On January 14-16, 2019, S. Craig Panter teamed up with attorney Ronald E. Stutzman, Jr., to try a civil rights lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The Honorable Carlton Reeves presided.
Mr. Panter and Mr. Stutzman represented Donna Sturkin in the suit against Vicky Patrick.
Donna Sturkin contended that while she was a participant in a drug court program, Vicky Patrick was her probation officer. According to Ms. Sturkin, on multiple occasions, Vicky Patrick falsely reported to the judge who presided over the drug court program that Ms. Sturkin had tested positive for alcohol.
Ms. Sturkin testified that these reports caused the judge to send her to jail several times as a punishment. Not only did Ms. Sturkin lose her liberty, she lost income and jobs. She also suffered mental and emotional distress.
A unanimous jury found that Vicky Patrick had violated Donna Sturkin’s civil rights guaranteed by the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. The jury awarded her the sum of $350,000.
The law also allows Ms. Sturkin to recover her attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation. A request for those is in process.
This marks the 7th time Mr. Panter and Mr. Stutzman have joined forces to successfully try or settle a case involving civil rights violations.
Panter Law Firm, PLLC, 7736 Old Canton Road, Suite B, Madison, MS 39110