Since I received my fact filled “INTERROGATORIES” from my Federal Lawsuit thru my attorney John Mansfield. I am posting the Amended Complaint as written by my attorney. It should be a good read, for you people to learn that this governmental body North Carolina Department of Insurance, is not doing it’s job, but worse than that, these people involved openly lie, perjury themselves under oath and boldly make False Statements. BOTH FELONY”S by the way. And this is what you and I as citizens of North Carolina are paying for……WHAT A BUNCH OF STUPID PEOPLE WE ARE. Enjoy the read.
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
WESTERN DIVISION NO: 4:16-CV-20-BO
RONALD LEONARD PIERCE
ANNE M. GARMON, ANGELA HATCHELL, WAYNE GOODWIN, ROBERT CUNNINGHAM, ANGELA K. FORD, SHANE GUYANT, JAMES AYERS, REBECCA SHIGLEY, TERESA KNOWLES, ROBERT MACK, AND ROBERT LISSION, AND BEN TESH, IN THEIR INDIVIDUAL CAPACITIES; NATIONWIDE MUTUAL INSURANSE CO. STATE FARM INSURANCE CO. FARM BUREAU INSURANCE CO. AND SAFECO CORPORATION….DEFENDANTS
JURY TRIAL REQUESTED
PLAINTIFF’S SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES ( 42 U.S.C. 1983)
Plaintiff hereby amends his complaint, pursuant to Rule 15(a), Fed. R. Civ. P., as follows:
Plaintiff is a roofer who, in lieu of direct payment from the homeowner, repaired storm-damaged roofs for homeowners, either under a written assignment of post-loss claim with their homeowners policy, or through a licensed public adjuster, working for Plaintiff.
The North Carolina Department of Insurance became involved in a multi-year investigation of Plaintiff for possibly acting as a public adjuster without a license. Plaintiff was arrested in June 2014 for allegedly obtaining money or property by false pretenses, a felony. Less than a year later, all charges were ultimately dismissed.
Plaintiff now sues Defendants for the Constitutional torts of False Arrest, False Imprisonment, Malicious Prosecution, and Retaliatory Prosecution.
I. JURISDICTION & VENUE
- This is a civil action authorized by 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 to redress the deprivation, under color of state law, of rights secured by the Constitution of the United States. The Court has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. Section 1331, 1343(a)(3) and 1367(a).
- 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 occurred.
3. Plaintiff Ronald Pierce, an individual, is, and was at all times mentioned herein, a resident of Charlotte, North Carolina.
4. Defendants Garmon through Tesh (“DOI Defendants”), and each of them, at all times mentioned in this complaint, were officials employed by the North Carolina Department of Insurance, with its offices in Raleigh, North Carolina.
5. Defendants Garmon through Tesh are sued in their individual capacity. At all times mentioned in this complaint, each such defendant acted under the color of State law.
6. Defendant Anne M. Garmon, a seasoned law enforcement officer, is named because her name appears on each and every one of the 108 Arrest Warrants signed by the Magistrate. She admits being directly involved in the investigation and arrest of Plaintiff.
6a. Defendant Garmon, on or about June 21, 2014, represented to the Magistrate, that Plaintiff had committed 108 instances of the crime of obtaining money or property by false pretenses by allegedly having “deposited insurance checks into his business account without proper endorsement”
6b. Defendant Garmon has thus far failed to reveal, who, if anyone, was cheated or defrauded by Plaintiff.
6c. Defendant Garmon knew or should have known that there was an inadequate evidentiary basis to make the representations she made to the Magistrate, and seek arrest warrants thereon.
6d. Defendant Garmon knew or should have known that Plaintiff’s assignments of claim from homeowners were sufficiently valid and enforceable, and that the probable cause standard could not be established, without embellishment, or artful drafting pyrotechnics, or fabrication.
6e. Defendant Garmon was, upon information and belief, privy to the same information that Defendants Hatchell, Shigley, Lission, Guyant, Tesh and others were-that there was no “substantial monetary loss” and that validity of “post-loss assignments” is still a “matter of legal opinion”
6f. Defendant Garmon thus presented to the Magistrate, a judicial officer of the State of North Carolina, false, misleading, and legally insufficient statements concerning Plaintiff’s alleged criminal conduct.
6g. Defendant Garmon’s presentations and representations to the Magistrate were willful, malicious, and corrupt.
6h. Defendant Garmon thus knew or should have known that the arrest and prosecution of Plaintiff lacked probable cause.
