As The City Turns Off Street Lights Due To Lack Of Money, Detroit Defaults On $1.1 Million Lawsuit

The City of Detroit has left whole areas without street lighting and even proposed allowing buildings to burn rather than spend the money on fire fighters. However, the city is now facing a $1.1 million default judgment in a civil rights suit after its attorneys failed to respond to the lawsuit.

Caleb Sosa, 19, filed a discrimination lawsuit alleging that he was coerced at age 14 into signing a confession that he neither read nor understood. He says that he is entirely innocent and spent two years in juvenile detention before he was acquitted at trial. The case was before U.S. Judge Sean Cox.

The city has refused to comment on why it essentially did not show up. It would seem that the citizens of Detroit deserve an answer. If the city saw no defense, why didn’t it negotiate a settlement rather than pay the full demand for damages? Otherwise, this would appear to be negligence. The case has been declared to be a matter of “malpractice” and City Attorney Jane Mills is no longer working for the city.

Sosa was arrested and interrogated at 13 after a murder in 2007. Another surviving witness identified Sosa as the masked gunman.

Source: Detroit News

24 thoughts on “As The City Turns Off Street Lights Due To Lack Of Money, Detroit Defaults On $1.1 Million Lawsuit

  1. I had heard that they had no intention of defending this case and that’s why no one showed up….. If I recall the state is or has taken over the city…. So the ultimate responsibility is going to be born by the state of Michigan …

  2. AY – so if they had no intention of defending themselves why not offer a settlement and save everyone the time? They might have even gotten a lower payout.

    Given how common stories like this kids are, how many people are in prison for crimes they didn’t commit? Often the person is not a model citizen so defending them is not a simple thing but that does not make railroading them acceptable. Even assuming they deserve to be in prison for something they were not charged with the actual criminal is free so its a bad trade-off.

    This really is an area of law that is ignored but deserves to be given a higher priority. But nobody will pay for that will we? People will grudgingly pay too much to keep some one in prison but not a dime to make sure it is the right person.

  3. People. You come you go. As an ancestor of some Iroqouis folks who also immigrated to the Detroit area before the white guys showed up I can feel some solidarity with the folks who have left the place and left it in shambles.
    Some of my favorite sports teams remain there and I like the attitudes of folks who left Detroit but who now live where I now live–those who left Detroit for lack of work, civility, or for warmer winters.

  4. “Another surviving witness identified Sosa as the masked gunman.”

    “Eyewitness Misidentification”

    “Eyewitness misidentification is the single greatest cause of wrongful convictions nationwide, playing a role in nearly 75% of convictions overturned through DNA testing.”


    In September, Cox awarded $1.1 million to the young man and $80,380 to his mother. The case still is pending while lawyers work out a 40-year schedule of payments to Sosa.

    Mills, who now works for a law firm, declined to comment. Crittendon, head of the Detroit law department, declined to say whether Mills quit or was fired. She also declined to discuss how the Sosa case was managed.

    No matter how he won the lawsuit, Sosa hopes the public doesn’t lose sight of his innocence and his time in a juvenile lockup. He said he was repeatedly beaten by inmates much older than him and suffered a dislocated jaw, broken ribs and other injuries.

    His mother, Amparo Hernandez-Sosa, said she often parked her minivan outside the detention center and flashed the headlights to wish her son a good night.

    “I was 14. I was a baby,” Sosa told the AP. “This is a scar inside my head and inside my heart. … I got arrested for a crime I did not commit. They grabbed me and put the blame on me.”

  5. The amazing thing in this story is that Sosa was given a chance to redress his grievance in a court of law. As to the rest of it, all of it is indicative of the society ours now is. As a group of people we have made horrific choices. We have chosen to elect people who will not represent the true interests of the people. We have chosen “safety” over the rule of law and we are getting neither.

    What happened to Sosa is unconscionable and is both tolerated and acceptable to the people of this nation. Obama is even now working out the rules for his illegal killing of both children and adults. People on this blog and many in this nation voted for that killing. What kind of result did you suppose you would get?

    If you vote for the dismantling of the rule of law, for the surveillance state, for the enrichment of the already powerful, this is exactly what you will get. Lights, schools, all social goods will be sacrificed for a militarized society, supposedly to bring you your “safety”. When the president can kill anyone he likes, do you really believe that will not have any effect on the rest of your own society? Giving cart blanche for executive killings will reach down all the way into everyday “law” enforcement.

    What fools these mortals be. So much suffering because of people who want to be safe, who want to feel powerful by association, who are willing to sacrifice others. Detroit is only one of the canaries in the coal mine. I hope someday these truths will matter to people, that life will matter, but as of right now, I see it does not.

  6. Let me ask, were those areas where the lights were turned off and buildings left to burn predominately Black, Latino and/or Poor?

  7. “Turn out the lights the party is over …” according to THE WORLD BANK:

    Humans must immediately implement a series of radical measures to halt carbon emissions or prepare for the collapse of entire ecosystems and the displacement, suffering and death of hundreds of millions of the globe’s inhabitants, according to a report commissioned by the World Bank. The continued failure to respond aggressively to climate change, the report warns, will mean that the planet will inevitably warm by at least 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, ushering in an apocalypse.

