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A federal court judge in Wilmington today signed an order ending the attorney-client relationship between an officer suing the city of Roanoke Rapids and its police department, according to documents filed in the case.

Chief United States District Richard E. Myers II signed the order which now requires the plaintiff in the case, Daniel W.Jenkins, to either file a notice of self-representation or have a new attorney file a notice of appearance. The order requires this filing to be done within 21 days.

“If Mr. Jenkins fails to comply with this order, he may be subject to sanctions, including, but not limited to dismissal of this action.”

The order also notes “a self-represented party is responsible for being familiar and complying with all applicable rules and pending deadlines in this action.”

The ruling by Myers comes after Jenkins’ attorney, Anthony Cuticchia, filed a notice last week saying he has been terminated.

Jenkins wrote in an email to his former attorney that he appreciated the services but that he found it necessary to seek other counsel.

The action also comes after Myers dismissed former Roanoke Rapids police Chief Chuck Hasty as a defendant in his official capacity last week. Hasty, now police chief in Enfield, was also dismissed as a defendant in his individual capacity.

The civil suit filed on behalf of Jenkins is now headed as Jenkins versus the city and the police department.

At issue in the lawsuit is a July 28, 2018, call which Jenkins responded to as the canine handler for the city police department after a person was stopped for a tail light violation.

The driver had a pistol which was within his immediate reach.

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 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.