6i. Despite that knowledge, Defendant Garmon nonetheless proceeded forward and had Plaintiff unlawfully arrested and prosecuted under N.C.G.S. 14-100.
6j. Upon information and belief, Defendant’s severance from employment with the Department of Insurance directly resulted from her willful, reckless and unlawful conduct with regard to the failed arrest and prosecution of Ronald Pierce.
7. Defendant Ben Tesh is named because he was Defendant Garmon’s direct supervisor with the DOI in the Criminal Investigations Division (“CID”), exercised a significant measure of control over Garmon’s work activities, and according to Defendant Garmon, participated in the investigation of Plaintiff.
7a. Defendant Tesh was under a supervisory duty to oversee Garmon’s investigative work, actions, and proposed actions.
7b. Defendant Tesh knew od CID’S and Garmon’s investigation, and knew or should have known that his subordinate’s arrest, or causation thereof, of Plaintiff Pierce posed a pervasive and unreasonable risk of a constitutional injury to citizens like Plaintiff.
7c. Upon information and belief, because Supervisor Tesh failed to restrain or curtail Garmon in her overzealous and offensive practices, Tesh’s response to that knowledge was sufficiently and inadequate as to show deliberate indifference to, or tacit authorization of his subordinate’s offensive practices.
7d. Upon information and belief, as a result of Defendant Tesh’s breach of his supervisory duty, there was an affirmative causal link between Tesh’s inaction and the constitutional injury suffered by the Plaintiff.
7e. Upon information and belief, the termination of Defendant Tesh’s employment with the DOI, however effectuated, would not have occurred but for his deliberate indifference to, or tacit authorization of, Garmon’s offensive practices.
8. Defendant Angela Hatchell is an agent or official with ASD (Agent Services Division, DOI), and is named because she had been investigating Plaintiff since 2012, if not earlier. Defendant Hatchell has, based upon the attached exhibits, accused Plaintiff of committing criminal acts, and has investigated Plaintiff for violations of law, leading to his unlawful arrest and prosecution.
8a. Defendant Hatchell sent multiple letters to Plaintiff Pierce, alleging that his business practice of storm damage repair and accepting post-loss assignments from homeowners, was illegal and criminal.
8b. Defendant Hatchell also alleged in those letters, that Pierce’s businesses, Clear Choice Construction, LLC and Piedmont Disaster Services, LLC, were doing business in violation of sections 58-33A-10 and that Pierce was Criminally culpable and punishable under 58-33-120 of the N.C.G.S.
8c. For a period of years, Plaintiff Pierce was the subject of an investigation by the North Carolina Department of Insurance. Defendant Hatchell was one of the central and most visible DOI agents or officials involved in the investigation of Mr. Pierce.
8d. Defendant Hatchell informed and accused Plaintiff, in writing, that he was committing criminal acts, inter alia, violating N.C.G.S. 58-33-120.
8e. Defendant Hatchell is named and included on nearly every item of correspondence generated by the DOI concerning the investigation of Plaintiff.
8f. Defendant Hatchell herself generated many items of Department correspondence relating to Plaintiff, alleging that the latter was violating criminal statutes.
8g. Defendant Hatchell thereby participated in some fashion, in the criminal investigation of Ronald L. Pierce.
8h. Defendant Hatchell had been advised by Attorney General’s office, and by Mary Nell Murphy, that there was no actionable criminal violation of the law by Pierce.
8i. Defendant Hatchell, based upon the Mary Nell Murphy and A.G. correspondence, attached hereto and previously referenced, also knew that, in addition to there being no criminal violation, there were no victims.
8j. Defendant Hatchell’s conduct in this matter was thus willful, malicious, and corrupt.
9. Defendant Guyant is a Deputy Commissioner, and Director of the Criminal Investigations Division (“CID”) at the DOI.
9a. Defendant Guyant supervises all investigators within the CID.
9b. Defendant Guyant not only had direct knowledge of the investigation of Plaintiff, but was personally and directly involved in those investigations, based upon emails from Febuary 2013.
9c. Defendant Guyant has, upon information and belief, thus perjured himself based on the external inconsistency and or contradiction between those emails and his sworn answers to Plaintiff’s limited scope interrogatories, in which he claims he did not participate in the criminal investigation, ect., of Plaintiff.
9d. Defendant Guyant knew or should have known that in addition to there being no criminal violations committed by Pierce, there were no victims either.
