Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis granted a move by the Village of Maryville and its police officers to throw out a suit over an ex-bar owner's three year-old trespassing charges.
"I don't see how you can get around the statute of limitations, Jack," Callis told John Leskera, attorney for former Sharky's owner Gary Lutman.
Lutman sued Maryville, its mayor, and its police chief for allegedly arresting him on a trumped up charge made by Lutman's ex-wife, Sherry Lutman.
He is seeking damages in excess of $250,000.
The defendants filed their motion to dismiss Gary Lutman's suit in October 2009.
Callis granted the motion to dismiss but allowed Lutman to file a motion to reconsider pending an amendment of his claims.
Maryville's attorney, Christine McClimans pointed to the fact that all of the statutes of limitations that applied to Lutman's charges had run out over two years ago.
Previous hearings on the motion to dismiss had to be cancelled when parties failed to appear. A January hearing in the case was canceled when Leskera informed the court that he could not find his client.
In his latest complaint, Gary Lutman claims that Maryville police wrongly arrested him on his ex-wife's word.
He alleges that Sherry Lutman swore out a misdemeanor trespassing complaint against him four years ago.
Madison County Associate Judge Clarence Harrison dismissed the charges.
However, according to comments made by Leskera at Monday's hearing before Callis, there is some dispute about when and if Gary Lutman was arrested. There is also confusion about what members of the Maryville police department arrested him.
In the motion to dismiss, the defendants claim that Gary Lutman brought his suit after the statute of limitations and that Sherry Lutman's complaint constituted probable cause.
The Lutmans divorced in 2000 but continued to own Sharky's jointly until 2006.
In 2006, Sherry Lutman combined her share of the business with another partner, removed Gary Lutman from a position of authority at the business and barred him from the premises.
A restraining order was later entered against Gary Lutman as well.
A lawsuit resulted from Gary Lutman's removal and remains pending.
Callis took over the suit in December 2009 when she transferred it from Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack. Stack plans to retire in December of this year.
The village of Maryville, Mayor Larry Gulledge, Maryville Police Chief Richard Scharden, officers Thomas Kanzler and Mike Radosevich are named as defendants in the 2009 suit.
The case is Madison case number 09-L-910.