Settlement - Section 1983, Declaratory, and Permanent Injunctive Relief Claims May 2016
Lori A. Vanderlaan and Allie M. Burnet
Lori Vanderlaan and Allie Burnet obtained a favorable early settlement in favor of a municipality and chief of police, in a case where the municipality’s officers and police union alleged Fourth Amendment violations arising out of an internal investigation into officer misconduct. Prior to BVH’s appearance in the case, a temporary restraining order restraining the request for certain personal records of the officers was granted to the individual officers, and against the municipality and chief of police. Subsequent thereto, the chief determined the records were unnecessary to the investigation and withdrew the portion of the order relating to the subject request for records. Despite this, the plaintiffs continued to pursue declaratory and permanent injunctive relief, as well as constitutional claims pursuant to Section 1983. Plaintiffs demanded both monetary and injunctive relief, as well as attorney’s fees and costs to settle the claim. Lori and Allie filed a successful motion to dissolve the temporary restraining order, and a motion to dismiss the complaint based on a failure to state a claim as to all counts. After the court dissolved the temporary restraining order, and prior to the response date on the motion to dismiss, plaintiffs agreed to voluntarily dismiss their claims with prejudice, and to waive any right to recover costs or attorney’s fees incurred in pursuing the case. This included a waiver of significant attorney’s fees that plaintiffs were pursuing based on entry of the temporary restraining order at the outset of the litigation.