Capitol security officers falsely arrested Charleston resident, lawsuit says

By Bree Gonzales | Sep 15, 2018

CHARLESTON — Charleston residents is suing Jack Chambers, West Virginia Division of Protective Services, Gregory Scott Fernatt, Robert K. Herald, Scott Duff, John Workman, and Travas Bennett, State government office, deputy director and capitol security officers, citing alleged deprivation of rights, false arrest and false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, failure to supervise/agency Liability and failure to Intervene.

Michael Rhodes and Robert Rhodes filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia against the defendants alleging that they arrested and detained plaintiff Michael Rhodes without legal authority.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that, on Aug. 12, 2016, their home was entered by certain capitol security officers, while acting under the color of law, but without legal authority. Michael Rhodes was taken from their home without a warrant or legal justification, in what amounted to an armed abduction, following which he was taken not to a court, but to the West Virginia State Capitol, where he was unjustifiably held for a period of time. During that time, the defendants fabricated a baseless criminal complaint which was presented, along with Michael Rhodes to the Kanawha County Magistrate Court. Subsequent representations by defendants to the magistrate court resulted in Michael Rhodes being confined for nearly a month in a regional jail and six months in community confinement. After the trial of the cases, Michael Rhodes was acquitted of all charges in the Circuit Court of Kanawha. The plaintiffs hold Jack Chambers, West Virginia Division of Protective Services, Gregory Scott Fernatt, Robert K. Herald, Scott Duff, John Workman, Travas Bennett, responsible because the defendants allegedly forcibly abducted Michael Rhodes without legal authority in any form, including, but not limited to, a complete absence of probable cause. Furthermore, each was aware of the violations and recklessly and negligently failed to intervene in the conduct stated in the lawsuit.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks a judgment against the defendants, jointly and severally as to each of their causes of action and award general, special and punitive damages, attorney fees and cost, court costs and fees, along with such further and other relief he court deems proper. They are represented by Mark McMillian of Mark McMillian - Attorney at Law L.C. in Charleston.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Case number 2:18-cv-01179

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Mark McMillian - Attorney at Law LLC U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Charleston Division

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