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Case 3:16-cv-02579-B Document 6 Filed 10/22/16

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IN THE UNITED STATE DISTRICT COURT


NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
DALLAS DIVISION
AVIS S. ADELMAN
Plaintiff,

v.

DALLAS AREA RAPID TRANSIT,

and STEPHANIE BRANCH, individually


and in her official capacity as a Dallas

Area Rapid Transit Police Officer

Defendants.

Civil Action No. 3:16-cv-2579

DEFENDANT BRANCHS ORIGINAL ANSWER


TO PLAINTIFFS ORIGINAL COMPLAINT
Pursuant to Rules 8 and 12 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Defendant Stephanie
Branch (Branch) files its Original Answer to Plaintiffs Original Complaint.
SUMMARY OF THE CASE
1.

Branch acknowledges the Plaintiffs alleged violation of his fundamental constitutional


rights in paragraph 1. Branch admits Adelman was arrested and deny the remaining
allegations in paragraph 1 and demands strict proof thereof.

2.

Branch denies the allegations in paragraph 2 and demands strict proof thereof.

3.

Branch denies the allegations in paragraph 3 and demands strict proof thereof.

4.

Branch admits the criminal trespass charge against Adelman was dropped and an Internal
Affairs investigation done as to Branchs actions involving Adelman. Branch denies the
remaining allegations in paragraph 4 and demands strict proof thereof.

5.

Branch admits an internal affairs investigation was conducted on the actions taken by
Branch in the matter involving Adelman. Because the disciplinary action taken against
Branch is not final, Branch denies the remaining allegations in paragraph 5 and demands
strict proof thereof.

DEFENDANT BRANCHS ORIGINAL ANSWER TO PLAINTIFFS COMPLAINT

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Case 3:16-cv-02579-B Document 6 Filed 10/22/16


6.

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Branch admits an internal affairs investigation was conducted on the actions taken by
Branch in the matter involving Adelman. Because the disciplinary action taken against
Branch is not final, Branch denies the remaining allegations in paragraph 6 and demands
strict proof thereof.

PARTIES
7.

Branch acknowledges Plaintiff Adelman is a resident of Dallas, Dallas County, Texas.

8.

Branch does not dispute the allegations in paragraph 8.

9.

Branch acknowledges she is a Texas resident and a police officer employed by DART.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE

10.

Branch does not contest the personal jurisdiction statement in paragraph 10.

11.

Branch does not contest the jurisdiction statement in paragraph 11.

12.

Branch does not contest venue statement in paragraph 12.


FACTS

A. Avi Adelmans Background


13.

Branch lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief about the truth of the
allegations in paragraph 13 and demands strict proof thereof.

14.

Branch lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief about the truth of the
allegations in paragraph 14 and demands strict proof thereof.

15.

Branch lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief about the truth of the
allegations in paragraph 15 and demands strict proof thereof.

B. The Unconstitutional Arrest


16.

Branch admits an incident happened on February 9, 2016 between Adelman and Branch.
Branch lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief about the truth of the
allegations in paragraph 16 and demands strict proof thereof.

DEFENDANT BRANCHS ORIGINAL ANSWER TO PLAINTIFFS COMPLAINT

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17.

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Branch admits an incident happened on February 9, 2016 between Adelman and Branch.
Branch lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief about the truth of the
allegations in paragraph 17 and demands strict proof thereof.

18.

Branch admits an incident happened on February 9, 2016 between Adelman and Branch.
Branch lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief about the truth of the
allegations in paragraph 18 and demands strict proof thereof.

19.

Branch admits an incident happened on February 9, 2016 between Adelman and Branch.
Branch lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief about the truth of the
allegations in paragraph 19 and demands strict proof thereof.

20.

Branch admits Adelman was arrested for criminal trespass and taken into custody and
transported to the Lew Sterrett Justice Center. Branch lacks knowledge or information
sufficient to form a belief about the truth of the allegations in paragraph 20 and demands
strict proof thereof.

C. The Aftermath and Investigation


21.

Branch admits Morgan Lyons is a DART media spokesman.

Branch denies the

remaining allegations in paragraph 21 and demands strict proof thereof.


22.

Branch admits the charges of criminal trespass were dropped against Adelman. Branch
denies the remaining allegations in paragraph 22 and demand strict proof thereof.

23.

Branch admits an Internal affairs investigation was conducted of the actions taken by
Branch against Adelman. Branch acknowledges the quoted sections in paragraph 23 of
the Internal Affairs but denies it violated Adelmans constitutional rights simply because
he was taking photographs and demands strict proof thereof.

24.

Branch admits an Internal affairs investigation was conducted of the actions taken by
Branch against Adelman. Branch denies the remaining allegations in paragraph 24 and
demands strict proof thereof.

DEFENDANT BRANCHS ORIGINAL ANSWER TO PLAINTIFFS COMPLAINT

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D. DARTS Policy Supporting the Unconstitutional Arrest


25.

Branch admits an Internal affairs investigation was conducted of the actions taken by
Branch against Adelman. Branch denies the remaining allegations in paragraph 25 and
demands strict proof thereof.

26.

Branch denies the allegations in paragraph 26 and demands strict proof thereof.

27.

Branch lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief about the allegations in
paragraph 27 and demands strict proof thereof.

28.

