IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
DALLAS DIVISION
LYNN SHELTON BEDFORD, §
Plaintiff, §
§
v. §
§ Civil Action No.:_______________
CITY OF KEENE, and §
OFFICER GENE GEHEB, §
Defendants. §
PLAINTIFF’S ORIGINAL COMPLAINT
I. Parties
1.01. Plaintiff Lynn Shelton Bedford (“Bedford” or “Plaintiff”) is an individual who resides
in the Northern District of Texas.
1.02. Defendant City of Keene is incorporated as a municipality located in Johnson County,
Texas, and at all time material to this Complaint was the public employer of Officer Gene
Geheb.
1.03. Defendant Officer Gene Geheb (“Geheb”) was, at all times material to this Complaint,
a police officer employed by the City of Keene, Texas, and a resident of the State of Texas;
he is being sued personally and in his official capacity.
II. Jurisdiction
2.01. The Court has jurisdiction over the lawsuit pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331, 1343, and
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under the supplemental jurisdiction of this Court to entertain claims arising under state law.
III. Venue
3.01. Venue is proper in the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1391(c ) as Geheb is subject to personal jurisdiction in the Dallas Division of the
Northern District of Texas and City of Keene is located in the Dallas Division of the
Northern District of Texas.
IV. Factual Background
4.01. On or about August 18, 2012, Geheb effected a traffic stop of the vehicle being
operated by Plaintiff within the City of Keene, Texas.
4.02. Geheb established contact with Plaintiff and informed her that she was stopped for
speeding, but within less than thirty seconds of first speaking with her, he forcibly yanked
her from the driver seat of her SUV and threw her to the ground.
4.03. Plaintiff was then handcuffed and detained in the back of Geheb’s patrol car.
4.04. At the time of the traffic stop set forth above, Plaintiff was 77-years old and a
grandmother.
4.05. Plaintiff suffered a painfully-bruised tailbone, bruising on her arm, and a sore
shoulder as a result of being yanked to the ground out of her driver’s seat by
Geheb.
4.06. At all time relevant to the facts set forth in this complaint, Defendant Geheb was
acting under his own capacity and the color of the statutes, ordinances, regulations, customs
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and usage of the Defendant City of Keene and the State of Texas pursuant to his authority
as a police officer.
4.07. Under Texas law, a motorist can not be arrested for speeding. Tex. Transp. Code Ann.
§§ 543.004(a), 543.005.
V. Conditions Precedent
5.01. All conditions precedent have been performed or have occurred.
VI. Nature of the Action
6.01 This is a civil rights and wrongful arrest action for money damages arising under the
Constitution of the United States, particularly the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the
Constitution of the United States; under the laws of the United States, particularly the Civil
Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988, resulting from the wrongful arrest of Plaintiff and
excessive force used against her as a result of the wrongful conduct of the City of Keene
Police Department and Officer Geheb.
6.02. Further, this is an intentional infliction of emotion distress action arising under Texas
state law against Defendant Geheb.
VII. Count I - 42 U.S.C. § 1983
(4th Amendment Unreasonable Seizure)
7.01. As described more fully above, Defendant Geheb, while acting under color of law and
within the course and scope of his employment as a police officer, violated Plaintiff’s right
to be free from unreasonable seizure by:
a. using excessive and unreasonable force against her; and
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b. arresting her without sufficient probable cause.
7.02. The misconduct described herein was objectively unreasonable and was undertaken
intentionally and/or with deliberate indifference to Plaintiff’s constitutional rights.
7.03. As a direct and proximate result of the misconduct described herein, Plaintiff was
wrongfully arrested.
7.04. As a direct and proximate result of the misconduct described herein, Plaintiff was
subjected to excessive force from which she suffered personal, physical injuries.
VIII. Count II - 42 U.S.C. § 1983
(Monell Claim Against the City of Keene )
8.01. The City of Keene, by and through its policy makers, created and maintained a policy,
custom or practice of deliberate indifference to the constitutional rights of citizens, by failing
to maintain an adequate written policy regarding the use of force.
8.02. The City of Keene, by and through its policy makers, created and maintained a policy,
custom or practice of deliberate indifference to the constitutional rights of citizens, by failing
to adequately train, supervise and discipline its police officers, including Defendant Geheb,
to ensure that they:
a. did not violate the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights of persons with whom
they came into contact; and
b. did not use excessive, unreasonable or illegal force against persons with whom
they came into contact.
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8.03. The City of Keene’s failure to maintain an adequate written policy or train, supervise
and discipline its police officers adequately in these constitutional duties directly and
proximately caused Plaintiff to suffer constitutional deprivations, including wrongful arrest
and personal injuries suffered as a result of the excessive force used against her by Geheb.
IX. Count III – State Law Claim
(Intentional Infliction of Emotion Distress Against
Defendant Geheb in his Individual Capacity)
9.01. Plaintiff realleges the foregoing paragraphs as though fully set forth herein.
9.02. The extreme and outrageous conduct of Defendant Geheb as set forth above, which
was intentional or reckless, proximately caused Plaintiff’s severe emotional distress.
X. Exemplary Damages
10.01. When viewed objectively from the standpoint of Defendants at the time of the
occurrence, said Defendants’ conduct involved an extreme degree of risk, considering
probability and magnitude of potential harm to others. In addition, Defendants were actually,
subjectively aware of the risk involved, but nevertheless proceeded with conscious
indifference to the rights, safety or welfare of others, which constitutes “gross neglect”
pursuant to § 41.001(7)(B) of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. Furthermore,
Defendants acted with such gross indifference or reckless disregard for the rights of others
as to amount to a wanton and willful action, which constitutes “malice” under Texas law.
Dahl v. Akin, 645 S.W.2d 506, 515 (Tex. App.–Amarillo 1982) aff’d, 661 S.W.2d 917 (Tex.
1983). Therefore, pursuant to Section 26, Article XVI, Texas Constitution as defined by §
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41.003(b) of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Plaintiff seeks exemplary damages
in an amount which is reasonable and just to the jury.
10.02. As a direct, proximate, and producing result of Defendant’s gross negligence and
malice, Plaintiff is entitled to exemplary damages pursuant to Section 41.001, et. seq. of the
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
XI. Attorney Fees
11.01. It was necessary for Plaintiff to hire the undersigned attorney to file this lawsuit.
Upon judgment, Plaintiff is entitled to an award for attorney fees and costs under 42 U.S.C.
1988(b).
XII. Demand for Jury
12.01. Plaintiff requests a trial by jury for all issues so triable.
XIII. Prayer
13.01. PREMISES CONSIDERED, Plaintiff respectfully requests judgment against
Defendants for:
a. actual damages in an amount to be proven at trial;
b. punitive damages in an amount deemed appropriate to punish those Defendant’s
lawfully susceptible to punitive damages;
c. exemplary damages against all Defendants as set forth above and as determined by
the jury;
d. compensatory damages for mental anguish, emotional distress, inconvenience, past
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pecuniary losses and loss of enjoyment of life;
e. Attorney’s fees incurred herein and in any proceeding before the Unites States
Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court;
f. Costs of court;
g. Pre-judgment and post-judgment interest on the above amounts;
h. All other legal and equitable relief to which Plaintiff may show herself justly
entitled.
Respectfully submitted,
/s/ A. Clay Graham
A. Clay Graham
SBN: 24064140
Law Office of A. Clay Graham
5719 Airport Freeway
Fort Worth, Texas 76117
Phone: (817) 334-0081
Fax: (817) 887-1474
Attorney for Plaintiff
Lynn Shelton Bedford
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