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Lawsuit against top Panhandle law enforcement officers dismissed in U.S. District Court

Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf has dismissed a lawsuit filed by two Nebraska Crime Commission employees against Cheyenne County Sheriff John Jenson, Scotts Bluff County Sheriff Mark Overman and Scottsbluff Police Chief Kevin Spencer.

The civil suit, filed by Lisa Stamm and Vanessa Humaran, alleged they were harassed by the law enforcement officers after grant funding was denied for the WING  Drug Task Force. The duo says the men used state criminal databases to discredit and harass them.

Cheyenne County, acting through the Sheriff’s Department, John Jenson both in individual and official capacities, the City of Scottsbluff, acting through the Police Department, Kevin Spencer both in individual and official capacities, and Scotts Bluff County, acting through the Sheriff’s Department, Mark Overman both in his individual and official capacities were all named in the lawsuit.

The joint suit says searches on the NCJIS database violated their 4th Amendment rights against unlawful search and seizure; a search of their private Facebook pages violated their right to free speech in the 1st Amendment; and that they were deprived of their Fourteenth Amendment privacy rights.

The two plaintiffs were seeking an unspecified amount for damages.

In a 38 page memorandum and order, Judge Kopf concluded that while Stamm and Humaran’s allegations that Defendants Jenson and Spencer violated state law by accessing their information on the NCJIS database, they are “not sufficient to state a plausible claim for relief … against any Defendant for alleged constitutional violations or civil rights conspiracies.”

A separate NSP investigation into the matter determined that no criminal activity was committed by the defendants.

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