9e. Defendant Guyant, upon information and belief, went forward with recommending and encouraging the arrest and prosecution of Plaintiff, regardless of Plaintiff’s guilt or innocence.
9f. In the alternative, Defendant Guyant turned a bling eye and acquiesced to the CID moving forward with the groundless arrest of Mr. Pierce.
9g. Defendant Guyant was under a legal duty to oversee Tesh’s supervision of Garmon’s investigative work, actions, and proposed actions.
9h. Defendant Guyant knew of CID”S and Garmon’s investigation, and knew or should have known that his subordinate’s arrest. or causing the arrest, of Plaintiff Pierce posed a pervasive and unreasonable risk of a constitutional injury to citizens like Plaintiff.
9i. Upon information and belief, because Guyant failed to restrain or curtail Tesh or Garmon in the overzealous and offensive practices, Guyant’s response to that knowledge was sufficiently inadequate and showed deliberate indifference to, or tacit authorization of his subordinate’s offensive practices.
9j. Upon information and belief, as a result of Defendant Guyant’s breach of his supervisory duty, there was an affirmative casual link between Tesh’s inaction and constitutional injury suffered by the Plaintiff.
9k. In so doing, Defendant Guyant’s action or lack thereof, were willful, malicious, and corrupt.
10. Defendant Angela Ford was, at all times relevant to this action, The senior Deputy Commissioner of Public services.
10a. The Director of CID is under Defendant Ford’s supervision.
10b. Based upon emails to and from Defendant Ford’s in 2012 and 2013, the latter was directly or indirectly involved in the investigation of Plaintill.
10c. Such emails reflect that Defendant Ford was directing and corrdinating Defendants Guyant and Lisson in their efforts to investigate Plaintiff.
10d. Upon information and belief, Defendant Ford has thus perjured herself based on external inconsistency and or contradiction between those emails and her sworn answers to plaintiff’s limited scope interrogatories, in which she claims she did not participate in the criminal investigation, ect,. of Plaintiff.
10e. defendant Ford had a supervisory duty to oversee her subordinate, Defendant Guyant.
10f. Allegations 9d-9k are restated and re-alleged here, as though fully set forth herein.
10g. defendant Ford, as direct supervisor to Defendant Guyant, knew or should have known of Guyant’s breaches of duty, showed deliberate indifference, and her lack of affirmative action provides a casual link to Plaintiff’s constitutional injury.
11. Defendant Shigley was, at all times relevant, Deputy Commissioner of Agent Services, and upon information and belief, was Defendant Hatchell’s direct supervisor.
11a. Defendant Shigley’s name appears on multiple emails regarding this investigation; and on December 11, 2012, Shigley was requested by Commissioner Goodwin personally, to brief him on the status of the Pierce investigation.
11b. Defendant Shigley did participae directly, or at least indirectly, in the investigation of Ronald Pierce.
11c. Defendant Shigley, upon information and belief, affirmatively encouraged the criminal investigation and prosecution of Ronald Pierce, without regard to probable cause, evidentiary foundation, or discretion.
11d. Defendant Shigley, as direct supervisor to Defendant Hatchell, knew or should have known of Hatchell’s breaches of duty, showed deliberate indifference, and her lack of affirmative action provides a casual link to Plaintiff’s constitutional injury.
12. Defendant Robert Lisson was Deputy Commissioner of Consumer Affairs, with the DOI, at all times relevant to this action.
12a. Defendant Lisson, often referred to as “Bob” in various emails. Within the Department, was not only a key player in the Pierce investigation, but one of the DOI officials who initiated the investigation into Plaintiff and his business activities.
12b. Defendant Lisson was kept in the communication “loop” throughout the subject investigation, and his multiple references made to him as an active participant therein.
13. Defendant Goodwin was and is the current Commissioner of the DOI.
13a. Defendant Goodwin, in an email dated December 11, 2012, to Angela Ford, Rebecca Shigley, Bob Lisson, and Angela Hatchell, requests that he be briefed and the Pierce investigation “AS soon as possible”. the heading of the email reads, “Importance: High”.
13b. Defendant Goodwin was personally involved and participated in this investigation, even if indirectly.
14. Defendant Cunningham, at all times relevant, was the licensing supervisor at the DOI.
14a. defendant Cunningham made threats against several public adjusters to not do business with Plaintiff, at the risk of losing their license’s.
