New Athens moves to dismiss suit over death related to domestic violence incident
The village of New Athens is moving to dismiss a suit over its police department's alleged failure to protect a man who died in a car accident following a domestic violence incident. The village filed its motion to dismiss in St. Clair County Circuit Court on May 11. Circuit Judge Michael O'Malley will hear arguments on the motion June 15 at 10 a.m. The village argues that since their attorney's withdrawal in April, plaintiffs Ellen Bailey and Edgar Hock have not entered a pro se appearance or found new representation. It also contends the pair have not responded to any discovery in the case. Bailey and Hock are seeking damages in excess of $200,000 and costs over the death of Justin Hock. According to the complaint, the New Athens Police Department was called to the scene of a domestic violence incident involving Justin Hock. The police removed Justin Hock from the residence he shared with Bailey. The suit alleges that while the police had Justin Hock in custody, they received another call for service and released Justin Hock. Justin Hock then allegedly walked back to the residence and the domestic incident continued. By the time the police again returned to the home, Justin Hock had left in Bailey's car. He was then killed in a one-car crash. The suit contends that the police then changed records so that they would be cleared of any wrongdoing. The plaintiffs' attorney D. Jeffrey Ezra of Collinsville asked to bow out of the case in April citing unspecified difficulties in representing his clients. O'Malley allowed Ezra to leave the case April 8. The village is represented by Charles Pierce. The case is St. Clair case number 09-L-390.