Portion of lawsuit against former Boyle deputy sealed

A judge has granted a request by a former Boyle County Sheriff’s deputy being sued by a Junction City man to seal a portion of the case, which has not yet been resolved.

Former Boyle County Sheriff’s Deputy Capt. Dustin Clem was sued in 2014 by Bobby Lee Wilson Jr., of Junction City, for claims of malicious prosecution, defamation and false light. Wilson was seeking damages for economic loss, mental and emotional distress, embarrassment, humiliation and damages to his reputation. He was also seeking punitive damages.

The suit was filed pro se, without the help of an attorney, in December 2014, and was regarding a Jan. 7, 2013, arrest of Wilson. The original suit alleges Clem “wrongfully, maliciously and without probable cause executed a arrest warrant for Plaintiff’s residence and business, wrongfully seized Plaintiff’s property, wrongfully arrested Bobby Lee Wilson Jr., and wrongfully cited Wilson Jr. based upon false allegations that Plaintiff had committed a felony offense.”

According to archives of The Advocate-Messenger, Wilson was arrested and charged with five counts of terroristic threatening for allegedly stating he had bullets with the names of Family Court Judge Bruce Petrie, his wife, his daughter, attorney Ephraim Helton and then-Assistant County Attorney Lynne Dean. A Dec. 19, 2014, article states that “Wilson was going through a bitter divorce at the time.”

He entered a not guilty plea to the charges.

On Dec. 6, 2013, Wilson was acquitted by a jury of the charges.

Wilson’s lawsuit claimed the “defendant’s conduct” resulted in Wilson being “deprived of his liberty and damaged in his reputation, was embarrassed and humiliated, suffered mental and emotional distress, and was caused to incur economic loss and attorney’s fees and other expenses.”

Clem filed a motion for summary judgment in the case, which was granted in August 2016. Judge Darren Peckler dismissed the plaintiff’s claims of trespass and defamation, but would not rule on the claims of malicious prosecution at that time.

Another motion was filed, in July 2017, asking to grant summary judgment on the claims of malicious prosecution. It argues that “there are no genuine issues of material fact and Defendant Clem is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Moreover, Defendant is entitled to qualified immunity and thus protected from liability.”

Qualified immunity generally protects public officials from being held liable for their actions as long they were acting in good faith.

It was accompanied with a motion to seal a “Memorandum in Support of Defendant’s Renewed Motion for Summary Judgement and the exhibits attached.” The motion cites a previous motion to seal that was agreed upon by both parties and approved by the court on April 8, 2017.

“Defendant takes this action not on his own behalf but for the benefit and protection of the Plaintiff,” the motion reads. It states that the defendant believes the plaintiff’s counsel would have also agreed, but was unavailable.

The motion to seal was granted. Another motion in the case is expected to be heard 9 a.m. Sept. 6.