Nation of Islam leader sanctioned by judge
July 19, 2006
Hammond, Indiana — Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has been ordered by a federal magistrate to pay $4,052 in legal fees for a couple suing his son for his role in a traffic accident three years ago.
U.S. District Magistrate Andrew Rodovich ruled Friday that Farrakhan’s lawyers had made excessive motions and used delaying tactics.
“The courts are very busy and don’t have time for motions that don’t have at least some merit,” said Michael Back, attorney for Gladys and Charles Peterson of Gary.
The Petersons sought $5,091 in legal costs. They filed a lawsuit in 2003 against Farrakhan and his son, Nasir Farrakhan.
The younger Farrakhan was arrested in May 2003 after a highway crash in LaPorte County, about 15 miles east of Gary. State police said Farrakhan was driving east when the Hummer struck the rear of a car driven by Charles Peterson. In June 2004, Nasir Farrakhan pleaded guilty to criminal recklessness.
The Peterson’s claim in the lawsuit that they suffered physical injuries and property loss and incurred medical bills as a result of the crash.
The Peterson’s also sued Farrakhan’s father, the legal owner of the SUV. Farrakhan said he banned his son, who is 47, from driving the Hummer because Nasir Farrakhan’s driver’s license had been suspended for numerous speeding tickets.
Last month, the minister was removed from the lawsuit because the federal court for the Northern District of Indiana did not have jurisdiction over him. Back said the Peterson’s intend to refile the case against the minister in Illinois.
The Associated Press left a message seeking comment Tuesday for Farrakhan’s attorney, Christopher J. Grabarek, and at Nation of Islam’s headquarters in Chicago.