City of Southaven and PD could face lawsuits over uncertified po - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

City of Southaven and PD could face lawsuits over uncertified police officer

Dwight Brittian (Source: Southaven PD) Dwight Brittian (Source: Southaven PD)
SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC) -

The city of Southaven and its police department could be facing lawsuits after allowing an uncertified police officer on the force.

Patrolman Dwight Brittian was passing out tickets for months without proper certification. Despite the city clerk's office dismissing the tickets he wrote, the city and police department are at risk of being sued by people claiming negligence and a violation of their constitutional rights.

"I think that every police officer should be certified for what they are doing," said Jason Scheuer, who received a ticket by Southaven Police Department for speeding and not having insurance. "I hope it was Officer Brittian so it does get thrown out.

Many people had the same idea as Scheuer as they filed into the city clerk's office to pay their tickets on Friday.

"I think it's fair," Scheuer said. "I mean, they make a lot of money on tickets. I mean, a couple hundred being thrown out wouldn't hurt them any."

Legal sources said Friday that many people who received tickets from Brittian are preparing to sue.

According to legal expert Jennifer Miller, in this situation there could be claims of malicious prosecution, an abuse of process, or a section 1983 claim that states a violation of constitutional rights.

"You have the confluence of Mississippi law, federal law, immunity, government immunity. It's really complicated," said Miller. "Very complicated analysis and it will, all of the analysis of different circumstances will fall to each individual person's circumstances."

Miller says the government of Southaven could also be at risk of lawsuits for negligence.

"Yes. Negligent training, failure to supervise, negligent supervision, those are also things that we look at under a section 1983 claim. Those are obligations the government has in properly supervising and training officers," Miller added.

Southaven city officials are not commenting at this time, citing a personnel issue.

If you received a ticket from Brittian or know of someone who did, send an email to investigators@wmctv.com.

Copyright 2015 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly