Princess Anne, MD – On Monday, January 9, 2023, the Princess Anne Police Department was notified that the case filed by Mr. Don Hanna, a Princess Anne, Maryland resident, gainst the Town of Princess Anne, has been dismissed with prejudice.
Hanna, the plaintiff in the lawsuit, named the Town of Princess Anne, the Princess Anne Police Department, PAPD Lt. Robert Smith, and PAPD Ofc. Chad Savage as defendants in Civil Action Case No. 1:22-EV-02260-RDB. United States District Judge Richard D. Bennett issued the order to be dismissed, which states, “Pursuant to the stipulation of the parties under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure, IT IS HEREBY: ORDERED that this action be and is hereby, DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE as to all claims, causes of action, and parties, with each party bearing that party’s own attorney’s fees and costs. The Clerk is directed to close the file.”
The dismissal with prejudice order means Hanna’s claims can never be brought before the court again, eliminating the possibility for any prospective and future cases stemming from this incident. The motion to dismiss was initiated by the plaintiff’s counsel without explanation. The case closed with all parties in agreement, an acknowledgment that there was not sufficient merit to the case to proceed.
“The dismissal of the lawsuit, at the request of the plaintiff, shows that the efforts of the Princess Anne Police Department to maintain policies and procedures, hire and retain competent police officers, provide them with necessary equipment and training are necessary and working. They protect the town and the department from litigation by holding officers accountable and, in turn, protect the citizens from excessive or unnecessary enforcement. After diligently investigating the facts, the plaintiff’s attorney requested that the case be dismissed.
The Princess Anne Police Department is proud to and will continue to provide protection and service to the residents of Princess Anne,” said Chief Robert Wink. Defendant Lt. Robert Smith, a 17-year veteran of the Princess Anne Police Department, added, this is the type of situation, I fear, many honorable officers will face in today’s climate, where people rush to opinion without knowing the facts.”
The initial incident cited in the case occurred on June 2, 2020. The lawsuit was filed on September 8, 2022. That same day, the plaintiff’s counsel announced the suit at a press conference conducted in front of Princess Anne’s Town Hall. Town officials, including Town Manager Clayton Anderson and the Princess Anne Police Department, reserved comment, allowing a thorough review of the evidence.
Footage from body cameras showed evidence of Lt. Smith and Ofc. Savage exercised restraint and compassion throughout the incident. The officers and the Princess Anne Police Department were confident that they acted well within the parameters of policy and procedure.
Chief Wink indicated that he had the utmost confidence the case would be dismissed. Lt. Smith continued, “we appreciate the support from the community – including those who didn’t jump to conclusions and allowed the investigation to proceed to just conclusion.”