Chilton Co. commissioner files suit over Linden arrest

Published 10:35 pm Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Marengo County Commission unanimously voted yesterday to deny a claim against the county by a Chilton County commissioner who was arrested at a Linden High School football game in October.

Tim Mims and David Mahan, both of Maplesville, were arrested Oct. 2 at the Linden-Maplesville football game near the end of the third quarter. Mims was charged with assault (third degree), while Mahan was charged with public intoxication and disorderly conduct. Witnesses have said that Mims was arrested for coming to the aid of Mahan while he was being arrested.

“I don’t think (Mims or his attorney) ever presented a claim to the county until they filed a lawsuit in the Southern District,” said county attorney Woody Dinning Jr. “There is a lawsuit filed by a Timothy Mims against the sheriff and the county and Officer (Robert) Alston, against the City of Linden and (LPD) Chief (Scott) McClure and Officer (Dexter) Waters and Officer (Demetrius) Marshall.

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Mims was found not guilty on Dec. 1 in Marengo County District Court. According to Mims, police officers from Linden and the Marengo County Sheriff’s Department testified, but no one testified on his behalf, although he had several witnesses ready to do so.

Mims claimed that he was injured during the arrest. Prior to the December hearing, he underwent neck surgery to repair ruptured discs that he said were the result of Linden Police and Marengo County Sheriff’s officers knocking him to the ground and jumping on him.

“I believe that (Mims) was arrested, and I believe that, in Linden Municipal Court, he begged — because of his position — for them to dismiss the case,” Dinning said. “The officers graciously agreed to allow them to dismiss the case. I guess no good deed goes unpunished, because now, he turned right back around and sued us.”

Birmingham attorney Champ Lyons, who Mims has retained in his pursuit of a civil lawsuit against the county and City of Linden, said they would be seeking both punitive and compensatory damages, totaling and unspecified amount.

“We will leave the amount up to the judge and jury to decide,” Lyons said citing the long-lasting effects of the injuries and surgeries Mims sustained during his arrest. “He will never recover from this. He will never be completely well.”

Aside from the injuries, Lyons said he felt their case would show clear and multiple violations of Mims’ rights.

“He was falsely arrested and detained,” he said. “His constitutional rights were violated. He has the right to be free from excessive force, and that was violated.”

A trial date has not yet been set.