- The second of two civil lawsuits Ed "NJ Weedman" Forchion has filed against Trenton police and the county proescutor's office has been moved to federal court, according to court documents.
In the suit, which Forchion filed in Mercer County Superior Court earlier this year, the man known as NJWeedman claims city police and Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri violated his civil rights when officers from both agencies raided his eatery and "weed temple," in April.
Forchion said in the suit that he was unlawfully arrested and he accused the police of not properly training their officers.
"In a civil rights lawsuit, you're relying on the Constitution," Heyburn said, adding that it's a plaintiff's constitutional right to have their civil rights case heard in federal court.
- first suit was filed in federal court in March – prior to the raid – in which Forchion took issue with the police department for an incident in February. He claimed in the first lawsuit that the department lied about a "street fight" outside of his establishment, and that he has the video surveillance to prove it.
He also claimed that ever since the February incident, police have been unfairly shutting down his establishment at 11 p.m., in accordance with a city ordinance.
But the raid then led to the second suit, in which Forchion blamed Onofri and police for holding the raid just to get his camera equipment and for violating his civil rights.
In addition, Forchion said his establishment was in a business district and could close at 2 a.m., not 11 p.m., as police have been claiming.
For Heyburn, the decision to move the second lawsuit to federal court provides another opportunity.
Now that both suits are being tried in federal court, Heyburn said he plans to file to amend both suits and to merge the two. That motion should be filed in December, Heyburn said.