Judge Tosses Inmate’s Lawsuit by Suzie Schottelkotte

Posted: March 27, 2012 in News and politics

A circuit judge threw out an inmate’s lawsuit against Bartow on Friday, saying the lawsuit was filed improperly and the inmate didn’t follow proper channels in notifying the city of the litigation.

The ruling also dismisses a default against Bartow for not having responded to the lawsuit within the allotted 20 days.

The default ruling had the potential to cost the city $100,000.

The inmate, Romerio Walker, filed the case against the Bartow Police Department and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd last November.

Walker, who is serving an eight-year sentence for cocaine charges, had the lawsuit served on Police Chief Joe Hall.

Circuit Judge J. Michael McCarthy ruled Friday that the lawsuit should have named the city as a defendant, not just the Police Department. And state law names only two representatives for a city who can accept a notice of litigation: the mayor and the city manager.

McCarthy dismissed the lawsuit because those procedures weren’t followed, but allowed Walker 60 days to file a corrected lawsuit.

Walker participated in Friday’s hearing by telephone from Gulf Correctional Institution in Wewahitchka.

City Attorney Sean Parker said in court records that he was told of the lawsuit when it was filed, but thought the city’s Risk Management Office was forwarding it to the city’s liability insurance company.

It was never sent, so the city didn’t respond to the lawsuit.

Absent that, the court automatically issued a default against the city Jan. 10.

When Parker learned of the default Feb. 2, he filed a motion to have it dismissed.

In the lawsuit, Walker is seeking $100,000 claiming the city’s police officers had no authority to arrest him in November 2008 for giving false identification to a pawn broker.

The State Attorney’s Office dropped the charges two months later, according to court records.

But the arrest caused his probation to be revoked, although it was restored after the charges were dropped.

He later violated his probation again, court records show, which resulted in his prison term.

The lawsuit alleges false imprisonment against the Sheriff’s Office for deliberately delaying Walker’s release from jail after his arrest.

Judge Tosses Inmate’s LawsuitBy SUZIE SCHOTTELKOTTE

TheLedger.comMarch 17, 2012 12:25 AM

A circuit judge threw out an inmate’s lawsuit against Bartow on Friday, saying the lawsuit was filed improperly and the inmate didn’t follow proper channels in notifying the city of the litigation.

The ruling also dismisses a default against Bartow for not having responded to the lawsuit within the allotted 20 days.

The default ruling had the potential to cost the city $100,000.

The inmate, Romerio Walker, filed the case against the Bartow Police Department and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd last November.

Walker, who is serving an eight-year sentence for cocaine charges, had the lawsuit served on Police Chief Joe Hall.

Circuit Judge J. Michael McCarthy ruled Friday that the lawsuit should have named the city as a defendant, not just the Police Department. And state law names only two representatives for a city who can accept a notice of litigation: the mayor and the city manager.

McCarthy dismissed the lawsuit because those procedures weren’t followed, but allowed Walker 60 days to file a corrected lawsuit.

Walker participated in Friday’s hearing by telephone from Gulf Correctional Institution in Wewahitchka.

City Attorney Sean Parker said in court records that he was told of the lawsuit when it was filed, but thought the city’s Risk Management Office was forwarding it to the city’s liability insurance company.

It was never sent, so the city didn’t respond to the lawsuit.

Absent that, the court automatically issued a default against the city Jan. 10.

When Parker learned of the default Feb. 2, he filed a motion to have it dismissed.

In the lawsuit, Walker is seeking $100,000 claiming the city’s police officers had no authority to arrest him in November 2008 for giving false identification to a pawn broker.

The State Attorney’s Office dropped the charges two months later, according to court records.

But the arrest caused his probation to be revoked, although it was restored after the charges were dropped.

He later violated his probation again, court records show, which resulted in his prison term.

The lawsuit alleges false imprisonment against the Sheriff’s Office for deliberately delaying Walker’s release from jail after his arrest.

Copyright 2012 TheLedger.com – All rights reserved. Restricted use only.

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