Greene lawsuit against Detroit tossed out by federal judge

The Detroit Free Press reports that a $150 million lawsuit filed by the family of Tamara Greene was dismissed Nov. 1 by U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen.

Greene’s family sued the city of Detroit and former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in 2005, saying officials sabotaged the 27-year-old’s murder investigation to prevent her killers from being found.

Greene, who danced under the name Strawberry, was killed in a drive-by shooting in Detroit in April 2003. This happened some eight months after rumors spread that she danced at a never-proven wild party at the mayoral Manoogian mansion in 2002, and supposedly had been assaulted by Carlita Kilpatrick, the wife of the then-mayor.

The Free Press said that there was no immediate comment from attorney Norman Yatooma, who represents Greene’s family, or from attorney James Thomas, who represents Kilpatrick. Yatooma is expected to appeal the ruling.

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…. Or get off the pot

Detroit’s city attorney John Schapka is saying enough is enough, and will ask U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen to dismiss a suit against the city.

The suit was filed by the family of Tamara Greene, a dancer who the family’s attorney Norman Yatooma said danced at an alleged party at the mayoral mansion in Detroit. Six months after the rumored party, she was later murdered, and Yatooma says the city thwarted the investigation of her death. In the five years since the suit was filed, there have been 38 depositions, and more than 13,500 pages of police reports and other documents, and more than 11 million police and fire computer files, according to a story in today’s Detroit Free Press.

That’s quite enough, said Schapka. If the proof isn’t in all that documentation, it’s time to dismiss the case.

The story just gets stranger

Those who have been watching as Birmingham attorney Norman Yatoomah continues on his quest to prove that the Detroit Police Department botched the investigation of the murder of Tamara Greene, the story just continues to climb the weirdness scale.

He’s got a witness, the first to say under oath, that a fabled party (where Greene is said to have danced) at the Manoogian Mansion not only occurred, but that the guest list was impressive, and he even saw Attorney General Mike Cox get a lap dance. But the witness, Wilson Kay Jr.,  it turns out, has not always been the most upstanding guy, and has a criminal record which casts doubt on his credibility.

The Free Press reports here.

Worthy wants Greene evidence to stay sealed

DETROIT (AP) — The Wayne County prosecutor has urged a federal judge to restrict public access to the civil litigation over the unsolved murder of a Detroit stripper.

The news media’s interest must be trumped by the ongoing investigation into Tamara Greene’s death, Kym Worthy said in an April 29 letter to U.S. Chief District Judge Gerald Rosen.

Greene’s family is suing high-ranking police officials and former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, claiming they stifled the homicide investigation in 2003 — charges those accused have denied.

Rosen is hearing arguments Wednesday on the media’s request to unseal documents in the civil lawsuit and stop closing court hearings. Rosen has said he’s taken those steps because he doesn’t want to harm any investigation.

Worthy said the restrictions should stick.

Seven years after Greene’s fatal shooting, any progress in the investigation "could be hampered by the improper disclosure of information crucial to the case," she said.

Worthy said the initial probe into Greene’s death was "woefully inadequate."

The sealed documents include the deposition of Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, who investigated rumors of a 2002 party hosted by Kilpatrick and possibly attended by Greene. Cox has called it an "urban legend."

Rosen has ordered that Kilpatrick’s wife and father also sit for depositions.

Greene murder affidavits fan coverup flames

WDIV is reporting that newly released documents in the investigation of the murder of Tamara Greene, who was rumored to have danced at a Manoogian Mansion party, could “further fuel a multimillion-dollar lawsuit that claims former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and other city officials tried to cover up the exotic dancer’s death.”

The link to the story (here) includes a link to affidavits from police officers who claim that police officials have worked to cover up investigations into Greene’s 2002 murder.

Cox deposition wraps up after 7 hours

From The Detroit News:

Attorney General Mike Cox has completed seven hours of questioning in a federal lawsuit brought by the family of a slain exotic dancer, but he hesitated as he left the courthouse when asked whether his deposition is completed.

“I’ve done my seven hours,” Cox told reporters after leaving the deposition in the case of Tamara “Strawberry” Greene. “If the court wants anything more out of me, I’ll be here to provide it.”

Witnesses in civil lawsuits can only be deposed for seven hours without a court order to extend the deposition.

Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald E. Rosen last week denied a request from Norman Yatooma, the lawyer for Greene’s family, to extend the deposition. But he said Yatooma could make a new request if he still had specific questions he wanted to ask after the seven hours was used up.

Says judge to city, Kilpatrick: hand over the records

Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald E. rosen is losing his patience. He’s ordered the City of Detroit and former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to respond to discovery motions filed by Norman Yatooma, the lawyer representing the family of Tamara Greene.

Yatooma stated that the city and Kilpatrick had failed to respond or object to the discovery request.

“The time for doing so has passed,” wrote Rosen in the Jan. 15, 2010 order. He gave them seven days to respond. “…in light of the disturbing trend evidenced by Plaintiff’ several motions to compel — namely, that at least certain of the Defendants appear to be consistently failing to provide timely responses to discovery requests, despite the evident efforts of Plaintiffs’ counsel to resolve these matters cooperatively — the Court cautions the parties and their counsel that any further failures to provide timely and appropriate responses to discovery requests will be met with escalating rounds of sanctions, up to and including dismissal of claims or the entry of judgment against recalcitrant parties.”

Greene was killed in a drive-by shooting in 2003.

Reports the Detroit Free Press:

Greene’s family alleges in a federal civil lawsuit that Detroit officials conspired to thwart the investigation into her unsolved drive-by slaying in April 2003.
Greene was rumored to have danced at a never-proven party in fall 2002 at the Manoogian Mansion.
According to the rumors, Greene, who went by the stage name Strawberry, danced for Kilpatrick and others before the mayor’s wife, Carlita, walked in and assaulted Greene.