Years After Suing County for Rights Violations, Jeffrey Ellard Will Have His Day in Court
|Jeffrey Ellard's leg wound as pictured in 2006, a year before he (and the DOJ) sued the county|
Ellard himself sued the county and the Sheriff's Department in December 2007; that complaint is after the jump. But nothing ever came of it. That's because the county says it was never served the paperwork, though attorneys representing Ellard say they in legal filings they were having an "ongoing dialogue" with the county and the District Attorney's Office to resolve the issue. And so, on April 14 of this year, U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor dismissed the suit.
On April 17, Ellard's attorneys filed a motion to reopen; that too is after the jump. Six months later, O'Connor finally has an answer for them: This week the judge ruled that Ellard's suit against Dallas County and the District Attorney's Office can go forward after all. None of Ellard's attorneys are available for comment, and Peter Harlan, chief of the federal division in Craig Watkins's office, says only that the county didn't oppose the motion to reopen only because "the county had not been served, so I could neither agree or disagree" with Ellard's attorneys. As far as the county's position on the lawsuit, he says, "I really don't have any comment on pending litigation." Jeffrey Ellard's Original Complaint From 2007