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Judge continues case against retired detective

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Mike Heine
January 29, 2008
— A federal judge has denied a defense motion to force Stephen D. Cvicker to settle his civil rights lawsuit against now-retired Whitewater detective Larry P. Meyer.

Magistrate Judge William E. Callahan, Jr. wants resolution soon to the ongoing case, he wrote in his Jan. 22 decision.


The parties should “expect that the court will be moving this case forward expeditiously and without delay,” Callahan wrote. He set a scheduling conference for 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 8.


The parties discussed settlement last summer.


Meyer’s attorney’s argued that Cvicker, 55, signed a Sept. 27 version of a settlement and says it should be enforced.


But Cvicker never authorized his attorney to submit that settlement offer to the court or Meyer’s attorneys. Negotiations continued and a different settlement document was drafted but never signed by Cvicker.


In his lawsuit, Cvicker alleges Meyer, 61, violated his rights by continued personal harassment, which included wrongful arrests, improper searches and harassment of a mostly-Latino workforce at Cvicker’s former landscaping supply business in Whitewater.


Many of his allegations were thrown out because Meyer is entitled to qualified immunity as a police officer, Callahan ruled last year. Callahan still is willing to let a jury decide if Meyer wrongfully destroyed some of Cvicker’s personal belongings confiscated during a search.


The settlement offers, contained in court filings, were to give Cvicker up to $82,500 to drop his case against Meyer and the Whitewater Police Department.



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