Attorney's claim against Las Vegas police officer settled


Metropolitan Police Department officials have reached a tentative settlement with a criminal defense lawyer who claims a Las Vegas police officer violated her civil rights three years ago.

According to federal court records, attorney Kristina Wildeveld stands to receive $125,000 if the Metropolitan Police Committee on Fiscal Affairs approves the agreement at its Monday meeting. If approved, the department will submit a check to Wildeveld within two weeks.

Wildeveld sued the department and officer Richard Dean Goslar in June 2010. She was represented by attorneys Cal Potter III and John Funk.

According to the complaint, Wildeveld was on her way to court when Goslar, who was on a motorcycle, stopped her vehicle outside the Regional Justice Center on Oct. 13, 2008.

Goslar believed Wildeveld was going to make a U-turn at Clark and Third streets but stopped her before she made the turn, according to the document. The lawsuit claims he then confronted Wildeveld, grabbed her and injured her shoulder.

"Officer Goslar issued the plaintiff a citation knowing full well that she had not committed a traffic offense and made the plaintiff go to trial on a matter because he did not like her attitude," the lawsuit alleges. "Ultimately the citation was dismissed in the plaintiff's favor."

The document claims Wildeveld's shoulder injury required medical treatment "in excess" of $10,000. She "had not physically resisted or assaulted the defendant in any way, and the force used against her was unnecessary, unreasonable and excessive," according to the lawsuit.

Wildeveld's complaint further alleges that Goslar had no probable cause for citing her "and was outside of his jurisdictional boundaries." She sought more than $1 million in damages.

According to the defendants' answer to Wildeveld's complaint, "The arrest and imprisonment of the plaintiff, if any, was completely justified under the circumstances alleged and was perfected pursuant to probable cause and reasonable cause in believing the plaintiff had committed a criminal act."

The document also claims officers used a "reasonable degree of force" and that any damage suffered by Wildeveld "was a direct and proximate result of her own misconduct and actions."

Wildeveld has handled multiple murder cases over the years. In 2009, she represented the mother of a 3-year-old boy who was attacked by a python that escaped from its cage in the family's apartment. The boy survived, but the parents faced child abuse charges.

According to the State Bar of Nevada website, Wildeveld has been licensed to practice law in Nevada since 1996.

Contact reporter Carri Geer Thevenot at cgeer@reviewjournal.com or 702-384-8710.

 

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