Federal Judge GRANTS Motion to Amend Complaint: Racketeering Charges against Charlestown Agents Reinstated

59dfc97a89a5f.imageOn Wednesday, May 15, Federal Judge Debra McVicker Lynch granted the Pleasant Ridge Landlords’ motion to amend their complaint against agents of the city including Mayor Bob Hall, some members of the City Council and Redevelopment Commission, Charlestown’s Building Inspector as well as private developer John Neace’s company. The decision allowed the attorney for the Landlords to correct deficiencies in their original Racketeer Influenced and Corruptions Organizations Act  (RICO) claim against the City.

On March 13, this portion of the Landlords’ case was dismissed by Judge Lynch. Although the Judge found that the Landlords’ case successfully alleged extortion, the dismissal was based on the lack of evidence to demonstrate that a pattern of racketeering activity had taken place. Read about the dismissal here: Partial Dismissal Information

On March 22, the attorney for the Landlords filed a petition with the court to allow for an update to the RICO charges based on new information obtained that allowed them to address the deficiencies noted by the Judge in her dismissal. Read about the motion here: Motion to Amend Complaint

In granting the Plaintiff’s motion to amend their complaint, Judge Lynch noted that “it is unusual to prohibit a party from having the opportunity to address such defects at least once when the court has ruled that the complaint is deficient” (p 4 of Order). The Judge stated that the Plaintiffs should be allowed to add information to address what the Court found missing in their original complaint and found that allowing the amendment will not complicate the procedure for the City because the Landlords have not engaged in “bad faith” or caused “undue delay” in the matter (Order p 5). 

In addition to adding the RICO allegations back to the case, the amended complaint also adds the allegation of an Eighth Amendment, excessive fines violation. 

You can read the Judge’s order here: PLED-Order Granting Motion for Leave to Amend

You can read the full amended complaint with the new evidence included here: PLED-Third Amended Complaint

Author: Treva Hodges

Resident of Charlestown, Indiana. Advocate.

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