The City of South Bend is refusing to defend Councilman Henry Davis Jr. in a civil lawsuit filed by four officers involved in the police tapes scandal.
NewsCenter 16 has learned that a default judgment was entered against Davis on July 14th. The four defendants are seeking payment of $10,000 each.
The officers claim defamation in that Davis allegedly listened to illegally recorded phone conversations and then publicly disclosed the contents.
The City of South Bend and the South Bend Common Council were originally named as co-defendants in the case, but were dismissed last month by the plaintiffs.
The maneuver left Henry Davis Jr. all alone when it came to mounting a defense.
“Davis believed that, as an elected member of the South Bend Common Council he was being defended in this lawsuit by the City of South Bend through its legal department,” reads a motion for relief from the default judgment filed by Davis’ attorney.
While the default judgment was approved on July 14th, Henry Davis Jr. presented a letter dated July 17th stating that the city legal department was refusing to represent him.
Davis’ legal team also contends that the plaintiffs never met their legal obligation to inform Davis of the suit by certified mail. The summons was allegedly sent to Davis’ office—instead of his home and was signed for by someone who had no authority to accept mail on behalf of Davis.
A hearing on the case has been set for August 21st before Circuit Court Judge Michael Gotsch.