EUCLID, Ohio -- A civil lawsuit filed against a Euclid police officer will proceed as planned, despite a judge’s threat to dismiss the case. The judge considering tossing it after the plaintiff’s attorney missed a court date last week.
A violent arrest caught on video in August 2017 led Richard Hubbard to file a civil lawsuit against the city of Euclid, Officer Michael Amiott and two other officers.
A hearing on the case was scheduled for last week, December 13. The defendants and their attorneys showed up, but Hubbard's attorney, Christopher McNeal, did not.
"Attorney McNeal, he's doing a fantastic job, he's a relatively new attorney…but I do know from a professional aspect that he is definitely on top of this case," said Euclid NAACP president Cassandra McDonald.
According to court documents, "despite multiple attempts to contact Attorney McNeal via email and telephone, he failed to respond."
McNeal later stated that “he had not received the earlier emails regarding the Case Management Conference and was on his way to the courthouse to speak with the judge."
McNeal would not comment about the case to FOX 8.
"I do know that attorney McNeal handled the situation immediately once he realized that there was a snafu in his scheduling for the court date," McDonald said.
The judge initially threatened to dismiss the case because of the no-show. But during a hearing Wednesday morning, he allowed the case proceed. Although he did order McNeal to pay defense attorneys $784 for the cost of them attending the previously scheduled hearing.
"I think that he made a wise decision, this is a case that definitely deserves attention, I think that he understands of course as a judge that these things happen," said McDonald.
Officer Amiott was fired from the police force, but an arbitrator later ruled he could return to work. Cassandra McDonald says the NAACP will continue to monitor the case.
"I am very glad that he decided to move forward with the case," McDonald said.