Pierce files suit against Comssioner Wayne Goodwin

Community Leader Fights Back --- 10 Deputy Commissioners also named in the suit

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Ronald Pierce has filed a complaint in Federal Court against Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and ten deputy commissioners in the North Carolina Department on Insurance. Pierce is a recent Republican candidate for Commissioner of Insurance who received over 200,000 votes back in March.  Also named in the lawsuit were the following deputy commissioners.

Guyant, Shane
Ayers, James
Shigley, Rebecca
Knowles, Teresa
Mack, Robert
Lisson, Robert

The lawsuit comes from Pierce’s false arrest back in 2014

News and Observer Articles (Click Here) 

A copy of the lawsuit is below

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA

WESTERN DIVISION

No: 4:16-cv-20

RONALD LEONARD PIERCE, ) Civil Case No. 4:16-cv-20
Plaintiff, )
v. )
) Complaint for Damages
ANNE M. GARMON, )
ANGELA HATCHELL, WAYNE. )
GOODWIN, ROBERT CUNNINGHAM, )
ANGELA FORD, SHANE GUYANT, )
JAMES AYERS, REBECCA SHIGLEY, )
TERESA KNOWLES, ROBERT MACK, )
And ROBERT LISSON, ) Jury Trial Requested
in their individual capacities, )
Defendants. )

 

PLAINTIFF’S COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES UNDER 42 U.S.C. §1983

John D. Mansfield, Esq.

Of Counsel, Polanco Law, P.C. 2840 Plaza Place, Suite 260 Raleigh, NC 27612

(919) 294-8032

Attorney for Plaintiff

Case 4:16-cv-00020-BO  Document 1   Filed 02/26/16   Page 1 of 6

  1. JURISDICTION & VENUE
  1. This is a civil action authorized by 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 to redress the depri-vation, under color of state law, of rights secured by the Constitution of the United States, the North Carolina Constitution, and other claims which arise out of state law. The Court has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. Section 1331, 1343 (a)(3), and 1367(a).
  1. The Eastern District of North Carolina is an appropriate venue under 28 U.S.C. section 1391 (b)(2) because it is where the events giving rise to this claim oc-curred.
  1. PLAINTIFF
  1. Plaintiff Ronald Pierce, an individual, is, and was at all times mentioned herein, a resident of Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • DEFENDANTS
  1. Defendants, and each of them, at all times mentioned in this complaint, were of-ficials employed by the North Carolina Department of Insurance, with its offices in Raleigh, North Carolina.
  1. Each defendant is sued in his or her individual capacity. At all times mentioned in this complaint, each defendant acted under the color of state law.
  1. FACTS
  1. At all times relevant to this case, Plaintiff Pierce was the subject of a criminal in-vestigation by Defendants, and each of them, under the ostensible authority of the North Carolina Department of Insurance.
  1. Throughout the pendency of such criminal investigation, defendants, and each of them, investigated plaintiff for violating N.C.G.S. 58-33A-10, and 58-33-120 (acting or holding oneself out as a Public Adjuster, without proper license).

Case 4:16-cv-00020-BO  Document 1   Filed 02/26/16   Page 2 of 6

  1. Said criminal investigation culminated in the arrest of plaintiff on June 21, 2014 for 108 counts of violating N.C.G.S. 14-100 (obtaining property by false pre-tenses), for allegedly improperly depositing insurance checks into plaintiff’s business account.
  1. All 108 counts against plaintiff were dismissed in April of 2015.
  1. EXHAUSTION OF LEGAL REMEDIES
  1. Plaintiff Pierce is unaware of any legal or administrative remedies that could have been sought prior to filing this suit.
  1. LEGAL CLAIMS
  1. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs 1-10, as though fully set forth herein.

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION: FALSE ARREST

  1. Defendants, and each of them, caused a false arrest to be effected upon and against plaintiff by having plaintiff arrested for violating NCGS 14-100 without probable cause.
  1. Defendants, and each of them, presented no substantial evidence that plaintiff made a false representation to another.
  1. Defendants, and each of them, presented no substantial evidence of any intent to cheat or defraud on plaintiff’s part.
  1. Defendants, and each of them, presented no substantial evidence that any al-leged victim was in fact deceived by plaintiff.
  1. Defendants’ actions action violated plaintiff’s rights under the Fourth and Four-teenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and caused plaintiff pain, suffering, financial loss, and emotional distress.

SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION: FALSE IMPRISONMENT

  1. Defendants, and each of them, by virtue of such false arrest, in turn, falsely im-prisoned plaintiff by willfully and unlawfully confining him to a bounded area. without his consent and without probable cause.
  1. Defendants’ false imprisonment of plaintiff violated Plaintiff Pierce’s rights un-der the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, causing plaintiff pain, suffering, physical injury and emotional distress.

THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION: MALICIOUS PROSECUTION

  1. Defendants, and each of them, furthermore, instituted criminal action against plaintiff for violation of N.C.G.S. §14-100, without probable cause.
  1. Said criminal action was dismissed in favor of the plaintiff.
  1. Upon information and belief, Defendants, and each of them, instituted criminal action with deliberate indifference as to plaintiff’s guilt or innocence.
  1. By Defendants’ tortious and malicious prosecution of plaintiff, Defendants, and each of them, violated plaintiff’s rights under the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and have caused Plaintiff Pierce pain, suffering, physical injury and emotional distress.

FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION: RETALIATORY PROSECUTION

  1. Plaintiff Pierce, on numerous occasions, sought redress of grievances through the North Carolina Department of Insurance, for alleged failures by the latter, to properly administer and uphold State law and policy, in the insurance industry.
  1. Defendants, and each of them, unlawfully and without probable cause threat-ened Plaintiff Pierce with criminal prosecution and thereby threatened plaintiff with loss of livelihood, for exercise of his right to engage in lawful employ-ment.
  1. Defendants, and each of them, unlawfully and without probable cause threat-ened plaintiff with criminal prosecution, and instituted criminal prosecution, for seeking redress through the grievance system of the North Carolina Department of Insurance.
  1. Defendants, and each of them, retaliated against Plaintiff Pierce unlawfully, and without probable cause, in violation of Plaintiff Pierce’s rights under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. These illegal actions have caused and are causing Plaintiff Pierce injury to his First Amendment rights.

VII. DAMAGES

  1. Plaintiff Pierce has an adequate remedy at law to redress the wrongs described herein. Plaintiff has been and will continue to be irreparably injured by the con-duct of the defendants unless this court awards monetary damages in an amount which will reasonably compensate plaintiff for the physical injury, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

VIII. PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, plaintiff prays that this court enter judgment:

  1. Granting plaintiff compensatory damages in an amount according to proof, against each defendant, jointly and severally.
  1. Awarding plaintiff punitive damages in an appropriate amount, as allowed by law, for the willful, wanton, and reckless conduct of defendants. Plaintiff Pierce seeks these damages against each defendant, jointly and severally.
  1. Plaintiff requests a jury trial on all issues triable by jury,
  1. Plaintiff also seeks recovery of his costs in this suit, and
  1. Any additional relief this court deems just, proper, and equitable

Dated: February 26, 2016

Respectfully submitted,

_____/s/_____________

John D. Mansfield, Esq. Attorney for Plaintiff

10 COMMENTS

  1. I feel this goes on much more under Wayne Goodwin than we hear about. Goodwin and his so called “Raleigh Mafia” friends appear to be using the insurance department as their personal playground. More people need to come forward and offer their personal stories or perhaps start a class action suit to expose corruption of the Commissioner that is never in his office.

  2. There is a very good attorney that has stood up against the North Carolina Department of Insurance. His name is Mark Bibbs. His rates are reasonable but he does not come cheap.
    The attorney represents bail agents and has won many cases against the Department. He has represented bail agents as a lobbyist and counseled bail insurance companies. He knows his stuff. There is a deposition with an employee that was caught lying at the Department which is a matter of record. Get that and you have something.

  3. Good to see you going after Goliath and his Raleigh Boys. But you need to add Mark Edwards Good “wins” in-house deputy commissioner go to fundraiser.

  4. Dear Mr. Pierce:
    Can you find or have some one post the report I have seen here and on other sites? The one John Brim and Larry Reeves wrote about the Department of Insurance not following laws.

  5. There is an association that has been around a long time. It is the North Carolina Bail Agents Association. It was recently engaged in a lawsuit as a codefendant with the North Carolina Department of Insurance. It settled last September or shortly after. But anyway this association approached Wayne Goodwin about corruption it had witnessed and mounting internal complaints concerning corrupt bondsmen also known as bail agents. At that time there was around 1400 licensed bail agents and it appeared that the corruption involved roughly 10 percent. Some estimated that number to be as high as 30 percent. Goodwin, as a new commissioner, stated he would follow the law, equally and fairly, and help the association to weed out the corruption and to raise the standards for licensure. The report mentioned above involves former Department employees who gave a synopsis of the corruption. It is well detailed and was reconciled by a man named Lee Llyod and the association’s board before a series of meetings ensued with Goodwin and his staff. Things have gotten much worse and it seems as if the corruption has grown significantly. Some estimate the numbers to be as high as 60 percent. Unchecked criminal activity due to a lack of regulation has a way of expanding and becoming larger. Blame Goodwin for that.

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