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Lawsuit against UPD from former student runs into legal challenges

News Editor

Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013

Updated: Thursday, January 31, 2013 01:01

A former student who filed a lawsuit against Sam Houston State University and the University Police Department alleging civil rights abuses stemming from a forceful arrest faces an uphill battle after a series of legal snafus has threatened his day in court.


Aman Abdulaziz’s lawyer, N. Patrick Ngwolo, has filed a response to Sam Houston State University’s motion to dismiss, but U.S. District Judge  Keith P. Ellison struck it from the record because Ngwolo did not file a Motion Leave of Court, which was required because they missed a Jan. 9 deadline to file.


Abdulaziz alleges that he was beaten before being taken to the police headquarters, according to court documents. He said the police originally charged him with three crimes while at the scene of the incident; possession of marijuana, tampering with evidence and evading arrest. Abdulaziz was found not guilty of a fourth charge, assaulting a police officer, close to a year later.


After Abdulaziz filed the lawsuit against the university, SHSU filed a motion to dismiss on Dec. 19. SHSU’s lawyer Greg Abbott, Attorney General of Texas, said Abdulaziz’s motion should be dismissed because the plaintiff did not evidence that he was unfairly treated and that SHSU has immunity against the lawsuit. Abbott also claimed that the original complaint in the lawsuit was not clear on what the claim against SHSU was.


Abdulaziz had until Jan. 9 to reply to this motion but failed to do so. On Jan. 22 Ellison gave Abdulaziz until Jan. 26 to request a leave of Court so he would be allowed to file a response.


Abdulaziz filed a response to SHSU’s motion to dismiss on Jan. 25. The response restated what Abdulaziz alleges that the university police department did to him. It also says that Abdulaziz will amend his complaint with new evidence that SHSU’s motion to dismiss said he was lacking.


Abdulaziz’s response was stricken from the record on Tuesday by Ellison because Abdulaziz did not file a request leave of court.  


Nygoyo did not return repeated calls for comment by press time, and Abott declined to comment.

 

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2 comments

Anonymous
Thu Jan 31 2013 17:22
I have watched this Ngwolo guy practice law in Huntsville before, and he is a sad excuse for a lawyer. It is no surprise to me that he didn't file a Motion Leave of Court on time. The one day I watched him he was about 30 minutes late for court, citing "car troubles." He was then disrespectful to the judge and prosecutors. If this guy wants any chance at winning his trial, I would suggest a different attorney.
Anonymous
Thu Jan 31 2013 12:31
Whether intended or not, from the way that you (Molly Waddell) have portrayed this case Mr. Abdulaziz certainly seems to be making much ado about nothing at best or was/ is guilty as charged as UPD alleges. To me, it looks, like The Attorney General does not give a flip about getting to the truth especially if this guy had any amount of marijuana on him. Indeed, General Abbot wants the public (i.e. SHSU students) to believe that he deeply resents being bothered with such a trivial matter, when in his opinion he has more important things to do than to defend UPD from such a small matter. But, in fact, this kind of civil rights violation is extremely important to all who want to live in a civil society, not a police state. Because, if The Police can act this egregious for a relatively minor offense, what is okay, if the accused is doing something truly felonious? That is to say, if a person is being pursued for auto theft, can The Police kill the perpetrator and still not be violating an excessive force policy? Is auto theft now a capital punishment crime even if the Police Officer was not threatened? If your reporting of this kind of alleged Police abuse is not covered with a slant that clearly says - We: The People will not tolerate a Wyatt Earp (shoot now ask questions later) or a - "I choked the Hell out of him" mentality, most especially for a small amount of marijuana even resisting arrest, then, you: Molly Waddell are not only not doing your job, you are actually a part of the problem and not a guardian of the truth and good.




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