RCMP Const. Karen Katz sues force's process server
Suit claims Norman Hofmann made up stories during attempt to get inside her apartment building
An RCMP officer in Kamloops, B.C., who is suing the force for harassment and abuse has now filed a lawsuit against a man who tried to serve her with legal documents from the force.
Const. Karen Katz filed a notice of civil claim Wednesday, alleging Norman Hofmann defamed her and then damaged her reputation again in a written report to the RCMP.
The document filed with B.C. Supreme Court alleges Hofmann was attempting to get inside the apartment building where Katz lived in February 2013, in order to serve her documents from the force while she was on sick leave.
According to the claim Katz submitted, Hofmann didn't tell the building manager that he was actually there in order to serve her with legal documents, and instead identified himself as a private investigator. Hofmann then allegedly asked the building manager if he could access the parkade to inspect Katz's vehicle because it was involved in a hit and run.
You don't accuse me of a crime I didn't commit, and, you know, this is my personal reputation you are talking about...- RCMP Const. Karen Katz
The document also alleges Hofmann returned in March, where he again tried to convince the building manager to let him in — this time by flashing a letter with an RCMP letterhead. The building manager allegedly told Hofmann that he could get in, but only if he returned with a warrant.
Katz said in an interview that Hofmann was trying to serve her with documents notifying her that the RCMP intended to discharge her. She said the force mailed those papers to her in July.
"I am livid," Katz said. "You don't accuse me of a crime I didn't commit, and, you know, this is my personal reputation you are talking about, and this is my community where I live ... and you don't fabricate a crime."
The court document says Hofmann's hit-and-run comment to the building manager meant Katz had fled the scene of an accident in which she was involved, was hiding material evidence and interfering with a police investigation, had committed a crime, and was unfit to be a constable in the RCMP.
The notice of civil claim also alleges Hofmann told the force in March 2013 that Katz was avoiding being served with legal documents and had advised other residents not to allow anyone trying to do so into the building. It says comments in the written report he submitted to the force meant she was unfit to be a constable, was deceitful, was not to be trusted and was of questionable character.
"As a result of the wrongful conduct of the defendant in defaming, slandering and/or libelling the plaintiff, the plaintiff has been brought into public criticism, odium and contempt, particularly within the RCMP and the building in which she resides," the notice of civil claim says.
"As a result of the wrongful conduct of the defendant, the plaintiff has been humiliated, deeply embarrassed, has suffered emotional distress and has suffered loss and damage and will continue to suffer."
Harassment lawsuits launched
None of the allegations have been proven in court, and Hofmann, who could not be contacted, has not yet filed a statement of defence, though he has 21 days to do so.
RCMP spokesman Sgt. Rob Vermeulen declined to comment on the lawsuit.
"That's between her, the private investigator and the court," he said in an email.
Katz is seeking general, special, exemplary and aggravated damages, as well as costs and any other relief the court may award.
She has already launched two civil lawsuits against the RCMP, alleging harassment by one of her colleagues and widespread harassment and abuse throughout her career. But the force has denied the allegations in two statements of defence.
- Female B.C. Mountie launches harassment lawsuit
- RCMP issues formal denial in harassment lawsuit
- Female B.C. Mountie files 2nd lawsuit against RCMP
Katz has said that she's been on medical leave since 2009 and is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
With files from CBC News