Notoweega News

Judge calls lawsuit against city 'frivolous, malicious'

By DEBRA TOBIN Logan Daily News Reporter This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

LOGAN — An initial screening report and recommendation has been filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio regarding the civil action lawsuit filed by Marshal Lucas “Great Elk Dancer for his Elk Nation” in June against the City of Logan and numerous public officials. Magistrate Judge Mark R. Able recommended the lawsuit be dismissed against all defendants with the
exception of Logan Fire Chief Brian Robertson.

According to the report, Able referred to the case as “frivolous, malicious, and fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.”

The complaint alleges a number of events occurred more than two years ago, but the statute of limitations for claims under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and 28 U.S.C. 1331 is two years. Consequently, all of the alleged events prior to June 12, 2011 are barred by the statute of limitations.

The lawsuit was filed with the U.S. District Court, on June 12 against the City of Logan, Logan Police Chief Aaron Miller, Lt. Gregg Cluley, patrolmen Josh Mowery and Tony Byram, Hocking County Prosecutor Laina Fetherolf, Logan City Mayor Martin Irvine, former Logan City Law Director Bob Lilley, Logan Fire Chief Brian Robertson, and employees of the Hocking County Probation Department.

Although Able has recommended the suit be dropped against all except Robertson, District Court Judge Michael H. Watson has not signed the paperwork making it official.

In response, Lucas filed an amended complaint on July 17 and claims a violation of his civil rights of due process and equal protection under the law secured by the United States Constitution and due course of justice in violation of his treaty rights.

Other names have now been added to the lawsuit in the amended complaint including Hocking County Assistant Prosecutor Bill Archer, Logan City Law Director Jonah M. Saving, Hocking County Common Pleas Court Judge John Wallace and Logan City Service Director Steve Shaw. On Thursday, a motion to strike the plaintiff’s amended complaint and motion for extension of an answer date was filed in the District Court by attorneys for the City of Logan. The law firm of Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co., L.P.A, represents the city and those named in the suit as defendants. Lucas, who believes he has been harassed since he opened his first business in Logan, the Mingo

Trading Company, alleges that those mentioned in the suit have interfered with his commerce, all of which he describes as “tribal” businesses.

According to court paperwork, Lucas is asking the court for “injunctive relief and declaratory judgment as well as compensatory damages for the value of the business opportunity or expectancy that was lost as a result of the defendants tortious and improper interference in the amount of, which is $20 million.”

Some of the complaints in the suit include allegations that Miller visited Mingo Trading Company in 2008 because of a noise complaint in the middle of the day and allegedly told Lucas he needed to file for an event license; Logan Police officers allegedly followed his customers and harassed them after leaving his place of business; probation officers allegedly threatened individuals with arrest should they frequent his establishment and slandered his business by calling it a “head shop.”

His Internet café, Red Door, was closed for seven months due to alleged “made up” code violations, which caused a loss of revenue and overhead cost and expenditures on the building, the court documents continue. The defendants have allegedly intended to impair and destroy his business and relationships with the third parties, and that denial of licenses and police harassment was caused as a
result of Lucas’ national origin in that he is Native American.

A total of 19 complaints against the defendants are listed in the lawsuit.

While Lucas said he is not at liberty to discuss the case at this time, he told The Logan Daily News that this lawsuit is a culmination of more than five years of harassment and interference of his tribal commerce.

Login to post comments
Download Joomla Templates