14b. Defendant Cunningham’s name also appears on several emails, as an ostensibly involved official, who was privy to and upon information and belief, participated in, the investigation of Plaintiff, Ronald Pierce.
14c. Defendant Cunningham’s assistance to ASD and CID, upon information and belief, and his affirmative conduct to harass Plaintiff, and those doing business with Plaintiff, makes Cunningham’s role significant, in the totality of the circumstances.
14d. Defendant Cunningham played a sufficiently active, if not malicious role, in his direct and indirect interactions with Plaintiff, and remains as a properly named defendant in this lawsuit.
15. Defendant Knowles, was at all times relevant, Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Agent Services Division (“ASD”) with the DOI.
15a. Defendant Knowles, upon information and belief, actively encouraged the arrest, the charging, and the prosecution of Ronald Pierce, under the notion that Plaintiff either had no assignments of claim, or that the ones he had were not legally valid or recognized.
16. At all times relevant, Plaintiff owned disaster services and construction companies that repaired damaged houses, usually from hail and other storms that occurred in North Carolina. Insurance companies properly issued checks to homeowners, who then in turn voluntarily delivered same to Plaintiff for deposit, pursuant to lawful assignments of claims by homeowners, and Plaintiff deposited them in accordance with his assignment agreements with homeowners.
17. Plaintiff Pierce was in the business of inspecting damaged roofs of homeowners and providing realistic and goof faith estimates to homeowners.
18. Homeowners with damaged roofs would hire Plaintiff’s companies to do repairs, desiring a complete and full restoration and repair, and being concerned with the notion that the insurance companies were “low-balling” them.
19. the homeowners’ insurance carriers, on more than one occasion, would refuse to pay the homeowner the amount necessary to repair the damages up to code, as required under the terms of the policy and under law. In lieu of seeking payments from the homeowners for repairs, Plaintiff agreed, on behalf of his company, to accept an assignment of homeowners rights against the insurance carrier. Plaintiff’s business practice of accepting such post-loss assignments is not unlawful.
20. DOI Defendants, each of them, were advised by counsel, and knew or should have known that post-loss assignments of benefits is not unlawful.
21. DOI Defendants, and each of them, either directly or indirectly, acted deliberately and purposefully in investigating Plaintiff for the crime of “holding himself out as a public adjuster” without proper license to do so.
22. All DOI Defendants, and each of them, as set forth above, have been involved, in one form or another, directly or indirectly, in the criminal investigation of Plaintiff, whether they worked at CID or not.
23. All Defendants, knew of the investigation of Plaintiff, and participated or shared, in some manor, in that investigation.
24. Each remaining Defendant in this lawsuit played apart, as above stated, in bringing about Plaintiff’s ultimate arrest on bogus criminal Charges, to wit, N.C.G.S. 14-100 (Obtaining Property under false Pretenses), and putting Plaintiff out of business.
25. DOI Defendants, and each of them, had actual or constructive knowledge of these assignments of claim by homeowners to plaintiff or Plaintiff’s business entities.
26. For a period of years, Plaintiff Pierce was a subject of an investigation by the authority of the North Carolina Department of Insurance(“DOI” or “Department”).
27. Through the pendency of that investigation, DOI Defendants, and each of them, participated or shared in some fashion, in investigating him for allegedly violating N.C.G.S. 58-33A-10 and 58-33-120 ( acting or holding oneself out as a public adjuster, without proper license).
28. At no time did any DOI Defendant give notice to Plaintiff that he was under investigation for obtaining property by false pretenses, the crime for which Plaintiff was ultimately arrested.
29. Neither an administrative nor a judicial determination was ever made as to whether Pierce was guilty of violating 58-33-120, a misdemeanor, as he was never charged with that crime, despite a multi-year investigation. Nevertheless, the Department of Insurance suddenly and inexplicably abandoned that investigation.
30. Instead, without notice and without any apparent purpose, other than to harass, intimidate, and put Plaintiff out of business, DOI Defendants suddenly chose to arrest and charge Plaintiff with a felony to wit, obtaining property by False Pretenses (N.C.G.S. 14-100).
31. Plaintiff was in fact arrested on June 21, 2014 for 108 felony counts of violating N.C.G.S. 14-100 (obtaining property by false pretenses)
32. The only claimed basis for the 108 felony False Pretenses charges, upon information and belief, is that stated in the Warrants for Arrest, that Plaintiff deposited insurance checks into his business account “without proper endorsement”.
