NEW PHILADELPHIA ‒ Attorneys representing the city administration and police have denied allegations made by a city man and his son who claim their constitutional rights were violated when police responded to a complaint about a man with a gun on June 4, 2021.
The city’s response was filed in July to a complaint filed by Jeffery L. Martin and his son, who allege that police unreasonably surrounded them, seized their identification and searched their personal information.
The case, originally filed in Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court, has been transferred to U.S. District Court and Judge Benita Pearson.
The Martins claim violations of the Fourth and 14th amendments to the Constitution occurred after police received a resident’s complaint about an incident at an apartment in the 400 block of Second Street NE. The Martins live on the same block.
Named as defendants are Police Chief Michael Goodwin, Mayor Joel Day, Law Director Marvin Fete, Capt. Tessa Pohovey, Capt. Paul Rossi, Officer Geoffrey DeMattio and Officer Wayne Clark.
In addition to denying that the defendants broke any law or violated the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights, the city response by Cleveland attorneys David M. Smith and Amily A. Imbrogno says the plaintiffs’ complaint makes numerous legal conclusions that “deviate from clearly established law.”
The Martins claim the incident caused them psychological harm, and caused the teen to withdraw from his law enforcement classes. They seek more than $15,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.
Their suit asks for the establishment of two local laws. The first would make it a fourth-degree felony to violate the civil rights of juveniles in law enforcement or other first responder courses who make the merit roll for a year. The second would protect police dispatchers from being drawn into formal complaints alleging officer misconduct.
The city’s response said the remedies requested in the form of two local ordinances are not available under law.
Reach Nancy at 330-364-8402 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter: @nmolnarTR
This article originally appeared on The Times-Reporter: New Philadelphia denies claims of man, son who said rights violated