Tracie Hunter files civil rights suit against county leaders

Tracie Hunter files civil rights suit against county leaders

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Suspended Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Tracie Hunter filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Tuesday against multiple Hamilton County leaders and attorneys.

The 20 defendants in the suit include the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners, Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge John Williams, Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Curt Kissinger, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters, and Hamilton Judge Norbert Nadel.

The suit claims Hunter's civil rights were violated when she was subjected to different standards "than her predecessors or other white judges."

"It would be inappropriate for me to comment at this time. This is an ongoing legal procedure that our legal representatives in the Prosecutor's Office will address."  Commissioner Chris Monzel commented.

Several workers at the Hamilton County juvenile court are also named in the lawsuit.

"She sued virtually every elected official in the county just about," said FOX19 NOW legal analyst Mike Allen.  "The interesting thing about the lawsuit is she filed it pro se, which means that a lawyer is not representing her in this case.  I think that speaks volumes that no lawyer wanted to put their name on that lawsuit."

In the 53-page suit, Hunter makes allegations of civil rights violations, breach of contract, defamation, negligent infliction of emotional distress, malicious prosecution, retaliation, unlawful discrimination, violation of the Fourth and Sixth Amendments, hostile work environment among others.

Hunter claims she "was deprived of clearly established rights secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States."

She also says in the suit, as it pertains to unlawful discrimination, that she was "treated differently in the terms, conditions and privileges of her employment and/or elected position than every white judge before her."

Hunter is seeking a jury trial and damages, as well as costs associated with this action and attorney fees, and more.

"I think if anybody believes that this woman doesn't need professional help, they need to read the lawsuit," Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters told FOX19 NOW over the phone on Wednesday.  "This is one of the most outrageous lawsuits I've ever seen filed."

In an effort to reach Hunter, a phone number listed on the lawsuit rang to a local church.  Her address is listed as P.O. Box on the signed lawsuit.

Hunter was suspended as a juvenile court judge after her 2014 indictment on nine charges. In October, a jury found Hunter guilty of having an unlawful interest in a public contract.

Retired Judge Norbert Nadel, who is named in Hunter's suit, presided over that trial. The lawsuit claims Nadel allowed the media and prosecutors "to publicly abuse, dehumanize, terrorize and victimize Judge Hunter during courtroom proceedings" during her five-week trial last year.

Hunter is accusing Prosecutor Joe Deters of failing to answer lawsuits filed against her.

"They knew that the answers would have proven that the writs were fraudulently and frivolously filed against Hunter and would have been dismissed," documents state.

"If anyone doesn't believe this woman needs professional help, all they need to do is read this lawsuit," Deters commented.

FOX19 NOW has reached out to Hunter for comment.

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