Civil suits filed against LaRue deputies

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By Linda Ireland

Two LaRue County deputies and the LaRue County Sheriff’s Office are facing civil suits in separate cases.
Two women are alleging false imprisonment and false arrest against the department
The cases were filed in September in LaRue Circuit Court. The defendants’ attorneys have already filed responses.
Pamela Dugan, 57, of Buffalo, claims she was pulled from her residence on April 25 by Deputy Brian Smith. She claims she was placed in a cruiser and transported to LaRue County Detention Center where she was processed and jailed for 13 hours.
She was charged with second-degree disorderly conduct and eventually received a diverted sentence in LaRue District Court.
Dugan claims to have suffered severe mental pain and humiliation and asks for compensatory and punitive damages.
According to the arrest citation, Smith had been called to Dugan’s residence several times that day on a reported domestic disturbance.
In the second suit, Kay M. Brown, 49, of Hodgenville, claims that on Oct. 30, 2010, she allowed her daughter to host a Halloween party at her residence, that police arrived, culminating with her being charged with 12 counts of unlawful transactions with minors.
She claims that on March 2, 2011, Deputy Matt Darst came to her home and pursuant to a “defective warrant,” arrested her, took her by cruiser to the LaRue County Detention Center where she was strip searched, processed and held for four hours.
Brown pleaded not guilty to the charge, according to court records. She claims that on June 1, the warrant, which had been signed by Circuit Judge Charles Simms III, was dismissed with prejudice upon the plaintiff’s motion and that the basis for dismissal was lack of probable cause for issuance.
According to court records, the original citation claimed Brown allowed her 15-year-old daughter to host a party for children under the age of 18 where alcohol was present. The complaint said officers allegedly confiscated “five bags of assorted alcohol and a 20-ounce bottle that had been modified into a marijuana pipe” from the premises.
Brown’s attorney, Larry Raikes, a retired circuit judge, asked that the action be dismissed because neither the citation or warrant provided “probable cause” because neither document identified the minors allegedly at the party or the acts to which Brown allegedly contributed. The case was dismissed by the county attorney.
Brown claims the actions of the deputy constituted false arrest, false imprisonment and assault. She claims to have suffered severe mental pain and was humiliated and embarrassed. She requests compensatory damages, costs and attorney fees.
Raikes is representing both women.
R. Keith Bond, attorney for Smith and Darst, responded that the deputies were acting in official capacity and have immunity from civil liability.
He asked for the suits to be dismissed with prejudice, which would bar the plaintiffs from re-filing the suit. He asks also for costs and trial by jury.
A court date has not been set.
Basically, the legal definition for false arrest is the unlawful restraint of a person’s liberty without legal authority.