Appeal upheld in suit against Somers

By DANIEL HERATY
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN – Due to a technical error, an appeal by a district court judge will go forward.

Third Circuit Court judges Karen Hood, Mark Cavanaugh and Michael Kelly ruled Oct. 12 that an appeal filed by 19th District Court Judge Mark Somers following a decision in a 2008 lawsuit against him by former District Court probation officer Simone Calvas could proceed.

The appeal, filed on July 8 by attorneys from the Michigan Attorney General’s Office who represented Somers, was dismissed in September by Michigan Court of Appeals Chief Judge William Murphy after the necessary paperwork
was filed with the wrong date by the court clerk. According to court documents, the clerk did not file the motion until July 13, exceeding the time allowed for the appeal to be heard.

In the civil suit heard by Third Circuit Court Judge Jeanne Stempien in June, Calvas claimed that Somers did not follow the court’s practice of progressive discipline and fired her without just cause. A jury sided with Calvas and awarded her more than $400,000 in lost wages and benefits.

In an email, officials at the attorney general’s office said they could not comment due to the ongoing litigation.

(Daniel Heraty can be reached at dheraty@bewickpublications.com.)

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