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Local News

April 7, 2014

Trial in federal lawsuit delayed

Federal Magistrate Judge Helen C. Adams granted a joint motion on Thursday that pushes a federal trial naming a Centerville police officer and the city of Centerville to 2015.

Heather Huebner first filed the lawsuit against the city and police officer Ken Reistroffer in Jan. 2013. The original jury trial was set for July 10, 2014. That date was later moved to July 21 and has now been pushed to June 22, 2015.

The joint motion states the two parties have participated in four depositions in the matter already, with four additional key depositions set to take place. The most recent deposition date, March 27, was canceled due to a family death of one of the attorneys.

The court filings state the defendants — the city and police officer — have produced over 800 pages of documents and the plaintiff, Huebner, has produced 57 exhibits.

The joint filing says in order to complete the deposition process, and to allow the court time to consider the dispositive motions expected to be filed prior to the trial, more time was needed by all parties.

On Wednesday, Federal Judge John A. Jarvey granted the a motion by the defense in the case to dismiss charges that named the Centerville police officer’s wife, Sheila Reistroffer, as a co-conspirator. The dismissed count alleged Sheila acted with her husband Ken in intimidating Huebner after Huebner declined to allow her daughter to undergo the sexual assault evidence collection process.

The court order issued by Judge Jarvey stated while a complaint doesn’t require detailed factual allegations, it must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” The judge ruled that Sheila’s alleged acts would not create a plausible claim of conspiracy.

The lawsuit, now just over a year and two months old, alleges that officer Reistroffer maliciously filed a felony and aggravated misdemeanor charge against Huebner, after she declined to consent to a sexual assault evidence collection kit on her daughter, then 12 years old.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

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