EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana woman’s lawsuit alleging that Evansville police violated her constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure when they raided her home will now proceed to trial after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the city’s appeal.
The Evansville Courier & Press reports that the high court’s decision Monday lets stand a federal appeals court’s ruling in Louise Milan’s lawsuit over a 2012 SWAT raid on the then 68-year-old woman’s home. The federal appeals court found in August 2015 that the Evansville Police Department “committed too many mistakes” to be shielded from liability in the case.
According to federal court records, the Supreme Court denied the city’s petition to hear its appeal on Monday.
Police claim they were investigating threats made against the police department on an online message board, but no evidence was found in Milan’s home.
City attorney Keith Vonderahe said the court’s denial was disappointing but wasn’t a loss.
“It doesn’t mean we’ve lost the lawsuit. The denial means that there’s a question of fact as to whether or not the use of the flash-bang devices was excessive force or not. That’s what this case comes down to,” Vonderahe said.
He said the city will participate in any scheduled settlement hearings, but he thinks the courts will ultimately side with the city.
Milan’s attorney, Kyle Biesecker, said the lawsuit will likely head to a jury trial.
The most recent trial date in March was vacated awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision. Biesecker said the courts will have to choose a new date, which will likely include a final pretrial settlement conference.