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Bartunek v. United States
United States District Court, D. Nebraska
August 29, 2018
GREGORY P. BARTUNEK, Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Richard G. Kopf Senior United States District Judge.
Gregory P. Bartunek, a pretrial detainee at the Hall County
Jail in Grand Island, Nebraska, filed his Complaint (Filing
1) on July 16, 2018. Plaintiff was granted leave to
proceed in forma pauperis on August 1, 2018 (Filing
9), but paid the $350.00 filing fee on August 10,
2018. The court now conducts an initial review
of Plaintiff's Complaint to determine whether summary
dismissal is appropriate under 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2) and 1915A.
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
brings this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action seeking to recover
damages from 29 named Defendants. Six numbered claims are
alleged, which may be summarized as follows:
1. Plaintiff alleges in “Claim I” of the
Complaint (Filing 1, pp. 21-25) that police searched
his residence and seized computer equipment and other
property on May 23, 2016, pursuant to a no-knock search
warrant that was issued based on unreliable information.
Plaintiff alleges that police caused property damage in
conducting the search and further complains that he was
interrogated by police in his home following the search. Five
named Defendants are alleged to have been involved: (1) David
Pecha, an Omaha police officer; (2) Sherly Lohaus, a Judge of
the Douglas County Court; (3) Michelle Peters, an Omaha
Deputy City Attorney; (4) Sarah Lund, a member of the Omaha
Police Forensics Investigation Section; and (5) Brandon
Stigge, a Papillion police officer.
2. Plaintiff asserts three distinct claims in “Claim
II” of the Complaint (Filing 1, pp.
First, Plaintiff alleges he tried unsuccessfully for several
months to have the seized property returned to him, and on
December 30, 2016, filed a civil lawsuit seeking damages and
the return of his property. Two named Defendants are alleged
to have some involvement in this claim: (1) Officer Pecha and
(2) Deputy City Attorney Peters.
Second, Plaintiff alleges he was indicted by a federal grand
jury for possession and distribution of child pornography
based on false testimony. Plaintiff also alleges his
constitutional rights were violated by the filing of charges
in federal court rather than state court. Two named
defendants are alleged to have some involvement in this
claim: (1) Officer Pecha and (2) Mike Norris, an Assistant
United States Attorney. Plaintiff states he was arrested by
U.S. Marshals on February 16, 2017, and incarcerated in the
Douglas County Department of Corrections
Third, Plaintiff complains he was denied release on bail by
United States District Judge Robert Rossiter, Jr. (a named
3. Plaintiff alleges in “Claim III” of the
Complaint (Filing 1, pp. 32-39) that his
constitutional rights have been violated by several named
Defendants, whose actions have caused him to be detained for
an extended period of time:
First, Plaintiff alleges a pretrial services report that was
prepared by Julie Gust, a U.S. Probation and Pretrial
Services Officer, contained incomplete and inaccurate
Second, Plaintiff alleges that although Magistrate Judge
Susan Bazis (who is not named as a Defendant) denied the
government's motion for detention and ordered
Plaintiff's release on February 23, 2017, his release was
delayed when the court was informed that an electronic
monitoring device would not be available for 5 days; that in
the interim, AUSA Norris then filed a motion for review of
the order setting conditions of release; and that on February
28, 2017, Judge Rossiter revoked Judge Bazis' order
despite no new evidence having been presented by AUSA Norris.
Third, Plaintiff alleges he filed a motion to reopen the
detention hearing on October 18, 2017, based on significant
new evidence, but Judge Rossiter denied the motion on
November 8, 2017, without a hearing.
4. Plaintiff alleges in “Claim IV” of the
Complaint (Filing 1, pp. 40-53) that the government
has been dilatory in producing discovery materials, and that
his continued detention has hindered his ability to conduct
discovery and otherwise prepare for trial. Plaintiff further
claims he has ...
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