Trials & Litigation

Federal Civil Rights Suit Seeking $40M Is Dismissed; Process Server Gave Complaint to Wrong Court


A federal judge in New York has dismissed a civil rights suit filed over a hate-crime slaying, agreeing with a magistrate that a process server hired by the plaintiffs’ lawyers delivered the complaint to a state criminal court building rather than the Suffolk County clerk’s office.

Survivors of Marcelo Lucero, a 37-year-old Ecuadorean immigrant slain in the Long Island town of Patchogue in 2008 by a group of teenagers targeting Hispanics, had been seeking $40 million in damages from the county and its police department, contending that they had not provided equal protection to immigrants, according to Newsday (reg. req.).

Seven individuals have been criminally convicted in Lucero’s killing and the victim’s family has sued the teens and their parents in state court. Meanwhile, the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the county’s policing policies.

At this point, the three-year statute of limitations for Lucero’s survivors to file another federal civil rights suit has expired.

The Associated Press, Fox News and the New York Daily News also have stories.

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