33. Such an act, without establishing an intent to defraud and actual defrauding is not a crime.
34. At no time did Plaintiff ever deceive, trick, cheat or defraud any person or entity connected with the criminal charges brought against Plaintiff, nor did Plaintiff ever intend to do same.
35. Defendants, and each of them, knew that Plaintiff lacked the necessary intent to be guilty of violating N.C.G.S. 14-100 (obtaining money or property by false pretenses).
36. Upon information and belief, all insurance checks relevant to this action were issued by duly licensed insurance companies, and made out to either Clear Choice, Piedmont, or the homeowner-assignor, and paid, without challenge, contest, or question, by the financial institutions with whom they were deposited.
37. Upon information and belief, neither the Department of Insurance nor the individual DOI Defendants, have identified any legitimate victim’s who were damaged as a result of Plaintiff’s actions, to either Plaintiff or under signed counsel.
38. Instead of naming legitimate complaining witnesses who were actually harmed, deceived, cheated, or victimized, DOI Defendants, and each of them, named fellow defendant Anne M. Garmon as “Complaining Witness” on all 108 warrants.
39. All 108 counts against Plaintiff were dismissed in April of 2015.
V. EXAUSTION OF LEGAL REMEDIES
40. Plaintiff Pierce is unaware of any legal or administrative remedies that he could afforded Plaintiff notice and an opportunity to be heard in an administrative forum, to explore the possibility of an alternative resolution that would have been less burdensome on the taxpayers of this State, than a criminal prosecution.
VI. LEGAL CLAIMS
FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION: FALSE ARREST
42. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs 1-41, as though fully set forth herein.
43. Defendants, and each of them, either directly or indirectly, caused a false arrest to be effected upon and against Plaintiff by causing his arrest for violating NCGS 14-100 without probable cause.
44. Upon information and belief, Defendants possessed no substantial evidence that Plaintiff obtained property by false pretenses. Plaintiff did the roof repair work he promised, was a lawful payee or assignee of any and all insurance checks he deposited, and each and every bank accepted same for deposit.
45. Upon information and belief, there is not a single person or entity who was ever genuine victim of Plaintiff’s alleged crimes.
46. Upon information and belief, Defendants, each of them, had actual or constructive knowledge that no such victim(s) existed.
47. Upon information and belief, Defendants, and each of them, had actual or constructive knowledge that Plaintiff harmed no one, cheated no one, and deceived no one.
48. Upon information and belief, Defendants, and each of them, had actual or constructive knowledge that Plaintiff lack the specific intent to cheat or deceive any person or entity.
49. Upon information and belief, no defendant possessed or presented any truthful substantial evidence to the Magistrate or the Mecklenburg County District Attorney that any alleged victim was in fact deceived or cheated by Plaintiff.
50. DOI Defendants presented to the Magistrate and the District Attorney’s Office properly-drawn checks by insurance carriers, made payable to a proper payee or assignor, and an Affidavit of Defendant Garmon.
51. Defendant Garmon has failed or refused to disclose that affidavit, despite being requested to produce documents in the limited scope interrogatories.
52. Defendants, and each of them, have misrepresented such checks as being the product of criminal conduct. to wit, money or property that had been obtained by false pretenses in violation N.C.G.S. 14-100.
53. Defendants, and each of them, knew or should have known, that to establish a probability of illegal activity under N.C.G.S. 14-100, they had to be able to demonstrate that Plaintiff had made a false representation to another; that such false representation was calculated and intended to deceive, and that a “victim” was in fact deceived by such representation.
54. DOI Defendants knew or should have known, as experiences and trained law enforcement agents or employees of the Department of Insurance, that they lacked the necessary evidence to establish even one of these elements.
55. Defendants, and each of them, knew or should have known that lacking the necessary evidence to establish even one element of N.C.G.S. 14-100 (obtaining property by false pretenses) means that there was not a probability of establishing illegal activity by Plaintiff Pierce.
56. DOI Defendants, and each of them, failed to request or pursue a grand jury indictment against Plaintiff.
57. By Defense counsel’s own admission (Document 32-1. pp. 5, 8, 11 ect. ), the Superior Court Dismissals clearly state that there is “insufficient evidence to warrant prosecution” for a multitude of reasons.
58. The above-referenced Superior Court Dismissals state, inter alia, that because of “Assignment of benefits” and that due to “the fact that funds would have been deposited anyway makes fraudulent intent unclear”.
