Calgary police sued for malicious prosecution by man in custody dispute
In the statement of claim, Jacob Hardy alleges there was a conspiracy to charge him with perjury related to the bitter custody dispute.
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CALGARY — A Calgary man whose ex-wife married a police officer is suing the couple along with three other officers and Chief Roger Chaffin, alleging he was the victim of a malicious prosecution that he calls "corrupt and biased."
In a statement of claim, Jacob Hardy alleges there was a conspiracy to charge him with perjury related to the bitter custody dispute he and his ex were having over their now seven-year-old daughter.
The statement of claim says Candace Rumancik, a civilian employee of the police department, and her husband, Const. Joel Rumancik, were trying to have the girl's last name legally changed to Rumancik.
The statement says they were also opposing Hardy's legal attempts to be granted shared custody of his daughter.
The lawsuit contends that Candace Rumancik went to Const. Jason Schneider, a personal friend, and made a false accusation that Hardy had committed perjury.
It alleges Schneider assigned himself the investigation but did not note his personal relationship with the Rumanciks, adding the investigation should have been done "by an unbiased and independent police officer."
None of the allegations have been proven in court and a statement of defence has yet to be filed.
Hardy says Schneider concluded he should be charged and contacted him by phone to arrange for his arrest, but wouldn't talk to Hardy's lawyer.
Hardy says he went to district office to be arrested by appointment but contends Schneider told him he couldn't be immediately released and took him to a processing unit "where it was known Mr. Hardy would be held for multiple hours in custody unnecessarily."
"In speaking with Mr. Hardy at the time of his arrest, Const. Schneider deliberately fumbled Mrs. Rumancik's name to falsely make it appear he did not know how to say her name," says the lawsuit.
After eight hours of imprisonment, Hardy was released on his own recognizance.
The lawsuit says the Crown prosecutor's office reviewed the investigative file and made inquiries into potential conflict of interest before withdrawing the perjury charge against Hardy.
Hardy is seeking an apology, the cost of his legal fees and general, aggravated and punitive damages for pain and suffering, symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, harm to his reputation, loss of liberty while in police cells, cruel and unusual treatment, and violation of his right to privacy.
He also wants the officers to undergo retraining and wants Chaffin to implement updated conflict of interest policies.
Calgary police have declined comment on the lawsuit, which also names Sgt. Doug Crippen, who approved the continued prosecution of the charge against Hardy, and Const. Steven Hopper.