ACLU Sues over Wrongful Eviction

ACLU Sues over Wrongful Eviction

The State American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing two police officers claiming they wrongfully evicted a Michigan man, killed his puppy, and towed his car last year.

The lawsuit, filed in Lansing U.S. District Court, names police officers Brian Whitsitt, and Briand Rendon as defendants.

The suit was filed on behalf of Johnny Conner Jr., who was evicted from his south central Lansing apartment a year ago.

The Complaint

According to the lawsuit, Dexter Mackey Jr., Connor’s landlord, called Lansing police in December 2005, claiming Conner was smoking marijuana in his apartment.

When the officers showed up, Mackey told them that he had given Conner a seven-day eviction notice 2 weeks ago for not paying rent.

Records show, however, that the landlord never obtained a court order – which Michigan state law requires – for the eviction. In fact, there had never even been a court hearing on the matter.

But the officers never bothered to check records, and at the landlord’s request, officers Whitsitt and Rendon forced open Conner’s apartment door. They entered with a police dog.

The officers announced their presence and then let loose the dog. Connor’s own dog, a pit bull puppy, came out to the police officers and police dog. The officers shot and killed it.

Conner then left the apartment, and the landlord changed the locks. The landlord also filed a Lansing Police Department Private Property consent form and had Conner’s car towed.

“This is a wrongful eviction aided by the police,” said William Fleener, ACLU lawyer. “Police took the landlord’s word rather than following the law.”

According to the lawsuit, Conner seeks unspecified damages in addition to incurred costs and attorney fees. He also seeks a declaration that the police violated his 14th Amendment right to due process, and his fourth amendment right which protects against unlawful search and seizure.

Been wrongfully evicted? Please contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you seek justice and compensation for the losses you have suffered.

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