59. Upon information and belief, DOI Defendants, and each of them, failed to confer with the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office in any meaningful way about the strength or weakness of their case against Plaintiff.
60. Upon information and belief, partly because of Plaintiff’s numerous, caustic, accusatory, and annoying administrative complaints to the Department of Insurance, and partly because of the insurance industry’s dismay at watered down profits, the Department decided to “shut (Plaintiff) down”, Arresting Plaintiff on 108 felony counts appeared to Defendants to be the way to appease the insurance industry and put Plaintiff out of business.
61. DOI Defendants, and each of them, acted maliciously, corruptly, frivolously, and in bad faith, in targeting Plaintiff, investigating him, and deliberately filing bogus felony False Pretenses charges against Plaintiff.
62. Defendants, and each of them knew or should have known that bringing felony charges of Obtaining Property by False Pretenses against Plaintiff was not legally sound, and was unlikely to result in conviction.
63. The Dismissals state that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute.
64. At the time that Plaintiff was arrested and charged with violating N.C.G.S. 14-100, Defendants, and each of them, proximately caused such charges and arrest.
65. At the time that Plaintiff was arrested and charged with violating N.C.G.S. 14-100, his rights were violated, as set forth in this Second Amended Complaint.
66. At the time Plaintiff was arrested and charged with violating14-100, he had a clearly established right to be free from false arrest, false imprisonment, and other rights as set forth in the Second Amended Complaint.
67. At the time of Plaintiff’s arrest, the Department of Insurance, and its agents and employees, were covered by self-insured retention policy or other Public Officers and Employees Liability Policy (#01-118-75-55).
68. Defendants’ actions violated Plaintiff’s rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and caused Plaintiff pain, suffering, financial loss, and emotional distress.
SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION: FALSE IMPRISIONMENT
69. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates by reference paragraph 1-68, as though fully set herein.
70. Defendants, and each of them, by virtue of causing such false arrest, in turn, caused Plaintiff to be falsely imprisoned by willfully and unlawfully confining him to a bounded area, without his consent, without privilege, and without probable cause.
71 Defendants’ false imprisonment of Plaintiff violated Plaintiff Pierce’s rights under the Fourth and the Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, causing Plaintiff pain, suffering, physical injury and emotional distress.
THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION: MALICIOUS PROSECTION
72. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs 1-71, as though fully set forth herein.
73. Defendants, each of them, caused to be instituted criminal action against Plaintiff for violation of N.C.G.S. 14-100, without probable cause, as previously alleged in detail in allegations 1-71 of the Second Amended Complaint.
74. Said Criminal action was dismissed in favor of the Plaintiff in April of 2015.
75. Upon information and belief, Defendants, and each of them, caused the institution of such criminal action with deliberate indifference as to Plaintiff’s guilt or innocence, as previously alleged above.
76. By causing 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
77. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs 1-76, as though fully set forth therein.
78. 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.
79. Defendants, and each of them, unlawfully and without probable cause threatened Plaintiff Pierce, or caused him to be threatened, with criminal prosecution, and DOI Defendants followed through with criminal prosecution, and thereby deprived Plaintiff with loss of livelihood, for exercise of his right to free speech and to engage in lawful employment.
80. Defendants, and each of them, unlawfully and without probable cause threatened Plaintiff with criminal prosecution, or caused him to be so threatened, and DOI Defendants instituted criminal prosecution for seeking redress through the grievance system of the North Carolina Department of Insurance.
81. Defendants, and each of them, retaliated against Plaintiff Pierce unlawfully, and without probable cause, in violation of Plaintiff Pierce’s rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. These illegal actions have caused and are causing Plaintiff Pierce injury to his First Amendment rights.
83. Plaintiff Pierce has an adequate remedy at law to redress the wrongs described herein. Plaintiff Pierce has been and will continue to be irreparably injured by the conduct 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
WHEREFOR, Plaintiff prays that this court enter judgment:
83. Granting Plaintiff compensatory damages in an amount according to proof, against each defendant, jointly and severally.
84. Awarding Plaintiff Punitive damages in an appropriate amount, as allow by law, for the willful, wanton, and reckless conduct of Defendants. Plaintiff Pierce seeks these damages against defendant, jointly and severally.
85. Plaintiff requests a jury trial on all issues triable by jury.
86. Plaintiff also sees recovery of his costs in this suit; and;
87. Any additional relief this court deems just, proper, and equitable.