Saturday, September 1, 2001
The man says the court conspired against him.
By AMANDA C. DAVIS
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- A Trumbull County Jail inmate is suing Judge Michael Bernard of Girard Municipal Court for $50 million, alleging his constitutional rights have been violated.
The suit was filed earlier this week in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court. The case is assigned to Judge W. Wyatt McKay.
David Tate, whose address is listed as the jail on High Street, is suing the judge, along with prosecutor Robert Johnson and Atty. Diane Peliti.
Tate says in his handwritten lawsuit that he's bringing the action without help from an attorney. He calls himself a "layman at law."
Girard Law Director Mark Standohar said Friday he looked briefly at the lawsuit but could not comment.
The man, whose age was not available, contends he was tried illegally Nov. 30, for receiving stolen checks and a stolen license plate.
Lawsuit: The lawsuit says Tate was arrested Nov. 1, though his rights were not read to him. It says he wasn't allowed to make phone calls, was not afforded the chance to make $40,000 bail and was searched without a warrant.
The court refused on four occasions to appoint counsel to represent Tate, the lawsuit says.
Peliti was eventually appointed but misled Tate about possible sentences he could receive, the lawsuit says.
The man also claims he was tried in the wrong county because, as police say, the license plate came from Medina or Wayne counties, the lawsuit said.
Tate contends the court was biased and negligent, and conspired against him, imposing excessive fines and refusing his request for a jury trial.
The lawsuit says Tate's brother died while he was "held in jail on an illegal sentence," and was not permitted to attend the calling hours or funeral.
Tate writes that he was living out of his car before the arrest and lost his job because he was locked up.
He asks that the court waive filing fees and court costs because he is homeless and has no money.
Tate says police have not returned his car or the $2,874 in cash that was found on him at the time of his arrest.