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Attorneys Get More Time to Respond to Duke Lacrosse Suit

Posted November 29, 2007

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— Attorneys in the Duke lacrosse civil rights lawsuit have more time to respond to the complaint filed last month by the three exonerated former Duke students accused of rape.

The response was due in December, but all parties, asked to allow until Jan. 15 for defense filings and then 90 days afterward for the plaintiffs to respond to defense filings. Several of the defendants are expected to file motions to dismiss the suit.

Collin Finnerty, David Evans and Reade Seligmann filed the 155-page complaint in October alleging the city of Durham, former District Attorney Mike Nifong, former police Chief Steve Chalmers and several police detectives and officers conspired to keep a weak case alive.

The three were indicted on first-degree rape, sexual assault and kidnapping following an exotic dancer's allegations. State prosecutors ultimately dismissed the case.

Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann are asking for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, attorney fees and numerous changes in the way the Durham Police Department handles criminal investigations.