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Last updateTue, 23 Jul 2019 12am







    Monday, July 22, 2019-7:52:48P.M.






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Parties in lawsuit against 2 officers file joint case management statement in court

IN the lawsuit filed against two police officers accused of using excessive-force against a high-speed suspect, the parties said the subjects for discovery will include “factual events of the night in question,” and Department of Public Safety and Department of Corrections records specific to Police Officers Carlo Evangelista and Stanley Patris.

The parties filed a joint case management statement in federal court on Wednesday.

Evangelista and Patris were sued by Vincent San Nicolas Norita, who was seriously hurt allegedly due to the excessive and unreasonable use of force by the two police officers following a high-speed chase in December 2016.

Norita is currently serving nine years in prison after pleading guilty to traffic charges.

Norita is seeking damages for constitutional violations, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence. He is represented by attorney Rene C. Holmes.

Norita also named DPS and DPS Commissioner Robert A. Guerrero in his official capacity as defendants, but Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona dismissed DPS from the lawsuit saying “it lacks the capacity to be sued.”

The judge said only three issues remain: a) the claim against the Commonwealth and official capacity defendants, insofar as it is for injunctive relief only; b) U.S. constitutional claims against Evangelista and Patris, in their personal capacities for injunctive relief only; c) CNMI constitutional claim against Evangelista and Patris in their personal capacities.

The Office of the Attorney General has asked the federal court to dismiss the remaining claims, arguing that DPS’ use-of-force policy is consistent with constitutional norms.

Attorney Janet King, who represents Evangelista, said her client used reasonable force to arrest Norita “to prevent escape, or to overcome resistance.” Evangelista demands a jury trial.

Patris, represented by attorney Robert T. Torres, denies any wrongdoing and said that he “has no civil liability for his justified conduct.”

According to the joint case management statement, settlement discussions have not begun but the parties would agree to an early settlement conference. They proposed an April 28, 2010 trial date.