Phelix vs. City of Mitchell, et al.

by Staff on April 22, 2010 · 6 comments

in Local

On September 23rd, 2009, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, former Mitchell police officer Randal J. “Randy” Phelix filed a lawsuit against the City of Mitchell, the Mitchell City Council, and Mayor Terrell. A settlement conference was held on March 29th, 2010 and was “successfully concluded”. We have acquired documents related to the case and have made many of them available.

The entire civil docket for the case appears below. The available documents can be viewed by clicking the corresponding links.

“STATEMENT OF THE CASE”

Plantiff, Randal J. Phelix (“Plantiff”), brings this action against Defendant, City of Mitchell and Mitchell City Council (collectively “Defendant”) and Defendant, Dan Terrell (“Terrell”), in his official and personal capacity, pursuant to 42 USC § 1983, for depriving him of his procedural due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and for interfering with his right to freedom of association and political affirmation under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Plantiff further sues Defendant under Indiana law for constructively terminating him in retaliation for exercising his statutory and common law rights and duties as a police officer and for refusing to commit acts for which he could be held personally liable, in violation of Indiana law. Finally, Plantiff brings this action against the Defendant for unlawful discrimination and retaliation in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq.

“FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS”

The “factual allegations” included in Phelix’s complaint include:

  • In the course of his job duties, from 2004 to 2006, Plantiff participated in investigations with the South Central Narcotics Strike Force and, as a result, he came in contact with numerous illegal methamphetamine laboratories. Defendant did not provide Plantiff with any personal protective equipment to use while entering and helping dismantle the clandestine laboratories, nor did any other agency.
  • Repeated contact with the dangerous chemicals and fumes attendant with these illegal drug operations caused Plantiff to develop numerous health problems, including diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, systolic hypertension and renal disease.
  • In 2004, at the request of the Indiana State Police, Plantiff participated in an investigation regarding allegations of voter registration and election fraud against Dan Terrell, who was a candidate in the recent mayoral election.
  • Working with the Indiana State Police, Plantiff reported his investigative findings to the Indiana State Police White Collar Crime Unit and the Special Prosecutor assigned to review the situation, as well as the Chief and Assistant Chief of Police for the City of Mitchell. The investigation revealed evidence that Terrell had encouraged and assisted non-residents of Mitchell to register to vote using a false address in Mitchell so they could vote for him in the mayoral election.
  • During the 2007 election, Terrell told numerous people that, if elected, he would fire Plantiff.
  • Defendant sought to punish Plantiff for his participation in the fraud investigation regarding Terrell, as well as numerous other previous police investigations and arrests Plantiff made concerning the illegal activities of Terrell’s family members.
  • Defendant acted in retaliation against Plantiff for exercising his statutory and common law rights and duties as a police officer by investigating Terrell for election fraud and for refusing to commit acts for which he could be held personally liable, to wit, obstruction of justice and other similar acts.
  • Defendant also acted in retaliation against Plantiff for his support of Terrell’s opponent in the 2004 and 2007 mayoral elections, in accordant with Plantiff’s statutory and Constitutional rights.

The complete list of allegations are available in the “Complaint” document listed below.

