Dismissal of sexual harrassment suit reversed
An appellate court judge has reversed the dismissal of a sexual harassment lawsuit against Nevada County Superior Court filed in 2004 by a woman who said the court’s law librarian sent her sexually explicit mail.
The anonymous Chicago Park woman alleged she received “obscene, sexually harassing mail” from former court librarian Lucifer Mellado during a three-month period.
The woman had been researching family law in the court’s library from February through August 2003 and sought Mellado’s help in a legal case.
During this time, the suit alleges, the woman “suffered from medical conditions and/or disabilities which resulted in her being terrified, upset and vulnerable by, and to, misconduct by males.”
When she confronted Mellado, he admitted sending the letters, according to court records.
“(Mellado) confessed to the court executive officer, and he was reprimanded,” Assistant CEO Mike Glisson said Wednesday. “There was internal disciplinary action.”
The woman filed a lawsuit naming the Nevada County Superior Court, Mellado and CEO Sean Metroka as defendants.
Mellado quit his job after the lawsuit was filed. The lawsuit most likely helped him in that decision, Glisson said.
In the lawsuit, the woman alleged she was the victim of violence or intimidation based upon sex; sexual harassment; negligent hiring, training, supervising and retaining of Mellado; and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
A judge from another county was brought in to hear the case, which he dismissed, according to court records.
The woman filed an appeal with the Third Appellate District Court, saying the court abused its discretion by failing to allow her time to amend her complaint by attaching 11 pieces of mail.
The appellate court judge reversed the dismissal in regards to one of the woman’s causes of action – negligent hiring, training, supervising and retaining of Mellado.
The woman now has the option to continue pursuing the suit based on this one cause of action, Glisson said.
Nevada County Superior Court received notice of the reversal Wednesday, according to court personnel, although no further paperwork has been filed by the woman’s attorney.
To contact Staff Writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4236.
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