SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- A federal judge has rejected a motion by attorneys representing the city of Quincy to dismiss most of the civil rights lawsuit filed by Curtis Lovelace and his family after his March acquittal on one count of first-degree murder.
In an order posted Thursday, U.S. District Judge Sue Myerscough ruled that the Lovelaces stated a claim for relief on each of the 10 counts that the city wanted dismissed, and that the lawsuit did not improperly resort to group pleading, as the city claimed.
Myerscough also ruled that the city needed to respond to the remaining count of the lawsuit by Nov. 27.
Attorneys for the city of Quincy filed the motion to dismiss 10 of 11 counts in the Lovelace lawsuit in July for "failure to state a claim on which relief could be granted."
Filed in May, the lawsuit alleges that Lovelace was deprived of due process, was the subject of malicious prosecution, and was deprived of his constitutional rights. It also alleges that his sons Logan, Lincoln and Larson were detained at school and illegally questioned by police without a parent present during the death investigation. The lawsuit does not provide an amount the Lovelaces are seeking.
Lovelace, a former Adams County assistant state's attorney and Quincy School Board president, was found not guilty by a Sangamon County jury March 10 in connection with the Feb. 14, 2006, death of his first wife, Cory Lovelace. It was the second time he was tried in the case. An Adams County jury was unable to reach a verdict after two days of deliberations in February 2016, and a mistrial was declared.
Lovelace claims that evidence was withheld and fabricated in the two murder trials by the Quincy Police Department, specifically Detective Adam Gibson.
The lawsuit names Gibson, as well as Police Chief Rob Copley, Sgt. John Summers, Detective Anjanette Biswell, unknown Quincy police officers, Adams County State's Attorney Gary Farha, Adams County Coroner Jim Keller, the city of Quincy and Adams County as defendants.
The trial in the case is set to start Oct. 15, 2019, with pretrial scheduled for Sept. 30, 2019. The Lovelaces must provide a list of expert witnesses they plan to call by Sept. 4, 2018, and the city and county have until Jan. 15, 2019, to supply their witness list.