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ATTORNEYS AT LAW 3003 NORTH CENTRAL AVENUE, SUITE 1800 PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85012-3909 (602) 277-3000

LORONA, STEINER, DUCAR & HOROWITZ, LTD.

Case 2:09-cv-01264-ECV

Document 1

Filed 06/11/2009

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Lorona, Steiner, Ducar & Horowitz, Ltd.

3003 North Central Avenue, Suite 1800 Phoenix, Arizona 85012-2909

Telephone: (602) 277-3000 Facsimile: (602) 277-7478

Jess A. Lorona, #009186

Gregory E. McClure, #022587 Attorneys for Plaintiff

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

IN AND FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA

Glen R. Scotti, an individual,

Case No. CV09-1264-PHX

Plaintiff,

COMPLAINT

vs.

City of Phoenix, a political subdivision of the State of Arizona; City of Phoenix Police Department, an Arizona law enforcement agency; Jack Harris and Jane Doe Harris, husband and wife; Mary Freund and John Doe Freund, husband and wife; Christina Gonzalez and John Doe Gonzalez, husband and wife; David Sampson and Jane Doe Sampson, husband and wife; Sandra

Renteria and John Doe Renteria, husband and wife.

Defendants.

Plaintiff, Glen R. Scotti, by and through his counsel undersigned, hereby

alleges as follows for his Complaint against Defendants:

PARTIES AND JURISDICTION

1. Plaintiff, Glen R. Scotti (“Mr. Scotti”), is, at all times relevant, a resident

of Maricopa County, Arizona.

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ATTORNEYS AT LAW 3003 NORTH CENTRAL AVENUE, SUITE 1800 PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85012-3909 (602) 277-3000

LORONA, STEINER, DUCAR & HOROWITZ, LTD.

Case 2:09-cv-01264-ECV

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2.

Defendant,

City

of

Phoenix,

is,

at

all

times

relevant,

a

political

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subdivision of the State of Arizona, located in Maricopa County, Arizona.

 

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3.

Defendant City of Phoenix Police Department is at all times relevant to

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this Complaint, an Arizona law enforcement agency, located in Maricopa County,

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Arizona.

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4.

Defendants, Jack Harris (“Chief Harris”) and Jane Doe Harris, are, at all

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times relevant, husband and wife residing in Maricopa County, Arizona. Defendant

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Jack Harris holds the position of Chief of Police in and for the City of Phoenix. All

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actions taken by Defendant Jack Harris were on behalf of the marital community.

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5.

Defendants, Mary Freund (“Detective Freund”) and John Doe Freund,

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are, at all times relevant, husband and wife residing in Maricopa County, Arizona. At

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all times relevant, Defendant Mary Freund held the position of detective in and for the

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City of Phoenix Police Department in the Family Investigations Bureau. All actions

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taken by Defendant Mary Freund were on behalf of the marital community.

 

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6.

Defendants, Christina Gonzalez (“Lieutenant Gonzalez”) and John Doe

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Gonzalez, are, at all times relevant, husband and wife residing in Maricopa County,

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Arizona.

At all times relevant, Defendant Christina Gonzalez held the position of

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Detective

in

and

for

the

City

of

Phoenix

Police

Department

in

the

Family

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Investigations Bureau.

Upon information and belief, Defendant Christina Gonzalez

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has since been promoted to Lieutenant.

All actions taken by Defendant Christina

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Gonzalez were on behalf of the marital community.

 

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ATTORNEYS AT LAW 3003 NORTH CENTRAL AVENUE, SUITE 1800 PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85012-3909 (602) 277-3000

LORONA, STEINER, DUCAR & HOROWITZ, LTD.

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7. Defendants, David Sampson (“Detective Sampson”) and Jane Doe

Sampson, are, at all times relevant, husband and wife residing in Maricopa County,

Arizona.

At all times relevant, Defendant David Sampson held the position of

Detective

in

and

for

the

City

of

Phoenix

Police

Department

in

the

Family

Investigations Bureau. All actions taken by Defendant David Sampson were on behalf

of the marital community.

8. Defendants, Sandra Renteria (“Commander Renteria”) and John Doe

Renteria, are, at all times relevant, husband and wife residing in Maricopa County,

Arizona.

