Convicted child molester Martin Anthony Eck has asked a U. S. District Court judge to give him more time to file court papers explaining why his lawsuit against Jasper County Sheriff Archie Dunn and Jasper County commissioners should continue.
On June 20, Judge Richard E. Dorr gave Eck 20 days to show him why the lawsuit should not be dismissed. Eck's response was filed today, 11 days past the deadline.
In his handwritten letter, Eck said, "I would like to request a extension on time because I need adequate time to prepare my response and am only able to go to the law library two times a week to review the cases named by the defendant. I would like another 30 days to prepare." Eck is in the Jefferson City Correctional Center.
Naturally, Jasper County officials do not want the judge to give Eck the 30 days. The county officials' lawyer, Peter Lee of the Springfield law firm of Lathrop & Gage, said Eck has already had "adequate time" to prepare his response, since he had 30 days between the time the motion to dismiss was filed and the deadline imposed by Judge Dorr.
Lee says his clients are willing to give Eck 10 additional days, saying that would be "fair, reasonable and allow plaintiff adequate time to prepare his response."
Eck is suing the county officials for $10 million, saying he did not receive adequate dental care while he was in the Jasper County Jail awaiting trial on the child molestation charges.