Dismissal sought for citizen's suit

Posted: Friday, January 14, 2005

A man suing a Juneau police officer and his department for harassment could get his day in court this fall, though an attorney hired by the city argued Thursday for the case to be dismissed.

Jake Olivit Sr., acting as his own attorney, filed a lawsuit late last year seeking $500,000 with a claim he was harassed by Juneau police officer Paul Comolli.

Thursday, Eric Kueffner, an attorney hired by the city to handle the case, told Juneau Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins that Olivit doesn't have a case.

"I don't see the damages," he told the judge. "For every single incident discussed, I don't see the damages."

"Mental, emotional and physical distress," Olivit answered. "Casting aspersions on my character - those are actionable, sir."

Olivit said Comolli warned him against honking his car horn. But Olivit said Comolli went on to lead a recent rally where people held signs urging motorists to honk their horns in support of police officers.

Collins said she would issue a written ruling on the motion to dismiss. In the meantime, she set a Sept. 26 trial date.

Olivit said he wanted a jury to hear all the circumstances related to his charges.

"There hasn't been any jury requested," Kueffner said. He also said it was too late for Olivit to request a jury trial. Olivit said he believed he already had.

Kueffner said the claims "describe events in the life of Mr. Olivit" but do not constitute harassment. They describe police doing their job, he said.

"It's not yet against the law to take a deep breath and look at people," he said, referring to one of Olivit's allegations.

Olivit said he has been harassed at home and work - where he alleges Comolli complained to his boss he "flipped him off" in traffic. He held up a set of keys that he said belong to someone in the police department and were left in his yard. "They're harassing me and my wife," he said.



CONTACT US

  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-3028
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING