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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Judge Sued for Having Court Spectator Arrested "On a Hunch"

Man sues Dickson judge for forcing a drug test
The Dickson Herald (Tennessean.com) by D. Frank Smith - January 5, 2010
Court spectator asking for $1.5 million in restitution for incident

A man is suing a Dickson County judge, the sheriff and a handful of deputies for allegedly violating his civil rights when the judge ordered him to take a drug screening. The incident occurred in General Sessions Judge Durwood Moore's courtroom in January of 2008. Benjamin Marchant was a spectator in the courtroom that day, waiting to give a friend a ride home. Moore ordered a drug screening on Marchant, and had sheriff's office deputies escort him out of the room to administer the urinalysis. Marchant's drug test came back negative. But even if it were positive, the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary ruled in May that Moore had no right to order Marchant to take a drug test. He was censured in May by the board, which is an extension of the Tennessee Supreme Court, for the incident, and his actions were described as illegal and unconstitutional. The lawsuit, filed Dec. 30 by Marchant, states that he was afforded no due process before or during his detention, search and seizure as evidence was taken from his body forcibly. "Only a plainly incompetent officer or a knowing participant would have taken place in such unlawful and unconstitutional procedures," according to the lawsuit. The suit also alleges that Moore has issued a written statement that he "routinely drug screens 'spectators' in his courtroom if he 'thinks' they may be under the influence of drugs." Marchant is asking for $1.5 million in restitution for the six claims he brings against Moore, Sheriff Tom Wall and the deputies. The list includes violation of constitutional rights, outrageous conduct, violation of the Tennessee Human Rights Act, assault and battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. A trial date for the case has not yet been set, but a jury has been requested. It will be heard at the U.S. District Court in Nashville.

4 comments:

Another crooked JUDGE said...

The only one that's on drugs is Judge Durwood Moore..He needs to get disbarred and removed from the bench..then go to JAIL!! He sounds like he's a nut case.

Anonymous said...

This idiot clown judge should be the poster boy for judges who have let some power go to their pea brain heads while letting the rule of law be damned.

Anonymous said...

it is clearly apparent,
this judges needs to be mandated to be under the influence of drugs!
So do some Senators!

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that this is news.

The judges in NY think that the courtroom is their personal space and that they can do whatever they want to whomever enters it.

I know that judges as for everthing just short of a resume and DNA test for almost anyone who dares to enter.

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