EAST ST. LOUIS – Belleville detectives Daniel Collins and Timothy Crimm and the city must answer Circuit Judge Ron Duebbert’s malicious prosecution suit, Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Mills ruled on Sept. 13.
He denied their motion for a more definite statement.
“Plaintiff has alleged sufficient facts as to the Belleville defendants to place them on notice sufficient to draft a responsive pleading,” Mills wrote.
“If the Belleville defendants believe that certain counts fail as a matter of law or are otherwise deficient, they can so allege in a responsive pleading as other defendants in this case have alleged.”
Duebbert filed the suit in July, claiming violation of due process, conspiracy, and intentional infliction of distress.
He seeks $10 million from nine defendants, claiming they withheld evidence, suborned perjury, and coerced witnesses to produce false evidence.
He sued St. Clair County, former state’s attorney Brendan Kelly, Belleville, Collins, Crimm, and prosecutors Lorinda Lamken-Finnell and David Robinson.
He also sued former client Carlos Rodriguez and lawyer Alex Enyart, who represented Rodriguez when he accused Duebbert of sexual abuse.
Rodriguez chose not to testify at trial, and the state dismissed all charges.
All three judges of the Southern District of Illinois recused themselves from the action, and the Seventh Circuit appellate court assigned Mills.
Belleville moved for a more definite statement in August, claiming Duebbert didn’t allege what the detectives did to violate his rights.
His lawyer, Michael Lawder of St. Louis, responded that the complaint very specifically detailed their actions.
Mills quoted from the complaint.
“The plaintiff alleges that paragraphs 27 through 34 of the complaint state that the detectives made up evidence, did not follow standard procedure and sought to destroy an innocent man to preserve the political status quo,” Mills wrote.
Mills found Duebbert alleged that they were personally involved in directing or consenting to fabrication and suppression of evidence.
He found Duebbert alleged that they were responsible for proper and standard procedures not being followed.
He has set a Sept. 17 deadline for the city’s answer.