Cop vs. city case will be heard in Grand Junction
A U.S. District judge ruled that all pretrial matters in the Jeffrey Lindsey wrongful termination lawsuit filed against the Glenwood Springs police department will be heard in Grand Junction rather than Denver.
Judge Walker D. Miller filed the ruling on Sept. 25, stating that although there is no U.S. district court in Grand Junction, Magistrate Gudrun Rice can conduct the pretrial matters.
Miller ruled that although attorneys for Glenwood Springs opposed the request to have the case moved to Grand Junction, Lindsey’s attorneys convinced him that the move would decrease court costs and make it easier for witnesses to show up for hearings. .
A separate request must be made for the trial, if there is one, to also be held in Grand Junction.
The suit was filed by former Glenwood Springs policeman Jeffrey Lindsey, who says he was fired from the department without just cause.
The law firm representing Glenwood Springs, Hall and Evans LLC, of Denver, had requested that all pretrial hearings take place in Denver for convenience and because there is no judge sitting in the Grand Junction division of the U.S. District Court.
Lindsey’s attorneys, Balcomb and Green, of Glenwood Springs, requested that the whole proceeding to be moved to Grand Junction because most of the witnesses live and work in Glenwood Springs. Also, they argue, U.S. District Court in Denver draws jury pools from 24 counties, but those counties don’t include Garfield or neighboring counties.
Lindsey filed the suit on July 11. According to court documents, he was fired March 14 for actions he took during an arrest and search on Feb. 16. According to court documents, Lindsey searched the car of a suspect in a crime and cut the spare tire open.
Lindsey was told that he had violated the department’s search and seizure policy by cutting the tire to search it.
The lawsuit alleges the city failed to follow proper procedure in firing Lindsey, refused to produce documents related to his firing and refused to allow Lindsey to interview witnesses testifying against him.
Lindsey is seeking compensatory damages – including lost wages and benefits, reinstatement to his position as a police officer, removal of all disciplinary items two years old and older from his personnel file, punitive damages and attorney fees.
On Aug. 9, at the request of the city’s attorneys, the case was removed from Ninth District Court of Colorado to U.S. District Court.
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The Glenwood Springs City Council voted to extend the existing face covering mandate for indoor public-facing spaces within city limits during Thursday night’s meeting.