Damages awarded in false arrest suit
by Debbie Rolen
A United States District Judge recently signed an order granting damages to a Logan man. The ruling came nearly seven years after Michael Adams was arrested based on information an informant gave law enforcement.
Stephen P. Barker Jr., was allegedly being used as an informant during a controlled drug buy on March 31, 2006. He told law enforcement he purchased illegal controlled substances from Mr. Adams. On April 7, 2006, Mr. Barker claimed Mr. Adams sold him a quantity of cocaine.
As of October 1, 2008, Adams had lived in Logan County for over ten years, had fathered five children, was engaged to the mother of one of his children and had never been arrested. On that date, law enforcement executed a warrant for his arrest as he attended a birthday party with two of his children and forty to fifty family and friends watching.
Conditions for his pre-trial release included calling his probation officer once a week and dispose of his bow and arrows, guns and knives.
On December 30, 2008, charges against Mr. Adams were dismissed.
The arrest and publicity caused a number of changes to Adams’ life. His engagement was terminated and his visitation with two of his children was suspended—one suspension is still in place. Adams also lost his job the day after the arrest, and he says it is a factor in his inability to find work.
United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr. signed the order to enter a default judgment against Barker, and order Adams awarded against Mr. Barker the sum of $58,400 in compensatory damages and $50,000 in punitive damages.
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