by Ivan Foley
Two people involved in the public criticism of Ferrelview’s police department have filed legal action asking a court to order the police chief to cease removing notices the residents have posted encouraging citizens to attend public meetings to speak concerns about the Ferrelview elected officials and police chief.
A hearing on the lawsuit is set for Sept. 2 in front of Judge James Van Amburg in Platte County Circuit Court.
Plaintiffs in the suit are Derrick Hayes of Olathe, Kan. and Tara Borron of Kansas City in Platte County. They are being represented by Dennis Rowland, an attorney based in Kansas City.
The suit also asks the court to order the police chief to “cease and desist from entering on private property with the intent of removing the posted notices and asks the court to order the police chief to cover all reasonable fees and expenses related to the legal action, as well as “further relief as the court deems fair, just, and equitable under the circumstances.”
The lawsuit alleges that notices posted by Hayes and Borron were removed by Daniel Clayton, Ferrelview police chief. The notices were to encourage citizens to attend Ferrelview Board of Trustees meetings “to encourage public participation in the democratic process of the business of the city of Ferrelview including, but not limited to, alleged abuses by police officer Daniel Clayton.”
The suit goes on to say the posted notices “were also meant to answer questions and offer explanations and possible solutions regarding the alleged acts and abuses occasioned by the respondent, Daniel Clayton.”
The suit alleges that Clayton viewed the notices and without the consent of those who posted the notices and without the consent of any property owner, trespassed on private property and promptly removed any notice on which his name appeared.”
The alleged removal of the notices by Clayton “infringed upon the rights to exercise free speech as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution” without due process of law.
“(Hayes and Borron) have a clear and unequivocal right to post notices in exercise of their right to free speech and therefore an unequivocal right to the relief sought in this petition.”
The petition goes on to state that Hayes and Borron asked Clayton to refrain from removing any posted notices. The two say Clayton “has not only refused, but has threatened” them “with arrest under color of law for refusing to vacate the premises upon which some notices were posted.”
According to the lawsuit, Hayes and Borron “had no other option but to seek relief” in court. The suit says Hayes and Borron have incurred “unnecessary fees and expenses in the amount of $750” for which Clayton “should be held liable.”