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Park City replies to Franchek suit against police


Park City Municipal has replied to the federal lawsuit brought against it by resident Michael Franchek by filing a request that the suit be dismissed or stayed.

 Franchek filed suit over a 2019 confrontation with Park City police. The city is arguing that those events are the subject of a criminal case against Franchek in Summit County Justice Court, and shouldn’t be in a federal courtroom at this time.     

Franchek, a former city council candidate, filed suit in U.S. District Court saying that the city and four of its police officers violated his Constitutional rights. He alleged that on September 29, 2019, officers unlawfully entered his home without a warrant or probable cause; they arrested, tasered and assaulted him; did not give a Miranda warning, and interfered with his son’s attempt to record the events on video.

In May of 2020, charges were filed in Justice Court against Franchek over the same incident. He was charged with Interference with an Arresting Police Officer; Failure to Disclose Identity; and Disorderly Conduct Creating an Offensive Condition.

The city, in the new motion, says a 1971 court ruling establishes that federal courts generally have to abstain from interfering with a pending state criminal proceeding, out of respect for the independent operation of the state.

Franchek, in the federal litigation, also alleges the defendants have conspired to fabricate criminal charges against him in the local court.

He is also suing on behalf of his son, saying the youth was stressed and traumatized by the incident.

However, Park City’s motion is arguing that Franchek doesn’t legally have standing to pursue a claim for his son because he is not an attorney, and hasn’t retained a lawyer in federal court.

In the Justice Court case, Franchek has hired an attorney, Rudy Bautista. They have filed a motion to suppress evidence, saying it was illegally seized and done through a warrantless entry.

The motion has a hearing before Justice Court Judge Shauna Kerr on December 15th.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.