    (Stand Still for the Apocalypse).

    I think I will quote a commie: “One death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.” – Joseph Stalin

  8. OTOTOTOT—-Big War is costing us electricity for Detroit

    Those who are SF fans or have war nightmares will now have one confirmed. The robot war is just around the corner, see link above.

    DoD has it all planned out. The impetus now comes from the number of analysts needed to prepp a UAV drone mission for today’s ca 17, to over 2,000 (their calcs.)

    It is full of the usual caveats, etc. But the new systems will insure further trillion dollar profits for Boeing, GE, etc. Now the UAV is gonna run by itself, without human guidance. All on its own. Cool.

    I wonder if the stock investors will get a head count with each dividend payout?

    Oh well, you say, our soldiers won’t bleed. True, but we will, and our charter school kids will too, like grandma and your cancer sick sister. Figure out where you think your taxes should go.

  9. Cities, towns, states and the federal government are cutting basic services to people so that they can keep giving benefits to their contractor and other corporate cronies. Teachers are getting slammed in NYC but billionaires who can pay $100 million for an apartment are getting large real estate tax breaks. Normally the real estate taxes on a $100 million unit would be @ 236,000 and change but these billionaires, yes billionaires, are paying 23,600 and change. Kids cannot have teachers or lunches but billionaires get tax breaks. Thank you Mayor Billionaire, I mean Bloomberg. That is the state, the sorry state , of our country.

  10. Maybe it was easier politically to ignore the issue and receive a default judgement than go to trial or answer interrogatories and heads roll afterward.
    Then they can blame some low level clerk for not sending out the response notice and that person can be the scape goat.

    We had a case here were a large default judgement was entered against the state which alleged a clerical error led to the deadline being missed. The superiour court judge ruled against the state by default. The state filed an appeal and lost that as well.

  11. OTOTOTOT Soon we will be history….

    Remember, you older ones, when a telephone was black, make of bakelite and the cord went into the wall in the hall?
    And the only things in your pocket were a cigarette pack and a Ronson lighter if you were cool.

    Now you little service fixer is apping you to death.

    FROM Craft beer reconnaisance:

    Having a Beer With a Smartphone| The increasing accessibility of craft ales and lagers has been accompanied by the creation of dozens of related apps, which can help you discover good beer and where to get it.

    TO Prostitute shopping:

    What do you bet that when checking into the Waldorf Astaoria, or its substiture where you are, that if you ask for their recommendation for services for men that they won’t hand over an anonymous card with a site where you can purchase an app, Useable nationwide.

    The girls in India have solved it their way.

    “Cellphones Reshape Prostitution in India, and Complicate Efforts to Prevent AIDS| One result of the spread of cellphones in India is that more prostitutes have become independent of brothels, a development that has made AIDS prevention harder.”

    PS Does Google offer an app search service yet?

  12. OTOTOTOT but always universal……

    Let me departing to bed, leave this with you. I liked it.


    “The attitudes and thought habits characteristic of the learning tradition are as evident in the street and market place as the yeshiva. The popular picture of the Jew in Eastern Europe, held by Jew and Gentile alike, is true to the Talmudic tradition. The picture includes the tendency to examine, analyze and re-analyze, to seek meanings behind meanings and for implications and secondary consequences. It includes also a dependence on deductive logic as a basis for practical conclusions and actions. In life, as in the Torah, it is assumed that everything has deeper and secondary meanings, which must be probed. All subjects have implications and ramifications. Moreover, the person who makes a statement must have a reason, and this too must be probed. Often a comment will evoke an answer to the assumed reason behind it or to the meaning believed to lie beneath it, or to the remote consequences to which it leads. The process that produces such a response—often with lightning speed—is a modest reproduction of the pilpul process.[2]

    Not only did the Jews of the shtetl speak a unique language (Yiddish), but they also had a unique rhetorical style, rooted in traditions of Talmudic learning:

    In keeping with his own conception of contradictory reality, the man of the shtetl is noted both for volubility and for laconic, allusive speech. Both pictures are true, and both are characteristic of the yeshiva as well as the market places. When the scholar converses with his intellectual peers, incomplete sentences, a hint, a gesture, may replace a whole paragraph. The listener is expected to understand the full meaning on the basis of a word or even a sound… Such a conversation, prolonged and animated, may be as incomprehensible to the uninitiated as if the excited discussants were talking in tongues. The same verbal economy may be found in domestic or business circles.[2]”

    PS Ever notice that your doctors talk the same way when looking at your ECG?

    Good night.

  13. Isn’t it always easier for the city attorneys to let the city pay these civil cases than to fight them? I mean what are they there for except to recieve their paychecks

  14. Bruce,

    (Day after)
    Exactly why they are there. Although TonyC, whom I respect at times for both his thought and propaganda, believes ´that they are there to perform a service to the community, and are only nobly motivated, hardworking servants of the public. NOTE: HEAVY DOSE OF SARCASM. No ill-will intenced. Only a little ball-busting as NickS calls it. ;-)

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