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7th Circuit affirms dismissal of Indianapolis wrongful arrest suit

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A plaintiff who judges say took a “kitchen sink” approach to litigation over an alleged wrongful arrest failed to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that a federal judge in Indianapolis improperly dismissed most of her complaint.

Toni Ball claimed she was wrongly arrested by authorities investigating a drug gang known as the Detroit Boys. She was arrested on the strength of a probable cause affidavit. A detective identified her as a contact whose street name was “Mama Toni” and who was linked to a call center used to direct customers to houses in Indianapolis where they could pick up heroin or cocaine.

Ball was arrested and charged with two counts of narcotics possession, but the charges were dropped less than a month later.

Ball filed a federal civil rights complaint that alleged numerous Section 1981 and 1983 violations against the city, Indianapolis police officers, Indiana State Police and others. U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker dismissed the bulk of the complaints except for Ball’s Fourth Amendment complaint that was removed to state court.

“The district court aptly noted that Ball’s original complaint had a ‘kitchen sink’ quality to it,” Judge Ilana Rovner wrote for the panel in affirming dismissal in Toni Ball v. City of Indianapolis, et al., 13-1901. “For their part, the defendants have responded to the complaint in kind, asserting a mind-numbing array of grounds on which Ball’s various claims purportedly fail.

“Because the allegations of the complaint did not support Ball’s claims for relief, apart from the Fourth Amendment false arrest and imprisonment claim that she later dropped, the district court properly dismissed and granted judgment on the pleadings as to those claims.”



 

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