Judge rules against Belfast man in civil rights lawsuit

By Ben Holbrook | Sep 06, 2017

Belfast — An ongoing civil rights lawsuit filed by a Belfast man against the city, county and local law enforcement agencies is over after a judge ruled in favor of the defendants.

Bradley P. Williams sued the city of Belfast, Waldo County, Belfast Police Chief Michael McFadden and Waldo County Sheriff’s Deputy Merl Reed in April 2016 alleging he was falsely arrested for mailing a court motion to Phish drummer Jon Fishman. In his lawsuit, Williams asserted his First, Fourth, Sixth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated.

The defendants denied Williams’ allegations and filed motions for summary judgment, a procedural tool used in civil litigation that allows a case to be disposed of promptly without the need for a trial. United States District Judge D. Brock Hornby on July 26 granted the defendants summary judgment on all federal claims against them.

Because Williams failed to respond to that order granting summary judgment, Hornby, in an Aug. 31 order, wrote that Williams cannot pursue his state claims against the defendants.

“The date has passed for a response and the plaintiff has filed none,” Hornby writes. “As a result, the record establishes that the plaintiff failed to file a notice of claim as required by the Maine Tort Claims Act.”

Williams was seeking $5 million in damages from each defendant named in his lawsuit.


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