United States District Court, S.D. Florida
OPINION AND ORDER
KENNETH A. MARRA United States District Judge
CAUSE is before the Court upon the Motion to Substitute Party
Plaintiff and Motion to Amend Complaint [DE 95]. The motion
is ripe for the Court's consideration. The Court has
reviewed all papers submitted, the entire file, and is
otherwise duly advised in the premises.
alleges that in June, 2009, she and her ex-husband, Douglas
L. Bates, were in an ongoing dispute over custody of their
children. Bates, an attorney, and Scott Rothstein were
involved in a Ponzi scheme for which they were eventually
convicted and incarcerated. Prior to that, Rothstein told
Bates that he could have Romeo arrested. Rothstein contacted
David Benjamin, who was Defendant Jeff Poole's
was dropping her son off at summer camp when Poole pulled her
over and arrested her. She was placed in a holding cell where
Poole and another officer ordered her to face a wall and
remove her clothes. The officers made inappropriate comments
to her, leading her to believe that she would be sexually
assaulted. Plaintiff was then ordered to put her clothes back
on and threatened that if she ever said a word about what
happened, the officers knew where they could find her and her
was charged with various felonies, including possession of
drugs without a prescription. The drugs were her autistic
son's medication. The prosecution, which lasted nearly
five months, resulted in the dismissal of all charges.
fear of being hurt, Plaintiff did not immediately reveal what
happened to her until such time as independent corroborating
evidence was revealed to her. Her fear caused her to move out
of state and seek psychological counseling.
Pre-Suit Letter was served on the Broward County
Sheriff's Office on June 21, 2012, [DE 1-3 at 2-3] and
the instant case was commenced in June, 2013.
federal criminal case brought against him in 2014, Benjamin
admitted that he accepted money from Scott Rothstein and
solicited Poole to arrest Plaintiff. [DE 50-1]. In his
federal criminal case, Poole admitted that he accepted
Benjamin's solicitation to arrest Plaintiff whether or
not there was a valid basis to do so. Poole admitted that he
illegally placed Plaintiff under arrest. [DE 50-2].
August 13, 2009, a month and a half after her arrest,
Plaintiff and her husband filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
See In re: Lawrence M. Flaster and Marcy A. Flaster,
United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Florida,
Case No. 09-26848-BKC-EPK, Docket Entry No. 1. On November
16, 2009, the Bankruptcy Court discharged the debtors and the
Trustee, Michael R. Bakst.
undisputed that Plaintiff answered “None” to the
question on her Bankruptcy Petition which asked if she had
“[o]ther contingent and unliquidated claims of every
nature, including tax refunds, counterclaims of the debtor,
and rights to setoff claims.” [DE 102-2 at 6].
sent her pre-suit notice letter over 2 ½ years after
the bankruptcy discharge, and commenced her lawsuit a year
later, in June, 2013. In fall, 2016, the attorneys for the
Broward County Sheriff's office notified the former
Trustee, Mr. Bakst, that Plaintiff had filed this lawsuit.
Upon Mr. Bakst's motion, the bankruptcy case was reopened
on November 2, 2016.