Civil Rights Cases Against Cops

Federal trial scheduled to begin Tuesday on suit filed against a police department.

The civil case in U. S. District Court before the Honorable F. A. Gossett was filed by David Koven Sr. and Roxanne Koven, formerly of Plattsmouth and now of Carter Lake, Iowa. The Kovens claim their civil rights were violated when the their home in Plattsmouth was searched illegally by police without probable cause and that David was falsely certified as mentally ill and dangerous and as a result spent 17 days in a psychiatric treatment facility. Five current Plattsmouth police officers and one former officer are named as defendants and are being defended under the City of Plattsmouth’s insurance policy. The Kovens are serving as their own counsel. The suit stems from an incident on June 27th, 2009.

The Cassgram reports the filing also notes the two Koven children were then placed in foster care for two months after the incident while Roxanne was fulfilling a military obligation.

The City of Plattsmouth was also a defendant at one point but was removed from the case last year when the federal court determined the city’s practices and customs were not part of the cause of the alleged violations.

The previous Cassgram reports include pre-trial rulings (Archives 4/12/12 at, the lawsuit filing and the allegations (Archives 10/13/10) and the dismissal of a charge against David Koven in Cass County District Court (Archives 4/16/10). In the dismissal the judge ruled items of evidence found after police were called to the Koven house on a welfare check—evidence that resulted in a marijuana growing charge—were not admissible in court because of the manner in which they were found. (Police found items consistent with a small growing operation and a small amount of marijuana.) That ruling by Judge Randall Rehmeier also said there was not sufficient basis for Koven to be placed in emergency protective custody on that night in June of 2009.

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