The $40 million civil rights lawsuit filed by the family of Marcelo Lucero, the Ecuadorean man murdered in Patchogue in 2008, that was halted by a paperwork error last year is not being reinstated by a panel of three federal judges, reports Newsday.
The lawsuit against Suffolk County was previously thrown out in June 2012 when the process server hired by the Lucero family estate’s attorney delivered their summons and complaint to the wrong location, Newsday reported citing a U.S. magistrate judge's review. The papers were reportedly filed to a state court building and not the county clerk as required by law. U.S. District Court Judge Leonard D. Wexler declined extending the time period.
The three judges from the Second U.S. Circuit Court are agreeing with Wexler’s decision, stating that estate administrator Luis Almonte had not given a “reasonable excuse for his inaction and delay” when serving the papers.
Almonte argued that the situation is a simple mistake by the process server, but the judicial panel wrote that he knew of the problem by December 2011 while not asking for more time until almost a year later after the case had closed, reports Newsday.
Neither a county spokeswoman nor Almonte commented to Newsday, but the Lucero’s family attorney Frederick K. Brewington said that the decision was disappointing and does not change what he says are failures of Suffolk County in protecting Hispanic community members.
Update Aug. 27, 9:05 p.m.: Joselo Lucero, brother of Marcelo Lucero, issued to Patch and the press the following statement:
I'm disheartened that the courts refused to reinstate my brother's case, which was intended to bring to light the abuse by Suffolk County Police Department towards Latinos. My brother's death unveiled those abuses, and I hoped that this case would force SCPD to appear in court to answer for its actions. But the SCPD claimed that the court papers were not served at the right place and cowardly remained silent until it was too late for those papers to be refiled. Once again, Latinos are being denied justice. In fact, an investigation by the Department of Justice revealed that the SCPD failed to investigate crimes against Latinos, and
I know there have been more crimes covered up by SCPD after my brother's murder. How much longer do we have to wait for the truth to come out. I will not allow my brother to have died in vain
En solidaridad. Joselo Lucero
What are your thoughts on the case remaining thrown out? Talk about it in the comments section below.Related: Report: Lawsuit Against County For Lucero Murder Hits Snag