The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that former Lane County Commissioner Rob Handy's complaint against the county, Liane Richardson (now Inkster), Sid Leiken, Faye Stewart and Jay Bozievich can be amended and move forward for a decision.
The Circuit Court ruled that: "While the district court did not specifically address whether amendment would be allowed, the district court entered judgment soon after dismissal, effectively precluding amendment. In general, leave to amend should be freely granted."
Handy's lawsuit, which was also filed by his constituent Brian McCall, claimed "in part, that Lane County, three of its commissioners, and the county administrator denied Commissioner Handy access to his office and his emails for months, creating great difficulties in carrying out his job as an elected official, which also impacted his constituents, " according to a press release from Handy.
The full press release is below and the appeals court ruling is here. EW will ask Lane County for comment for a story for next week's issue.
On Thursday, October 23, 2014 the 9th Circuit Court of the U.S Court of Appeals released its decision on the appeal of Rob Handy, former Lane County Commissioner and his constituent, Brian McCall against Lane County, individual Commissioners Faye Stewart, Sid Leiken, and Jay Bozievich and former Lane County Administrator Liane Richardson (now Inkster).
Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturns Judge Aiken's decision dismissing Rob Handy's lawsuit against Lane County.
The original lawsuit claimed, in part, that Lane County, three of its commissioners, and the county administrator denied Commissioner Handy access to his office and his emails for months, creating great difficulties in carrying out his job as an elected official, which also impacted his constituents.
The federal appeals court overturned Chief District Court judge Ann Aiken's decision not to allow Handy to clarify his original complaint. The appeals court ordered that Handy and McCall are allowed to amend their complaint and go forward to a decision on the merits of their claims.
According to Rob Handy, “We filed this suit to bring attention to the politicization of the offices of the Lane County Commissioners and how those in power misused that power to further a political agenda. The three commissioners named in the lawsuit are still in office and the concerns remain valid. We have been seeking access to justice and are looking forward to moving forward with this case in the courts.”
Local attorney Marianne Dugan represented former commissioner Handy in the appeal and continues to represent Handy as the case moves back to the jurisdiction of the District Court.