County seeks to move complaint against sheriff into federal court
Jean Koelz | Staff writer
BURNETT COUNTY — As counsel for both Sheriff Roland and Burnett County, attorney Lori Lubinsky of Axley Brynelson in Madison has responded to former jail administrator Terry Nesvold’s complaint by filing a notice of removal in the county’s circuit court. Referring to Nesvold’s claim that his civil rights of free speech and due process were violated, the notice of removal says, “The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin has original jurisdiction under 42 USC.”
In plain English, it means that any question of rights that are federally protected have to be decided in a federal court. Therefore, the county court does not have the power to render a decision in this case. That will be good news, in part, for the county because now it does not have to foot the bill for an expensive jury trial held locally. However, the costs for a jury trial in a federal court—if it goes that far—will be much greater. At least one benefit of a trial in Madison would be that it would be easier to find an impartial jury.
Nesvold’s 10-page complaint seeking damages on five counts of alleged mistreatment while employed by the county was filed on October 9, prompting the court to issue a summons, which was served on October 23. Although the defendants are given 45 days to respond to the summons, Lubinsky filed the petition to change the venue the very next day.
A preliminary pre-trial conference has been scheduled for 2 p.m. on November 15 with U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker.