Port St. Joe Mayor Mel Magidson is no longer a defendant in a federal lawsuit filed by the estranged wife of a Port St. Joe businessman.
In a Monday filing in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed Magidson as a defendant she has filed against the city, her estranged husband and two Port St. Joe police officers.
The dismissal was undertaken with full knowledge of the other defendants in the case, none of which raised an objection to the stipulated dismissal.
Under the terms of the dismissal, plaintiff Lynne Carr and Magidson agreed to bear their own attorney’s fees and costs.
Carr is seeking a trial by jury and unspecified damages from the defendants: the city of Port St. Joe, her estranged husband Billy Carr, Jr., and Port St. Joe police officers David Garner and Jake Richards.
The allegations center on an incident in December 2011.
The Carrs had operated several businesses on Reid Avenue, including a florist, wedding planner and boutique, before they separated and filed for divorce.
Lynne Carr was manager of the businesses which were owned by her husband.
On Dec. 9, the lawsuit alleges, Lynne Carr arrived at work to find Garner and Richards along with her husband.
The two officers, the lawsuit details, were in uniform.
Lynne Carr alleged that her husband stood without speaking beyond a greeting, showing a gun holstered at his side.
She was terminated from the businesses and was ordered to turn over all items related to the business, including her personal vehicle.
The lawsuit contends that Lynne Carr advised the officers the car was subject to the divorce proceedings and was back at her Mexico Beach residence.
She was threatened with arrest if she did not immediately retrieve and return the vehicle, the complaint details.
When she returned with the vehicle, Richards approached with a K-9 dog.
He stated that searches had already been performed at the businesses, with Billy Carr’s consent, and instructed Lynne Carr to remain still while leading the sniffing dog around her.
Lynne Carr later called the Port St. Joe Police Department to receive reports of the incident.
She was told by Police Chief David Barnes that Garner and Richards were “off duty”, their off-duty services had been contracted and Barnes responded with a “yes” when Lynne Carr asked if their actions were legal, the complaint continues.
Lynne Carr is suing the City of Port St. Joe as well as Garner and Richards individually for violation of her Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search or seizure of her self and property, alleging the searches lacked probable cause and the three were operating under the “color” of official authority.
Additionally, Lynne Carr is suing the city for abuse of power, and also is individually suing Garner and Richards of the same charge, abuse of power.
In addition, Lynne Carr is suing her husband for abuse of process.