Former Sheriff Deputy’s Lawsuit Against Repo Company and Toyota Motor Credit

Adrian, MI – April 25, 2012 – On Monday in Lenawee County Circuit Court, a former sheriff deputy’s lawsuit against a repo man he blames for his firing was scheduled for trial in September next year during a hearing Monday. Toyota Motor Credit was also named claiming the repossession order from Toyota Motor Credit Corp. was improper. If held responsible, TMCC could be held responsible in court. The Repo owners insurance will not defense the claim.

A former sheriff deputy’s lawsuit against a repossession driver he blames for his firing was scheduled for trial in September next year during a hearing Monday in Lenawee County Circuit Court.

The suit filed last year by Daniel Rudd has grown to include claims, cross claims and counter claims among four businesses involved in a botched repossession of Rudd’s pickup at his Tipton-area home on Feb. 8, 2009.

Rudd was found not guilty of a felonious assault charge pressed by repossession driver Matthew Freeman of Monroe County. Lenawee County Circuit Judge Timothy P. Pickard ruled after a December 2009 trial that Rudd acted professionally while Freeman tried to provoke him while recording his own angry tirade on a cellular telephone.

Rudd was still fired from his sergeant position at the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Department for violating department policies during the incident.

According to trial testimony, Rudd ran from his bedroom and pointed a handgun to stop what he thought was an auto theft. He put the gun away when Freeman identified himself and showed Rudd repossession papers. Rudd said he got in his Toyota Tundra to retrieve personal property. He said he put on the brakes when Freeman started to drive away. The pickup came off the tow lift and Freeman left the scene and called 911 to make a complaint against Rudd.

Rudd’s lawsuit claims Freeman acted illegally by “screaming at plaintiff” and continuing to repossess the truck “through continued invocation of offensive language, gestures, threats, intimidations and breaches of the peace.”

The suit also claims a repossession order from Toyota Motor Credit Corp. was improper.

A cross claim by Freeman’s attorney says if that is true, Toyota Motor Credit Corp. should be held responsible for all damages, along with the company that handled the repossession contract. Manheim Tennessee Inc. hired Freeman’s company, Professional Towing & Recovery LLC.

Freeman and Manheim Tennessee are also suing Freeman’s insurance company, Mid-Continent Casualty of Oklahoma, for not providing a defense in the lawsuit. The insurance company responded it does not cover claims for illegal repossession actions and job losses. It’s policy covers only damages from accidents and negligence, it said.

Freeman has denied Rudd’s allegations of breaching the peace and asserted the repossession had already been completed when Rudd confronted him.

Dates for proceeding with the case were set during a hearing Monday before Judge Margaret M.S. Noe. April 1 next year was set as the deadline for attorneys to complete their research. Case evaluation was set for July 2013 and a four-day trial is start on Sept. 10, 2013, if the case is not settled.

The suit filed last year by former sheriff deputy Daniel Rudd has grown to include claims, cross claims and counter claims among four businesses involved in an incident during the repossession of Rudd’s pickup at his home on Feb. 8, 2009.

Rudd was found not guilty of felonious assault charge pressed by repo man Matthew Freeman employed by Professional Towing & Recovery LLC. On an assignment forwarded by Manheim Tennessee Inc. Lenawee County Circuit Judge Timothy P. Pickard ruled after a December 2009 trial that Rudd acted professionally while Freeman tried to provoke him as evidenced by his own recorded angry tirade on a cellular telephone.

Regardless, Rudd was fired from his sergeant position in the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Department for violating department policies during the incident.

According to trial testimony, that day Rudd ran from his bedroom and pointed a handgun to stop what he thought was an auto theft. He put the gun away when Freeman identified himself and showed Rudd repossession papers. Rudd claimed that he got in his Toyota Tundra to retrieve personal property. He testified that he put on the brakes when Freeman started to drive away. The pickup came off the tow lift and Freeman left the scene and called 911 to make a complaint against Rudd.

Rudd’s lawsuit claims Freeman acted illegally by “screaming at plaintiff” and continuing to repossess the truck “through continued invocation of offensive language, gestures, threats, intimidations and breaches of the peace.”

Toyota Motor Credit Corp., who assigned the account through Manheim Tennessee are being named in the suit claiming that the repossession order from was improper.

A cross claim by Freeman’s attorney says if that is true, Toyota Motor Credit Corp. should be held responsible for all damages, along with the company that handled the repossession contract. Manheim Tennessee Inc. hired Freeman’s company, Professional Towing & Recovery LLC.

Freeman and Manheim Tennessee are also suing Freeman’s insurance company, Mid-Continent Casualty of Oklahoma, for not providing a defense in the lawsuit. The insurance company responded it does not cover claims for illegal repossession actions and job losses. It’s policy covers only damages from accidents and negligence.

Freeman has denied Rudd’s allegations of breaching the peace and asserted the repossession had already been completed when Rudd confronted him.

Judge Margaret M.S. Noe set April 1 next year was set as the deadline for attorneys to complete their research and a four-day trial is start on Sept. 10, 2013, if the case is not settled.

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