PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. — Baltimore Circuit Court Judge John Nugent has denied an attempt by Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans to dismiss a lawsuit filed against him and the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office by the Maryland Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The ACLU filed the suit in March 2022 against Evans and the department to obtain public records that illustrate a disturbing trend in which black residents of Calvert County are subjected to highly invasive searches by police officers.
These invasive search practices include full body searches, strip searches, and manual body cavity searches.
The ACLU has also accused the Sheriff of violating Maryland’s Public Information Act by charging $12,000 to see the documents.
Under the 2021 Anton’s Law Amendment to the MPIA, records of complaints against police officers should be easier to obtain, meaning that a charge that high could be a potential violation of the law.
In April 2022, attorney Carl N. Zacarias, representing Sheriff Evans, attempted to convince the courts to throw the case out.
Earlier this month, Judge Nugent promptly rejected the request, meaning the lawsuit will continue as planned.
In response to Judge Nugent’s ruling in the dismissal attempt, Maryland ACLU’s Legal Advocacy Coordinator Dara Johnson commented:
“We look forward to continuing this action to ensure real access for communities to public information on police misconduct.”
The ACLU will be represented in court by Attorneys Deborah Jeon, Adam Abelson, and Justin Lewis.
When asked earlier into the proceedings, a Calvert County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson declined to comment on any pending litigation efforts.
Contact our news desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.