Suit against former mayor dismissed

By Larry Limpf

Suit against former mayor dismissed

A federal judge has dismissed claims against the Village of Elmore and former mayor Matt Damschroder filed by John Kaylor, a resident who alleged Damschroder attacked him.
Judge James R. Knepp, of the U.S. Court for the Northern District of Ohio, granted the motion filed by the village to dismiss claims against it and also dismissed claims against Damschroder.
The judge declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over claims by Kaylor involving state law and remanded them to the Ottawa County Common Pleas Court where the case began.
According to police and court records, Kaylor had an informal gathering in April 2019 at his home attended by several people, including Damschroder, who was the mayor at the time. Around 9 p.m., Kaylor and Damschroder had a discussion about village regulations that were impacting Kaylor's plumbing business. The conversation ended and Kaylor walked outside, where Damschroder struck him, resulting in serious injuries.
Damschroder was charged with assault. In September 2019, he pled guilty in Ottawa County Municipal Court and resigned as mayor.
Kaylor and his wife filed suit in Ottawa County and the village and Damschroder filed to have the case heard in federal court.
Kaylor’s complaint contended the village was negligent in providing training and supervision for Damschroder. Kaylor also claimed his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights had been violated.
“Plaintiffs (Kaylors) have had an adequate opportunity to argue Damschroder acted under color of law. Because this court concludes plaintiffs' allegations fail to plausibly establish that Damschroder acted in his official capacity, the court also concludes plaintiffs have not alleged a plausible…claim against Damschroder individually,” Judge Knepp wrote. “Plaintiffs offer two arguments why Damschroder's actions meet the color-of-law requirement: (1) village regulations and Ohio law clothe mayors like Damschroder with broad and expansive powers, including police powers; and (2) Kaylor only spoke with Damschroder because he was the mayor and thus Damschroder would not have been in a position to assault him if he was not the mayor. Neither argument is sufficient to maintain plaintiffs' claims.’’
As of last week, there were no additional filings in the case in common pleas court, according to the clerk of courts.


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