Not only did Kevin Hall win a lawsuit over a wrongful stop by Corvallis Police Officer James Dodge, he did it representing himself in court.
U.S. District Judge Michael McShane issued an opinion in September that Dodge didn’t have the required reasonable suspicion to detain Hall.
Both sides agree, according to court documents, that when Hall noticed Dodge exit his patrol vehicle, he asked if he was being detained. The officer replied no, but said he’d like to speak to Hall. Hall ignored Dodge’s questions and asked again if he was being detained. That time, Dodge replied yes. Hall remained silent as Dodge patted him down and asked him questions such as where he lived and whether he had identification on him.
Court documents indicate that the officer was suspicious of Hall because he was openly carrying a gun in a high-crime area along the railroad tracks, wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt covering his head, behaving and moving suspiciously and refusing to answer his questions. Hall’s residence and mailbox were on a short section of Sixth Street, near D Avenue, which borders the railroad tracks. It is unpaved and dead-ends before it reaches C Avenue.
The officer said he had reasonable suspicion that Hall had been trespassing on railroad property.
Judge McShane disagreed.