Federal Wrongful Arrest Lawsuit is Starting to Get Very Expensive for City of Dallas
Maybe you recall the story of Thomas Hannon, who was arrested by Dallas police officers in August 2007 on charges of possessing drugs and a weapon at a LBJ Freeway hotel. Hannon, of course, was guilty of no such thing: A videotape that surfaced just as he was set for trial in at the beginning of 2008 forced prosecutors to dismiss the charges against him, after Hannon had spent several months awaiting trial in Dallas County jail.
On January 12, Hannon's attorney, Scott Palmer, filed suit in Dallas federal court, alleging that Dallas police officer David Nevitt and five other officers (one of whom has since been dismissed from the suit) wrongfully arrested Hannon and stole a year of his life. That complaint -- and a response from the officers' attorneys filed earlier this month, as well as a response to the response -- follows. But the litigation is "just getting started," Palmer tells Unfair Park today, after we called him for a case update. Why? Because tomorrow, according to its agenda, the Dallas City Council will vote to pay the Richardson law firm Brown & Hofmeister $100,000 in legal fees relating to the case, or $75,000 more than originally agreed upon. (City attorneys are representing four of the defendants, but Edwin Voss of the law firm is representing Nevitt.)
"I am shocked but not surprised" at the cost of this case, Palmer says. "Because I know what the lawyer is about to do, and it'll be a waste of time. He's trying to get his officer dismissed out of this case, and it's not going to happen -- not with what we've got. There isn't a chance."
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