Lawsuit filed against sheriff’s deputy
Aug 11, 2012 | 8704 views | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama Wednesday alleges a Walker County deputy arrested and verbally abused a process server.

The complaint was filed by Jasper attorney Thomas Carmichael on behalf of Gerald Garrison. The defendents named in the suit are sheriff’s deputy Adam Hadder, Walker County Sheriff John Mark Tirey, the Walker County Commission and Commission Chairman Bruce Hamrick.

The incident which initiated the suit happened on July 17, when Garrison attempted to serve Hadder with a subpoena to appear in a civil case in Marshall County involving Hadder’s sister and brother-in-law. The complaint alleges Garrison made two earlier attempts to serve Hadder and returned to Hadder’s home on July 17 just after 6 a.m.

At that time, Garrison parked across the street from Hadder’s residence for almost two hours, until Hadder came out of his home wearing his Walker County Sheriff’s Office uniform and got into his patrol car. The complaint says that Garrison attempted to serve the subpoena, but Hadder continued driving, rolled down his driver side window and verbally threatened Garrison that he was close to being arrested. The complaint continues to say that Garrison placed the subpoena into the rolled down window of the patrol car with it landing in Hadder’s lap.

According to the complaint, Hadder then slammed on his brakes and jumped out of his patrol car, throwing the subpoena on the ground. The complaint alleges that Hadder yelled for Garrison to put his hands behind his back, then grabbed and assaulted Garrison by pushing him into the side of his vehicle and placing him in handcuffs. The complaint also alleges Hadder then illegally searched Garrison’s vehicle and began a barrage of profane, vulgar, insulting and degrading verbal assaults at Garrison.

The complaint says Hadder then arrested Garrison for criminal littering, criminal trespass and criminal mischief. Garrison’s vehicle was impounded and he was taken to the Walker County Sheriff’s Office.

Walker County Jail personnel refused to book Garrison into the jail, because there was no legal basis for his arrest, the complaint said. According to the complaint, Garrison was later released by Hadder after signing papers which would release Hadder and others for the incident. The complaint alleges Hadder took Garrison to where his vehicle was impounded but forced him to pay $150 to have the vehicle released.

“Deputy Hadder is intimately familiar with the service of process. Particularly with it being one of the things entrusted to the Sheriff’s office routinely, and he knows, better than most people, that it is a routine, ministerial duty and that process servers are not parties, have no interest in the matter, and that it is not a personal issue to them,” Carmichael said. “In spite of that, he avoided being served, made it unnecessarily difficult for my client to do his job, and then when served, exploded into a rage, and used his position as a Deputy Sheriff to arrest and abuse my client.”

Hadder responded to the complaint on the Daily Mountain Eagle’s Facebook page by saying the lawsuit is frivolous and is a response to Hadder attempting to prosecute Carmichael in the past. Hadder said Carmichael and Byron McMath are the only two attorneys who have sued him during his time at the Walker County Sheriff’s Office.

“Can anyone else see a pattern? Guess if you continue to file lawsuits, the odds are you will eventually win one. It's a numbers game to them. I just know I am sick and tired of having my name run through the mud by idiots...,” Hadder posted.

Sheriff John Mark Tirey said Friday morning he could not comment on the complaint, because it was pending litigation. Tirey did say that Hadder was currently on duty and employed by the Walker County Sheriff’s Office.

Friday afternoon, Hamrick also said he should not comment on the matter, and Hank Wiley, attorney for the Walker County Commission, said he could not comment on the complaint.