Farmington settles foul language arrest lawsuit

City of Farmington pays $25,000 to settle all claims

Steve Garrison

FARMINGTON — The 32-year-old man arrested for cursing at a late-night diner in June 2013 has settled his lawsuit with the city of Farmington.

City Attorney Jennifer Breakall said the city agreed to pay Tye Trujillo $25,000 to settle all claims related to his June 11, 2013, arrest for violating the city's disorderly conduct ordinance.

The settlement was filed in federal court on Aug. 31, according to court records.

Breakall said the settlement was based on economic factors and was not an admission of guilt.

"We firmly believe that our officers did nothing wrong and they were absolutely right to do what they did that night," she said.

Albuquerque attorney Joseph Kennedy represented Trujillo in his lawsuit. He could not be reached for comment Friday.

Tye Trujillo was arrested shortly before midnight at the International House of Pancakes located at 3546 E. Main St. in Farmington, after he allegedly said the word "f---" several times inside the restaurant.

Three Farmington police officers -- Dennis Ronk, Albert Boognl and Tamara Smith -- were in the restaurant at the time and claimed Trujillo's alleged use of the offensive language constituted disorderly conduct.

Trujillo was found guilty of the offense in Farmington Municipal Court in April 2014, but the conviction was overturned by district court Judge Sandra Price in August 2014.

Price ruled that while probable cause existed to justify the arrest, Trujillo's conduct was not disorderly.

Trujillo filed his lawsuit in January claiming the city violated his constitutional right to free speech.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644.