A plaintiff in a lawsuit against the city of Roanoke Rapids has been given 60 days for him to retain an attorney after terminating his legal relationship with his original lawyer.
United States Magistrate Judge Robert B. Jones Jr. signed the order Thursday, according to documents in the case.
A copy of the order was also mailed to the plaintiff in the case — Daniel W. Jenkins.
Jones extended case deadlines for 60 days which allows the officer time to retain counsel.
The order notes the city has not responded to Jenkins’ original motion requesting more time.
Jenkins filed a notice of self-representation earlier this month and a proposed discovery plan has not been submitted, court documents note.
A discovery conference now must be held no later than May 24.
The latest order in the lawsuit comes as two defendants — former Roanoke Rapids police Chief Chuck Hasty and District Attorney Valerie Asbell — have been dismissed as defendants in the case.
Jenkins fired his original attorney in the case last month.
The heart of the lawsuit goes back to July 28 of 2018 when Jenkins was employed as a canine handler with the Roanoke Rapids Police Department and was called to the scene where a person was stopped for a tail light violation. The driver had a pistol which was within his immediate reach.
Jenkins was called to the scene when the driver asked for a supervisor and, according to the lawsuit, both he and the responding officer who made the traffic stop, after several times of demanding the person exit the vehicle, attempted to remove the individual.
The lawsuit claims after several attempts by the officers a decision was made to deploy the dog, which bit the driver’s ear causing minor injury.
The lawsuit says the next day Hasty, now police chief in Enfield, had an officer review the matter for excessive use of force. That officer’s opinion was that Jenkins’ actions showed no wrongdoing.
The lawsuit claims Hasty chose to ignore the finding and complete a second review.