Bylaw suit underway
Claims arrest was unlawful and she suffered injuries

by Chris Meyers Almey
Northern News Services

NNSL (Mar 07/97) - Marina Rosta is seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars from the City of Yellowknife and city constables Scott Hlady and Douglas Gillard.

The lawsuit, launched last June, is over the force used in arresting her for late payment of a $100 fine for failing to appear in court on a traffic ticket in 1995.

Rosta, almost five months pregnant at the time, was arrested one year ago while walking on Borden Drive on her way to a doctor's appointment.

The bylaw officers claim Rosta was resisting arrest so they had to use force.

Rosta is claiming general damages in excess of $200,000, punitive and exemplary damages to be set by the court and legal costs.

The statement of claim says her wrist-watch was broken and Rosta had extensive cuts and bruises on both wrists and forearms, extensive bruising of both legs and arms, and minor injuries to her neck and shoulders.

The claim also seeks damages for (at the time) undetermined complications with her pregnancy and unborn child, pain and suffering and severe emotional distress.

The statement of claim says Rosta suffered severe restriction in the use and mobility of her neck and shoulders and continuing pain and suffering.

The defendants state they had a warrant for her arrest and said Rosta was attempting to avoid arrest and then resisted.

The defendants stated they were only peace officers carrying out a standard arrest and used force no greater than was reasonable in the circumstances.

The bylaw officers deny Rosta suffered any injuries and if she had, it was caused by her unlawful actions of resisting arrest.

Also, if she suffered injuries, it was not caused by any act of omission on their part and any injuries were considered remote and unforeseeable.

Further, the defence states that Rosta failed to mitigate damages to herself by not seeking medical attention quickly.

But Rosta replied in a statement filed with the court that no arrest was made or attempted and that she merely acted so as to defend herself against unlawful battery.

Rosta claims the officers initiated violence by applying force without Rosta's consent, twisting her arms behind her back and slamming her up against the hood of their vehicle and holding her down.

The force was excessive and unnecessary, the statement says.

Also, Rosta says she did seek medical attention for her injuries.