CIVIL DOCKET

Date Filed # Docket Text
09/23/2009 1 COMPLAINT against CITY OF MITCHELL, MITCHELL CITY COUNCIL, DAN TERRELL with Jury Demand, filed by RANDAL J. PHELIX.
09/23/2009 2 CIVIL COVER SHEET, filed by Plantiff RANDAL J. PHELIX.
09/23/2009 3 RECEIPT #IP014565 in the amount of $ 350.00
09/23/2009 4 Summons Issued as to DAN TERRELL, Rosemary Brewer, Mike Eager, Dwight Moore, Bill Arnold, & Everett Ferrel.
09/23/2009 5 MAGISTRATE JUDGE’S NOTICE of Availability to Exercise Jurisdiction issued.
10/09/2009 6 RETURN of Service by CMRRR, filed by RANDAL J. PHELIX. DAN TERRELL served on 10/2/2009.
10/09/2009 7 RETURN of Service by CMRRR, filed by RANDAL J. PHELIX. MITCHELL CITY COUNCIL served on 10/2/2009.
10/19/2009 8 NOTICE of Appearance by Liberty L. Roberts on behalf of Defendants CITY OF MITCHELL, MITCHELL CITY COUNCIL, DAN TERRELL.
10/19/2009 9 NOTICE of Appearance by Kenneth Anthony Collier-Magar on behalf of Defendants CITY OF MITCHELL, MITCHELL CITY COUNCIL, DAN TERRELL.
10/26/2009 10 ANSWER to #1 Complaint and Affirmative Defenses, filed by all defendants.
10/27/2009 11 SCHEDULING ORDER: Initial Pretrial Conference set for 11/23/2009 10:00 AM in room #316 before Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch. Signed by Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch on 10/27/2009.
10/30/2009 12 MOTION To Reschedule Initial Pre-Trial Conference, filed by Defendants CITY OF MITCHELL, MITCHELL CITY COUNCIL, DAN TERRELL.
10/30/2009 13 Submission Order Rescheduling Initial Pre-Trial Conference, filed by Defendants CITY OF MITCHELL, MITCHELL CITY COUNCIL, DAN TERRELL.
11/02/2009 14 ORDER granting defendants’ #12 Motion to Continue the Initial Pretrial Conference set for 11/23/09. Initial Pretrial Conference reset for 11/30/2009 02:00 PM in room #316 before Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch. All requirements of the court’s October 27, 2009 order remain in effect. Signed by Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch on 11/2/2009.
11/17/2009 15 CASE MANAGEMENT PLAN TENDERED, filed by Defendants CITY OF MITCHELL, MITCHELL CITY COUNCIL, DAN TERRELL, Plantiff RANDAL J. PHELIX.
11/18/2009 16 REPORT Report of Planning Meeting by CITY OF MITCHELL, MITCHELL CITY COUNCIL, RANDAL J. PHELIX, DAN TERRELL.
11/30/2009 17 ORDER: CASE MANAGEMENT PLAN APPROVED AS SUBMITTED. Discovery due by 7/23/2010. Dispositive Motions due by 8/23/2010. Signed by Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch on 11/30/2009.
12/01/2009 18 SCHEDULING ORDER: Having approved the Case Management Plan, the Court hereby sets the Jury Trial to begin on Monday, April 4, 2011, at 9:30 a.m., in Courtroom 202, and the Final Pretrial Conference for Friday, March 18, 2011, at 9:00 a.m., in Room 204, Birch Bayh Federal Building and the United States Courthouse, 46 East Ohio Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, at which time counsel shall be prepared to fully discuss the status of the action, including all matters requiring completion preparatory to trial. Signed by Judge Larry J. McKinney on 12/1/2009.
12/01/2009 19 Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch: Initial Pretrial Conference held on 11/30/09. Telephonic Status Conference set for 5/10/2010 10:00 AM in Telephone before Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch.
12/23/2009 20 NOTICE of Compliance with Rule 26 Disclosure, filed by Defendants CITY OF MITCHELL, MITCHELL CITY COUNCIL, DAN TERRELL
12/23/2009 21 NOTICE of Service of Initial Disclosures, filed by Plantiff RANDAL J. PHELIX.
02/16/2010 22 SCHEDULING ORDER: Settlement Conference set for 3/29/2010 10:00 AM in room #277 before Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch. Signed by Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch on 2/16/2010.
02/23/2010 23 Exhibit List (Preliminary), filed by Plantiff RANDAL J. PHELIX.
02/23/2010 24 Witness List (Preliminary), filed by Plantiff RANDAL J. PHELIX.
03/24/2010 25 Exhibit List Defendants’ Preliminary Exhibit List, filed by Defendants CITY OF MITCHELL, MITCHELL CITY COUNCIL, DAN TERRELL.
03/24/2010 26 Witness List Defendants’ Preliminary Witness List, filed by Defendants CITY OF MITCHELL, MITCHELL CITY COUNCIL, DAN TERRELL.
03/30/2010 27 Entry from Settlement Conference and Order Directing Filing of Documents Authorizing Dismissal – The parties, in person or by their authorized representative, and by counsel, appeared for a settlement conference on 3/29/10. The conference was successfully concluded, and the parties entered a settlement agreement. Therefore, all pendings, if any, are now DENIED AS MOOT and all previously ordered dates, if any, are VACATED. Within thirty (30) days of the date of this entry, counsel for the plantiff shall file a motion to dismiss or a stipulation of dismissal. Signed by Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch.

Unfortunately, the settlement agreement is not part of the court filings and, thus, is not considered public record.

Interestingly enough, among the evidence that the Phelix “may use … at the trial” includes “Visual and/or audio recordings”, helping substantiate the previous rumor that Officer Blair made audio recordings of private conversations involving Mayor Terrell.

5 comments
mitchell citizen
mitchell citizen

I am a nurse and know that most of his ailments were and are caused by his weight and poor health management.....

Loredrin
Loredrin

The PPE issues, and his health related complaints shouldn't have been part of the lawsuit. As some have stated he should have refused to work in those areas/houses without protection. However how the Mayor acted was also incorrect. He asked a police officer to ignore doing his job. Then retaliated against him when he did it. I'm amazed that other posters would rip the officer for his weight and health issues, but the Mayor gets a pass for acting like a mafia boss? And we wonder why our leaders keep breaking the law.

Chuck
Chuck

How about all those twinkies and slushies Fat boy ate on a daily basis? Does any think that thet may lead to part of his health conditions. How about the fact he is over weight and drank frequently? He, as well as any other police officer knew that it's the state police's job to tear down the meth labs, not his. Someone should have done their homework before giving that fat fuck a free meal ticket!

insertEYEroll
insertEYEroll

Where to begin… Phelix sounds like the dumb ass that sued McDonalds when she spilled HOT coffee on her lap and got burned. Meth Lab’s are dangerous, why would someone enter a facility unprotected and continue to do so for 3 years. And if “other agencies” did not provide PPE; why not sue them as well? The claim he acquired diabetes due to “Repeated contact with the dangerous chemicals and fumes”; I think his weight is a HUGE contributor to that ailment. Peripheral Neuropathy = pain, loss of sensation, and an inability to control muscles. Doesn’t he ride a motorcycle? If he can’t control his muscles; is it really safe? Systolic Hypertension = high blood pressure; his weight?Renal Disease has many causes; one being, poorly controlled diabetes; and we’re back to the weight.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Former Mitchell Police Officer Randy Phelix and his attorneys, The DeBrota Law Firm LLC, will together receive a total of $39,000 in the recently announced settlement. […]

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