At all times relevant, Defendant Sandra Renteria held the position of

Lieutenant

in

and

for

Investigations Bureau.

the

City

of

Phoenix

Police

Department

in

the

Family

Upon information and belief, Defendant Sandra Renteria has

since been promoted to Commander. All actions taken by Defendant Sandra Renteria

were on behalf of the marital community.

9. Subject matter jurisdiction is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

10. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391, venue is proper in this Court.

GENERAL ALLEGATIONS

11. Plaintiff incorporates each and every allegation set forth above as if fully

set forth herein.

12. On or about May 29, 2007, at approximately 6:57 a.m., nearly a dozen

Phoenix Police Officers stormed the home of Plaintiff.

Plaintiff is a former law

enforcement officer with no prior history of criminal activity.

Officers used a

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ATTORNEYS AT LAW 3003 NORTH CENTRAL AVENUE, SUITE 1800 PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85012-3909 (602) 277-3000

LORONA, STEINER, DUCAR & HOROWITZ, LTD.

Case 2:09-cv-01264-ECV

Document 1

Filed 06/11/2009

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battering ram to break down the front door and exerted excessive and unreasonable

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force on the person of Plaintiff.

 

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13.

The search warrant executed on the morning of May 29, 2007 was

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willfully and intentionally procured through the use of false and fabricated evidence

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by Defendants Freund and Gonzalez.

 

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14.

Defendant Freund had befriended an alleged victim in a domestic

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violence investigation named Kimberly Lewis (“Lewis”).

Defendant Freund first met

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Lewis in approximately March of 2002.

At that time, Lewis was embroiled in a

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divorce proceeding with her former husband Andrew Rehkow (“Rehkow”).

Upon

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information and belief, throughout the course of the dissolution proceedings, Lewis

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made a multitude of false accusations of alleged criminal activity by Rehkow. These

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accusations led to an ongoing criminal investigation against Rehkow that began in

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March of 2002 and continued for a number of years.

Throughout that time period,

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Defendant Freund remained the lead investigator for the Rehkow investigation.

 

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15.

From March of 2002 through June of 2007, Defendant Freund served as

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a

personal confidant and friend to Lewis while purportedly investigating Rehkow for

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criminal

violations.

Upon

information

and

belief,

Defendant

Freund

became

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personally

and

emotionally

involved

in

with

Lewis.

Defendant

Freund’s

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granddaughter began taking classes at Lewis’ dance studio, purchased a one page ad

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for her granddaughter in a dance recital brochure that Lewis produced and worked

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hand in hand with Lewis’ attorney in the family court case to procure testimony from

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a

psychologist claiming that Rehkow was mentally ill and could kill at any time.

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ATTORNEYS AT LAW 3003 NORTH CENTRAL AVENUE, SUITE 1800 PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85012-3909 (602) 277-3000

LORONA, STEINER, DUCAR & HOROWITZ, LTD.

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16. Defendant Freund’s dealings with Lewis went well beyond the scope of

her duties as a City of Phoenix Police Officer.

17. Additionally, Defendant Freund intentionally and willfully circumvented

City of Phoenix policies regarding the recording of conversations with alleged

domestic violence victims.

conversations with Lewis.

Further, Defendant Gonzalez also failed to record

18. Sometime prior to May 29, 2007, Rehkow hired Plaintiff to perform

private investigative work.

19. Part of that investigative work included some investigation into Lewis

regarding the family court proceeding.

20. Defendant Freund, for some unknown reason, believed that Plaintiff’s

involvement was criminal. Defendant Freund accused Plaintiff of being an accessory

in fact to aggravated harassment of Lewis committed by Rehkow.

21. In an On or about June 12, 2007, the 420 th Grand Jury in Maricopa

County, Arizona, handed down an indictment charging Plantiff with one count of

Stalking, a class 3 felony. The State alleged that between the dates of December 18,

2006 and May 30, 3007, Plaintiff acted as an accomplice to Rehkow and engaged in a

course of conduct which caused Lewis to fear her own death or the death of an

immediate family member.

22. At the time that the events allegedly occurred, Plaintiff was gainfully

employed as licensed private investigator after having retired from his position as an

Adult Probation Officer with the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department.

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ATTORNEYS AT LAW 3003 NORTH CENTRAL AVENUE, SUITE 1800 PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85012-3909 (602) 277-3000

LORONA, STEINER, DUCAR & HOROWITZ, LTD.

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23. Although the State alleged that Plaintiff assisted Rehkow in harassing

Lewis, Rehkow’s charges stemmed from events alleged to have occurred over four (4)

years before Plaintiff started working for Rehkow.

