Article from http://www.dawsonnews.com/section/5/article/16386/
A couple arrested for interference of child custody in 2014 is seeking a sizable retribution from the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office after the charges were dismissed.
Snellville-based attorney Michael Puglise said his clients, Matt and Lindsay Pippin, would settle the claim for $1 million.
“Mr. and Mrs. Pippin have suffered emotionally, physically and mentally from the violations of their civil rights due to the Dawson County Sheriff’s [Office],” Puglise wrote in a letter addressed to Sheriff Billy Carlisle and the Dawson County Board of Commissioners.
The Pippins were each charged with interference with child custody-interstate in connection with taking their 5-year-old daughter from her maternal grandmother’s home in Dawson County and across state lines “between the dates of April 1 and 7, 2014,” according to the arrest warrants.
The grandmother, Susan “Jill” Chamberlain, of Dawsonville, at the time had a temporary guardianship agreement that had been signed Jan. 17, 2013 by Dawson County Probate Judge Jennifer Burt, which according to the sheriff’s office report prompted the investigation and subsequent arrests.
Puglise said the couple’s arrest was “without probable cause and illegal under both state and federal law.”
Incident narratives by officers working the case in Dawsonville indicate the Pippins reportedly had a signed petition filed in Florida that showed they were trying to re-obtain custody of the child.
The document was presented to the Florida officer asked to do a welfare check on the child by Dawson County deputies.
Arrest warrents were sworn out by Dawson County Investigator Christopher Carpenter, for the couple, on April 9, 2014.
“Their seizure was done purposefully, intentionally and was malicious in nature without legal authority,” Puglise wrote. “The Pippins had every legal authority to do so. The criminal charges levied against the Pippins were administratively dismissed.”
Carlisle said he could not comment on the pending litigation.
“I can’t say anything other than it has been turned over to our insurance carrier for them to handle,” he said. “We are turning everything in our case file over to them so they can prepare to defend the case.”
Calls to Puglise’s office for additional comment were not immediately returned.