5/19 8:34:40 - Chillicothe Facility Hosts Weekend FFA Events
2015/5/19 8:33:23 - Gallatin Man Promoted By Highway Patrol
2015/5/19 8:31:39 - Spickard School Board Meets
2015/5/19 4:50:18 - TPD Busts 2 On Meth Charges Over Weekend
2015/5/19 4:40:44 - Man Drives Truck Through His House On Purpose
2015/5/19 4:40:00 - Kirksville Police Attempt To Locate 6 Missing Juveniles
2015/5/19 4:36:28 - Worried Mom Installs Camera, Catches Man Allegedly Violating Young Girl
2015/5/19 4:23:56 - Oregon Man Pleads Guilty to Traveling to Missouri to Engage in Illicit Sex



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM