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Jun 1, 2011 10:11 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Kabot's Attorney Says Lawsuit Will Be Filed Soon

Jun 1, 2011 12:47 PM

The attorney representing former Southampton Town Supervisor Linda Kabot, who filed a notice of claim against Westhampton Beach Village last month charging that Village Police violated her rights when they arrested her for DWI in 2009, said this week that he will file the actual lawsuit later this month.

John Ray, the Miller Place attorney representing Ms. Kabot, said on Tuesday—28 days after serving the notice, a precursor to a lawsuit, to both the village and members of the Westhampton Beach Police Department—that he has not filed the lawsuit because he is still waiting to hear if the village will request his client’s presence for a pre-action hearing on the claim.

According to state law, the village has 30 days from the filing of a notice—or until today, Thursday, June 2—to make such a request. If the village does not respond, Ms. Kabot can commence her lawsuit immediately.

Westhampton Beach Mayor Conrad Teller said on Tuesday that he was still waiting to hear back from the village’s insurance carrier—New York Municipal Reciprocal Insurance—on what the village’s next move should be.

The pre-action hearing, known as a 50(h) hearing, would allow the attorney representing the village in the case, yet to be chosen by the village’s insurance firm, to ask Ms. Kabot pre-trial testimony questions that could be used in court.

While Mr. Ray said he wanted to give the village a fair amount of time to respond, he said he is now planning to file the lawsuit sometime after Wednesday, June 8, by which time 35 days will have passed since the filing of the claim. “We will have it filed within a reasonable amount of time,” Mr. Ray said of the lawsuit.

In previous interviews, Mr. Ray said Ms. Kabot’s civil rights were violated on Labor Day 2009 when Village Police pulled her over on Main Street and arrested her for DWI after conducting several sobriety field tests. He also said that his client will seek “considerable monetary damages,” though he declined to offer an amount. Ms. Kabot was acquitted of DWI, and two other charges, following a trial in Riverhead in February. She was only found guilty of running a stop sign prior to being pulled over.

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