Tamara Greene’s lawyer fights efforts to dismiss slain stripper’s case

A lawyer for the family of a slain stripper said to have danced at a rumored wild party at the Manoogian Mansion filed an extensive legal response late Wednesday to counter efforts to dismiss his lawsuit against the City of Detroit and ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Birmingham lawyer Norman Yatooma filed the paper work electronically — and under seal — as required by U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen. Yatooma’s staff worked through the night electronically filing 98 attachments to the legal brief. Those, too, were filed under seal.

Yatooma said Thursday that he asked Rosen to unseal the documents, noting that in September, city attorney John Schapka inadvertently — and briefly — filed his dismissal request on the public docket.

The Free Press downloaded a copy of Schapka’s document during the five-minute period it was publicly available on the court’s electronic docket and wrote a detailed story about it.

Yatooma said it is only fair that his documents be unsealed. “The city ‘accidentally’ made their filing public, and it’s improper for the public to only see one side — especially when it’s the wrong side,” Yatooma said.

He represents the family of Tamara Greene, 27, of Detroit, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in April 2003, some six months after the long-rumored, but never proved, party. Carlita Kilpatrick, wife of Kwame Kilpatrick, supposedly assaulted Greene at the party, according to the rumor.

Greene’s family sued the city and the former mayor, charging that they sabotaged Greene’s investigation to prevent her killers from being caught. The city and Kwame Kilpatrick have denied the allegations.

Rosen will review the documents and decide whether all or part of them should be made public. It’s unclear when that might occur.

The Free Press filed court papers Thursday asking Rosen to unseal Yatooma’s documents, saying the public has a right to hear the other side of the story.


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