Lawyers Weekly Designation Of Biggest Defense Wins Of The Year

Fall, 2002

A police civil rights trial in the United States District Court handled by Attorney Douglas I. Louison has been selected as one of the ten “biggest” defense wins of the year by Lawyers Weekly.

In the case of Young v. Town of Amesbury, et al, Attorney Louison successfully defended an Amesbury Police Sergeant who was accused of violating the civil rights of a female motorist. The plaintiff’s theory was that the Sergeant’s claim that he could not see the registration sticker on her license plate was pre textual and that in actuality he stopped her because she was an “attractive female”. As a result, the plaintiff alleges that since there was no initial basis, his subsequent computer registration and license query was inappropriate and constituted an impermissible profiling basis.

The Sergeant, however, testified that as a result of his inability to see the color of her registration sticker, he initiated a computer registration and license query which indicated that the motorist had an outstanding arrest warrant which permitted and necessitated the stop. The defense theory also asserted that police did not have to have a basis for computer queries but can make random checks as long as they are not based on unconstitutional grounds.

The plaintiff also alleged that her treatment at the police station while in custody was violative of her civil rights as she was menstruating but was denied her request to use a private bathroom outside of the cell block area. She was held in custody while being booked and prior to being transported to the District Court for arraignment.

A United States District Court jury found in favor of the defendant officer who had proceeded to trial after the court had dismissed the Town as a defendant, despite the plaintiff’s $50,000.00 demand.

If you have any questions regarding these issues, please feel free to contact Attorneys Douglas I. Louison of Merrick, Louison & Costello at (617) 439-0305

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