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TRI In The News

Motion to Dismiss Filed in Federal Lawsuit Alleging False Imprisonment

WAYNESBORO, Va (WVIR) - A Waynesboro man claims he was put in a mental hospital against his will because authorities misinterpreted a medical condition. Now a judge will decide whether or not the federal lawsuit he filed against police and health officials in the valley can move forward.

Gordon Goines is suing three Waynesboro police officers for unlawful seizure and false imprisonment. He is also suing the Valley Community Services Board and a clinician who works there, claiming she wasn't licensed when she interviewed him.

The defense has filed a motion for dismissal of the case but The Rutherford Institute, which is representing Goines, has asked the judge to reject the motion.

Goines suffers from cerebellar ataxia which can make it difficult to walk or talk.  He says, in May of last year he was put in a mental hospital against his will because authorities misinterpreted his condition. 

He says he was trying to file a complaint with Waynesboro police about a neighbor stealing his cable and instead found himself handcuffed, taken to Augusta Health's Crossroads Mental Health Center, and held in isolation for six days.

In its motion to dismiss the charges, the defense says that the prescreener was certified, Goines had symptoms of a mental health disorder and made threats to his neighbors.

A hearing is set for March 11 in Harrisonburg.

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