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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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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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