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Clarkson coach’s lawsuit against Potsdam moved

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POTSDAM — The venue for Oral “Nick” Hillary’s false arrest and defamation lawsuit against the village and four members of its police department has been changed from state Supreme Court, Canton, to U.S. District Court, Syracuse.

Mr. Hillary, head men’s soccer coach at Clarkson University, filed suit in September claiming police illegally detained him and damaged his reputation by making statements that implicated him in the death of 12-year-old Garrett J. Phillips, who was strangled Oct. 24, 2011. Mr. Hillary was not charged with a crime and no arrest has been made in connection with the boy’s death.

According to court documents filed Friday, the case was moved to federal court because Mr. Hillary is maintaining that his federal constitutional rights were violated. Among other claims, he contends he was subjected to unreasonable search and seizure and was deprived of due process.

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