24. To secure the grand jury indictment against Plaintiff, Detective Sampson

appeared and testified before the grand jury. Detective Sampson testified consistently

with the reports prepared and submitted by Defendant Freund.

25. During the course of the criminal proceedings it was determined that the

summaries and statements included in the reports prepared by Defendant Freund were

factually inaccurate and contained false and fraudulent statements and evidence.

26. Additionally,

exculpatory evidence.

Defendant

Freund’s

reports

intentionally

omitted

27. Upon information and belief, Defendant Freund’s supervisors, as each

named as Defendants herein, were aware of her actions and helped perpetuate the

introduction of false evidence and the malicious prosecution of Plaintiff.

28. In a Minute Entry dated August, 5, 2008, the trial court issued a ruling

that as a matter of fact and law that the facts as presented to the grand Jury were false

and were not sufficient to establish probable cause.

The State agreed with the Court

as it did not seek to obtain a second indictment or other probable cause determination

against Plaintiff.

29. On or about December 18, 2008, the charges against Plaintiff were

dismissed with prejudice.

30. Plaintiff requests a jury trial in this matter.

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ATTORNEYS AT LAW 3003 NORTH CENTRAL AVENUE, SUITE 1800 PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85012-3909 (602) 277-3000

LORONA, STEINER, DUCAR & HOROWITZ, LTD.

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COUNT ONE VIOLATION OF 42 U.S.C. § 1983-MALICIOUS PROSECUTION

31. Plaintiff incorporates each and every allegation above as it fully set

forth herein.

32. The Defendants are individuals, entities and municipalities acting under

color of state law.

33.

The

Defendants,

individually

and

collectively,

contributed

to

the

presentation of false and fraudulent evidence and testimony to the Maricopa County

Grand Jury, on or about June 12, 2007.

34. The presentation of said evidence led to the issuance of a Grand Jury

Indictment against Mr. Scotti.

35. By participating in the investigation and presentation of false evidence

to the Grand Jury, the Defendants deprived Mr. Scotti of his substantive due process

rights to a fair and impartial presentation of evidence for determination of probable

cause and violations of Plaintiffs First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

36. In doing so, the Defendants participated and assisted in the prosecution

of Mr. Scotti with malice and without probable cause and in doing so deprived Mr.

Scotti of his constitutional rights.

37. As a result of Defendants’ conduct, Mr. Scotti incurred financial,

economic, emotional and other damages in an amount to be proven at trial.

38. The actions of the Defendants were entered into with an evil mind and

therefore, punitive damages are appropriate.

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ATTORNEYS AT LAW 3003 NORTH CENTRAL AVENUE, SUITE 1800 PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85012-3909 (602) 277-3000

LORONA, STEINER, DUCAR & HOROWITZ, LTD.

Case 2:09-cv-01264-ECV

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COUNT TWO MALICIOUS PROSECUTION

39. The Plaintiff incorporates each and every allegation set forth above as if

more fully set forth herein.

40. The Defendants, by conduct, participation or knowledge, initiated or

help institute a criminal prosecution against Mr. Scotti.

41. The criminal prosecution terminated in Mr. Scotti’s favor when the

Court decided as a matter of fact and law that the facts as presented were not sufficient

to establish probable cause.

Obviously, the State agreed with the Court as it did not

seek to obtain an indictment or other probable cause determination against Mr. Scotti.

42. On or about December 18, 2008, the charges against Mr. Scotti were

dismissed with prejudice.

43. Each of the Defendants contributed to the investigation and prosecution

of Mr. Scotti in some way.

44. Each and every Defendant’s actions were with malice and lacked

probable cause.

45. As a result of Defendants’ actions, Mr. Scotti suffered significant

financial, emotional, and personal injuries.

COUNT THREE GROSS NEGLIGENCE

46. The plaintiff incorporates each and every allegation set forth above as

more fully set forth herein.

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ATTORNEYS AT LAW 3003 NORTH CENTRAL AVENUE, SUITE 1800 PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85012-3909 (602) 277-3000

LORONA, STEINER, DUCAR & HOROWITZ, LTD.

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47. The Defendants, as entities and individuals charged with enforcement of

the laws and investigations of criminal acts, owed a duty to Mr. Scotti to conduct their

investigation into allegations of stalking committed by Mr. Scotti pursuant to the

applicable standard of care for law enforcement officers.

