Lovelace Case

Lovelaces respond to city's move to dismiss majority of their lawsuit

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Aug. 8, 2017 8:05 am

QUINCY -- Attorneys for Curtis Lovelace and his family are asking a federal judge to not dismiss any of the counts of their civil rights lawsuit brought on after he was acquitted of murder charges in connection with the death of his first wife.

Filed Friday evening, the response to the motion to dismiss said the Lovelaces made specific allegations about the role of each of the Quincy defendants in the case, including that Quincy police Detective Adam Gibson's role in "fabricating evidence and withholding exculpatory evidence against (Lovelace)."

It also argues that Curtis Lovelace's has a Fourth Amendment claim for the "deprivation of his liberty that was caused by defendants fabricating evidence" and withholding evidence before, during and after his first trial ended in a mistrial.

The response claims that the Lovelaces can seek a conspiracy claim because the conduct is a violation of the Lovelaces' civil rights and "goes beyond routine, collaborative business decisions."

Attorneys representing the city of Quincy filed the motion last month to dismiss 10 of the 11 counts for "failure to state a claim on which relief could be granted."

Curtis Lovelace, a former Adams County assistant state's attorney and former Quincy School Board president, was acquitted of first-degree murder by a Sangamon County jury March 10 in connection with the Feb. 14, 2006, death of his first wife, Cory Lovelace. The trial was the second Lovelace faced, after an Adams County jury was unable to reach verdict after two days of deliberations in February 2016 and a mistrial was declared.

The lawsuit filed in May alleges Curtis Lovelace was deprived due process and was the subject of malicious prosecution, as well as deprived of his constitutional rights. It also argued that his sons Logan, Lincoln and Larson were detained at school and illegally questioned without a parent present.

Logan and Lincoln Lovelace also are plaintiffs in the case, as his wife, Christine, on behalf of Larson.

The suit names Gibson, as well as 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.

In its initial response, the city said police personnel are entitled to qualified immunity in that their actions did not violate any of the Lovelaces' "clearly established constitutional rights," and that the city is not liable for an "injury resulting from an act or omission of its employee when the employee is not liable."

A response filed on behalf of Adams County said that Farha and Keller are "provided absolute immunity" in the performance of the functions of the judicial system.