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Armstrong city attorney seeks 106 depositions

Thul seeks to depose residents who signed petition and other witnesses

August 23, 2017
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

ARMSTRONG?- Armstrong City Attorney Brian W. Thul is the attorney for city council members Rhett Hiney, Dan Moore and Patty Thackery. A petition filed by residents of Armstrong seeks to have the three council members removed. The case is moving toward trial, though no trial date has yet been set.

In preparation for trial, Thul requests a court order requiring the State of Iowa, represented by the Emmet County Attorney's office, to schedule depositions for the 106 people who signed the petition, in order to determine if they have legitimate reasons for signing, or if the matter is, "all for political sabotage of the three (3) council members and a frivolous lawsuit," according to Thul's Application.

A deposition is an interview of a party to a case or a witness by an attorney, with representation for both sides present as well as a stenographer or court reporter, who will provide a transcription, which will be filed in the court record.

According to Black's Law Dictionary, besides giving the attorney conducting the questioning of a witness the opportunity to hear what the individual will say if called as a witness at trial, depositions also preserve and memorialize the testimony of a witness. The transcript is used in court if it's needed to impeach a witness: if testimony given in court conflicts with what was said at the deposition, an attorney could use it to show a witness is lying.

It could also be used in the death or absence of a witness, or to refresh the memory of a witness, if the witness is unsure of his or her recollection of events.

Those called for a deposition testify under oath, but the deposition is held away from the courthouse, in an attorney's office or other private location.

Thul asserted that denying the request "would be infringement upon the Defendants basic rights and would be a cause for mistrial."

Judge David Lester has been assigned as the trial judge.



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