48. Defendants conduct deviated from the duty and standard of care required

of police officers by relying on false or fraudulent information to secure a grand jury

indictment against Mr. Scotti and the subsequent use of that information as a basis for

criminal prosecution of Mr. Scotti.

49. As a result of Defendants’ conduct, Mr. Scotti has been incurred

damages in an amount to be proven at trial.

COUNT FOUR

INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS

50. Plaintiff incorporates each and every allegation set forth above as if fully

set forth herein.

51. Defendants

intentional

use

of

false

and

fraudulent

evidence

and

testimony to obtain a Grand Jury Indictment against Mr. Scotti rises to the level of

“extreme and outrageous” conduct as to warrant recovery on the basis of intentional

infliction of emotional distress.

52. Defendants knew or had reason to know that the evidence presented to

the grand jury was fraudulent yet, despite this fact, they intentionally and recklessly

used the false evidence to obtain a Grand Jury Indictment.

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ATTORNEYS AT LAW 3003 NORTH CENTRAL AVENUE, SUITE 1800 PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85012-3909 (602) 277-3000

LORONA, STEINER, DUCAR & HOROWITZ, LTD.

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53. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants actions, Mr. Scotti

suffered severe emotional distress.

COUNT FIVE

NEGLIGENT INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS

54. Plaintiff incorporates each and every allegation set forth above as if fully

set forth herein.

55. Defendants collection and use of false and fraudulent evidence and

testimony to obtain a Grand Jury Indictment against Mr. Scotti subjected Mr. Scotti to

an unreasonable risk of harm.

56. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ actions, Mr. Scotti

suffered severe emotional and physical distress.

experience mental pain and suffering.

Further, Mr. Scotti continues to

COUNT SIX DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER

57. Plaintiff incorporates each and every allegation set forth above as if fully

set forth herein.

58. Defendants

published

and

rendered

various

written

statements

concerning Mr. Scotti, his propensity to commit a stalking offense, veracity and

professional and personal character.

59. Material defamatory of the personal, professional, business reputation

and capabilities of Mr. Scotti was and is contained in the police report and grand jury

testimony. Such statements were contrary to the truth and contrary to the information

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ATTORNEYS AT LAW 3003 NORTH CENTRAL AVENUE, SUITE 1800 PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85012-3909 (602) 277-3000

LORONA, STEINER, DUCAR & HOROWITZ, LTD.

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available to Defendants prior to submitting and publishing the police report and

testimony before the grand jury.

60. The false, defamatory, and misleading statements made by and on behalf

of Defendants concerning the reputation and personal character of Mr. Scotti, were

made maliciously and with intent to injure and damage Mr. Scotti.

The statements

concerning Mr. Scotti are wholly false and were not protected expressions of opinion.

 

61.

As a direct and proximate result of the conduct of Defendants, Mr. Scotti

has

been

hampered

in

his

pursuit

of

employment

and

has

been

and

will

be

permanently and irretrievably damaged in his professional career.

Mr. Scotti has

suffered and will continue to suffer a permanent impairment of his capacity to earn a

living.

In the future, Mr. Scotti will be barred and prevented from securing

comparable employment and therefore, will sustain a loss of future income in amounts

that cannot presently be determined. Such full amount will be determined at trial.

62. As a further direct and proximate result of the conduct by Defendants,

including publication of false, misleading, and defamatory statements, Mr. Scotti has

suffered and in the future will continue to suffer serious and irreparable personal

inconvenience, mental anguish and distress.

trial.

Such full amount will be determined at

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for Judgment against Defendants, and each of

them, as follows:

A. For compensatory damages, plus special and incidental damages in such

a sum as may be proven at trial;

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ATTORNEYS AT LAW 3003 NORTH CENTRAL AVENUE, SUITE 1800 PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85012-3909 (602) 277-3000

LORONA, STEINER, DUCAR & HOROWITZ, LTD.

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B. For punitive damages in an amount to be proven at trial;

C. For costs for the suit;

D. For attorney’s fees; and

E. For other such relief as this Court deems just and proper.

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED this 11 th day of June, 2009.

LORONA, STEINER, DUCAR & HOROWITZ, LTD.

BY: /s/ Jess A. Lorona

Jess A. Lorona, Esq. Gregory E. McClure, Esq. Attorneys for Plaintiff

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