HAMMOND | Numerous county officials and departments are off the hook as defendants in a far-reaching civil rights lawsuit brought by former attorney Robert Holland.
U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Paul Cherry issued a summary judgment Wednesday, citing lack of evidence and thereby exempting the Lake County commissioners, sheriff and warden from the lawsuit relating to Holland’s incarceration at the Lake County Jail from March 4 to 10, 2010, after his arrest by the Gary Police Department.
Holland’s suit claimed conditions at the Lake County Jail were unsanitary, overcrowded, cold and noisy, and that he received insufficient medical care and that the clothing he received was insufficient to protect him from the cold. He also asserted two assaults by other inmates, and that jail staff were not properly trained.
The court previously dismissed Holland’s claims against several defendants in a separate lawsuit relative to his arrest and incarceration, including the city of Gary, current and former mayors of Gary, current and former Gary police chiefs, several state judges, Gary police officers, the Gary city attorney, the town of Merrillville, several Merrillville police officers and “the 1999 warden of Lake County Jail.”
Holland claimed in the prior lawsuit the defendants were part of a “vast conspiracy” to violate his rights under the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and 14th amendments, according to court records.
In his 213-page complaint, Holland accused the group of a “pattern of racketeering activity” over the past 20 years. He accused them of illegal search and seizure, false arrest, false imprisonment, filing of fraudulent charges, acts of intimidation and harassment, defamation, involuntary commitment, malicious prosecution and abuse of process to injure his business and professional reputation.
In dismissing that suit in March 2012, U.S. District Court Judge Theresa Springmann called the suit “frivolous” and his allegations “in the vein of fantastic or delusional.”
Holland, who has represented himself in the lawsuits, received his law license in 1997, but it was suspended in 2009 for professional misconduct, according to Indiana Supreme Court records.