The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

March 9, 2014

Lawyer claims defamation by Sleepy Eye police, newspaper

Lawsuit filed against Sleepy Eye, police, newspaper


Finally, Kotten claims Bauer maliciously submitted him to detox. He claims Bauer violated Minnesota statutes that require officers to not submit people to detox while in uniform or a marked vehicle.

Similarly, Kotten claims abuse of process in the lawsuit. He alleges that Chief Schueller and Bauer intentionally fabricated reports to harass him, which resulted in financial hardship.

Kotten also alleges the vehicle he was driving was illegally seized. He is seeking compensation for the fees paid to recover the vehicle. He claims the fee should have been waived after the fleeing a police officer charge was dropped.

Lastly, he claims the incident caused him to suffer from severe emotional distress, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, loss of appetite and excessive sweating.

Police respond

In their Feb. 18 filing, the Sleepy Eye police officers denied Kotten's claims and maintained the disputed details of the criminal complaint are accurate.

They admitted Bauer was wearing the microphone and he was aware it periodically malfunctions. They denied Kotten's other statements.

Regarding the vehicle seizure, they noted a judge found sufficient cause for the initial charges and that Charles Kotten paid the fees.

The officers filed the following affirmative defenses: They acted in good faith. They did not directly cause Kotten any loss. They are legally protected during official duties. They assert Kotten's claims are false. They assert Kotten carries the most blame for any issues.

The Sleepy Eye Herald-Dispatch has not yet filed a legal response to Kotten's lawsuit. The newspaper's legal representative declined to comment.

A court date has not been set yet for the lawsuit.

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