This morning a federal judge denied the motion to dismiss filed by Putnam County, who had asked the Court to dismiss the first of several lawsuits filed against Putnam County for a pattern and practice of illegal searches by their “Special Enforcement Unit,” who were caught on video searching the inside of my client Dustin Elswick’s home, which you may have seen on Youtube.
Usually in federal civil rights lawsuit, you are required to sue the individual government employee or officer who engaged in the violation. However, under the Supreme Court’s ruling in Monell v. Dep’t of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658 (1978), counties and cities (i.e., political subdivisions) may be sued directly when they have adopted some policy or practice which authorizes a constitutional violation against citizens by police officers. These are known as “Monell Claims” and they are very difficult to prove, generally. So they are pretty routinely dismissed. I’m happy this one wasn’t. Presumably the other two cases just like it will also be allowed to proceed…..
The Complaint’s other allegations include that PCC purposely established and operated the the SEU and knew of and condoned the SEU officers repeated constitutional violations. Id. ¶ 51. This alleges that the PCC was the “moving force” behind the constitutional violations where it deliberately created a unit of officers who did not comply with procedural safeguards and engaged in constitutional violations. See Bd. of Ctny. Comm’rs of Bryan Cnty. v. Brown, 520 U.S. 397, 404 (quoting Monell, 436 U.S. at 694).
Here’s the Court’s memorandum order and opinion allowing the case to proceed:
Anxious to see the final outcome. If I were on the jury, well, how much does the COUNTY HAVE IN THE BANK?
Putnam Co. deputies are the most arrogant, foul mouthed bullies I have ever came in contact with. They think that badge they have on entitles them to do anything they want to do to an honest, law abiding citizen. I surprised none of them has been shot yet by the way they act. I’d like to see a 7 figure lawsuit come to fruition from these charges. Punk deputies deserve also to spend some time in jail for their actions.
A long some time.
Awesome, Bro. PRESS ON; PRESS HARDER; PRESS NOW!
Good to see. These outlaws need to be beat down. Everything about this is a bit sickening.