A federal judge has granted more time to allow both sides of a lawsuit to gather additional information in a sexual assault case.
On Friday, Judge Abdul Kallon partially approved a joint motion to continue filed by attorneys representing both plaintiff and former Limestone County Sheriff's Investigator Leslie Ramsey as well as attorneys representing defendants Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely and Chief Deputy Fred Sloss.
The motion asked for an extension of both the November 15, 2019, deadline for discovery and a deadline of January 17, 2020, for "all potentially dispositive motions."
Ramsey's attorneys noted that following her termination on September 24, 2019, the event was "under administrative review by the (Limestone County) Commission." They stated in the motion that depending on the outcome of the county commission review Ramsey "intends to seek leave to amend her First Amended Complaint" and stated that "her termination, and the underlying rationale provided by Blakely, presents new issues for discovery that cannot be addressed before the current discovery cutoff."
Attorneys representing Blakely and Sloss stated that because they requested to take over representation for the men on October 3 and the change was approved by Judge Kallon on October 15, "the current discovery deadline would provide them less than 30 days to address any discovery issues."
Both sides requested an extension for "all remaining pre-trial deadlines by 120 days." They stated that they were all fine with the trial still taking place starting on September 7, 2020.
Judge Kallon agreed to a partial extension and granted an continuation of the discovery deadline by 60 days to January 14, 2020, and an extension of the deadline for dispositive motions by 21 days to February 7, 2020.
Background on case
Ramsey originally filed the lawsuit in January 2019. In it, she claimed that Sloss sexually assaulted her and that Blakely punished her for coming forward about it.
At the time, the sheriff's office issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit:
"Sheriff Blakely, Chief Sloss, and the Limestone County Sheriff's Office have always been proactive in their commitment to treating everyone, including our employees, with equal respect and dignity in every way possible. While we are unable to provide a detailed response at this time on advice of counsel, we want to assure the people of Limestone County that our commitment to equality and providing the best workplace environment possible for everyone remains steadfast."