Constable Rosen removed from sexual harassment lawsuit

Good news for him, but the suit continues.

Constable Alan Rosen

Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen has prevailed in a legal effort to be removed from a lawsuit accusing department supervisors of sexual misconduct against female subordinates in an undercover anti-prostitution unit.

In a five-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt on Monday ruled Rosen could not be personally sued for the misconduct allegations that several current and former deputies and another employee had made about conduct within the unit. Plaintiffs can continue to pursue their lawsuit against Harris County and Assistant Chief Deputy Chris Gore and Lt. Shane Rigdon, the judge ruled.

Hoyt explained his ruling by saying he’d concluded that the plaintiffs’ allegations against Gore and Rigdon were “enough to raise a right to relief” but that the plaintiffs had not made any claims that would support Rosen’s individual liability under civil rights law.

Rosen touted the ruling in a news release in which he said he had “full faith in the Court’s review” of the motion.

“I thank the court for its considered review of the law as it pertains the motion to dismiss me from this matter,” he said, “and for granting that dismissal such that my full focus can remain on the needs of the residents of Precinct 1.”

Lawyers for the female deputies said they were undeterred, pointing to Hoyt’s decision to allow the suit to proceed against Harris County and against Gore and Rigdon.

“While Alan Rosen has been able to protect his personal financial interests, his conduct is still very much a part of the lawsuit,” attorneys Cordt Akers and Bill Ogden said, in a written statement.

See here, here, here, and here for the background. You can see a copy of the ruling in the story. While this is good news for Constable Rosen personally, the lawsuit is still active – this was a motion to dismiss, and it was denied for the other two defendants. For that reason, ignore this:

Rosen attorney Ben Hall said Wednesday that his client “should never have been in the lawsuit in the first place.”

He said believed Rosen was added to the lawsuit to tarnish his political viability.

“I think the fact the judge dispensed (with this matter) so quickly will at least remove this stain,” Hall said, “So he can move down the road. And if it is his fate to be sheriff, I think he’d be a fabulous sheriff.”

Sorry, but this still happened on his watch. He may not be legally liable for damages, but he’s still responsible. Maybe if the remaining defendants are cleared we can talk about his future ambitions, but until then let’s cool our jets. This is far from over.

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One Response to Constable Rosen removed from sexual harassment lawsuit

  1. Kibitzer Curiae says:

    When law enforcement raises the crime rate for “fun”

    All the order on the motion to dismiss says regarding Alan Rosen is that the plaintiffs have not made out an actionable claim under Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act against him i.e. that the requirements for relief under that statute have not been met. That’s hardly a vindication, and it’s in bad taste for Rosen to celebrate this decision with a press release. Or to the thank the judge, for that matter.

    Note also that there is no actual analysis of the facutal allegations to support the judge’s conclusion under the applicable law and standards, which is regrettable because that leaves open the opportunity for the beneficiary of the ruling to misrepresent it as a vindication. And it might even create such impression for the lay public by default.

    “However, the Court determines that the plaintiffs allege no facts that, if true, would support Rosen’s individual liability under Section 1983. Accordingly, the plaintiffs claims against defendant Rosen, individually, must be dismissed.”

    Based on the recitation of the facts in the rather short order alone, what happened here is reprehensible and Rosen would richly deserve having his reputation tarnished as head honcho in charge. At this stage of the case however, the facts are as alleged in the complaint only. They are assumed to be true for purposes of deciding the motion to dismiss. They still have to be proven with evidence at a trial, and it is possible that inaccuracies and material omissions may come to light as the case against the remaining defendants moves forward.

    A free outside-PACER copy can be found here:

    CASE INFO: Gomez v. Harris County and Alan Rosen, et al, Civil Action 4:21-CV-01698 (SD Tex Aug, 30, 2021)(order on defendants’ Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss).

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