Schererville man bit by sanctions over lawsuit challenging police dogs

2013-03-01T17:37:00Z 2013-03-02T23:50:06Z Schererville man bit by sanctions over lawsuit challenging police dogsBill Dolan bill.dolan@nwi.com, (219) 662-5328 nwitimes.com
March 01, 2013 5:37 pm  • 

A federal judge in Indianapolis has sanctioned a Schererville man for filing a frivolous lawsuit against the Lake County Sheriff's Department.

John Bushemi, who defended Sheriff John Buncich in the litigation, praised the court's decision Friday, saying it should serve as a warning to anyone who has no legal basis to sue the county.

Bushemi argued the suit was frivolous and is asking the federal court to order Kevin D. Miller to pay Lake County $3,150 to compensate taxpayers for the work its lawyers had to do.

Miller said Friday he plans to appeal.

"I don't think it was a frivolous claim. Lake County doesn't have properly trained dogs," Miller said.

Miller, who is representing himself as an attorney, filed a lawsuit over a traffic stop May 14, 2008, in Plymouth while he and his wife were traveling from Munster to Fort Wayne.

A Plymouth police officer used a drug-sniffing dog to search Miller's car. The search found no drugs.

Miller filed the lawsuit last year against Plymouth and 52 other police departments, including the Lake and Porter County sheriff's departments and Dyer, Hammond, Hobart, the Town of Porter and Valparaiso.

Miller challenged the training standards of dogs used by these law enforcement agencies and wanted a court to stop police from using them in future drug searches.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Watson Pratt in Indianapolis dismissed Miller's suit last year on grounds it violated the statute of limitations, which generally forbids lawsuits that are filed more than two years after the events in question.

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