Branch lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief about the allegations in
paragraph 28 and demands strict proof thereof.
CAUSES OF ACTION
Count 1
Violation of Adelmans First and Fourteenth Amendment Rights, Pursuant to 1983
(Against Defendant Branch)

29.

Branch acknowledges all allegations incorporated by reference under paragraph 29.

30.

Branch lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief about the allegations in
paragraph 30 and demands strict proof thereof.

31.

Branch admits Adelman was arrested on February 9, 2016 and deny the remaining
allegations in paragraph 31 and demands strict proof thereof.

32.

Branch denies the allegations in paragraph 32 and demands strict proof thereof.

33.

Branch denies the allegations in paragraph 33 and demands strict proof thereof.

34.

Branch denies the allegations in paragraph 34 and demands strict proof thereof.
CAUSES OF ACTION
Count 1I

Violation of Adelmans Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment Rights, Pursuant to 1983


(Against Defendant Branch)
35. Branch acknowledges all allegations incorporated by reference under paragraph 35.
DEFENDANT BRANCHS ORIGINAL ANSWER TO PLAINTIFFS COMPLAINT

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36.

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Branch lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief about the allegations in
paragraph 36 and demands strict proof thereof.

37.

Branch admits Adelman was arrested on February 9, 2016 and the charges were later
dropped. Branch denies the remaining allegations in paragraph 37 and demands strict
proof thereof.

38.

Branch denies the allegations in paragraph 38 and demands strict proof thereof.

39.

Branch denies the allegations in paragraph 39 and demands strict proof thereof.

40.

Branch denies the allegations in paragraph 40 and demands strict proof thereof.
CAUSES OF ACTION
Count III

Violation of Adelmans First, Fourth and Fourteeth Amendment Rights, Pursuant to 1983
and Monell v. Dept. of Soc. Servs. Of the City of New York, 436 U.S. 658 (1978)
(Against Defendant DART)
41.
Branch acknowledges the allegations incorporated by reference under paragraph 41.
42.

Branch admits Adelman was arrested and later the charges were dropped. Branch denies
the remaining allegations in paragraph 42 and demands strict proof thereof.

43.

Branch admits she was in the course and scope of her employment as a police officer
with DART during the incident and arrest of Adelman.

44.

Branch denies the allegations in paragraph 44 and demands strict proof thereof.

45.

Branch denies the allegations in paragraph 45 and demands strict proof thereof.

46.

Branch denies the allegations in paragraph 46 and demands strict proof thereof.

47.

Branch denies the allegations in paragraph 47 and demands strict proof thereof
APPLICATION FOR PERMANENT INJUNCTION

48.

Branch acknowledges the allegations incorporated by reference in paragraph 48.

49.

Branch lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief about the truth of the
allegations in paragraph 49 and demands strict proof thereof.

DEFENDANT BRANCHS ORIGINAL ANSWER TO PLAINTIFFS COMPLAINT

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50.

Branch denies the allegations in paragraph 50 and demands strict proof thereof.

51.

Branch denies the allegations in paragraph 51 and demands strict proof thereof.

52.

Branch denies the allegations in paragraph 52 and demands strict proof thereof.
ATTORNEYS FEES AND COSTS

53.

Branch lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief about the allegations in
paragraph 53 and demands strict proof thereof.
JURY DEMAND

54.

Branch acknowledges the jury demand in this paragraph and will rely on this demand.
PRAYER

Branch denies the prayer relief requested in a-f of this paragraph and demand strict proof thereof.
AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES
1.

Branch has completed the basic, intermediate, advanced and master level training
required, promulgated or provided by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement
(TCOLE) and currently has a master level Texas peace officer license.

2.

On the date of the incident made the basis of this lawsuit, Branch was in the course and
scope of employment with the DART Police Department. Branch affirmatively asserts
she is entitled to governmental, official or qualified immunity.

3.

To the extent Plaintiff asserts any state law claims, Branch is entitled to absolute,
individual, official or qualified immunity under TEXAS CIVIL PRACTICE & REMEDIES
CODE 83.001; 101.026; 101.055 (2) & (3); 101.056; 101.057(2) and 101.106(a)
(f).

4.

Branch asserts her arrest of the Plaintiff was supported by arguable probable cause, good
faith belief of arguable probable or reasonably mistaken with the existence of probable
cause.

DEFENDANT BRANCHS ORIGINAL ANSWER TO PLAINTIFFS COMPLAINT

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5.

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Branch affirmatively asserts that Plaintiff cannot establish a cause of action against her
based on the existence of an officially adopted policy or an established custom of DART
or DART police that causes injury and a causal connection between the policy or custom
and the deprivation of a constitutional right.
6.

Branch affirmatively asserts that the actions she took on February 9, 2015 were
discretionary actions made in the field.

7.

Branch affirmatively asserts that any actions concerning Plaintiff have at all times been
reasonable, taken in good faith, investigated and corrective steps taken.

WHEREFORE, Defendant Stephanie Branch requests that Plaintiffs Original Complaint


be dismissed with prejudice and that Plaintiff take nothing.
Respectfully submitted,
Law Office of Jane E. Bishkin
By: s/ Jane E. Bishkin
Jane E. Bishkin
SBN: 00783663
10000 N. Central Expressway, Suite 400
Dallas, Texas 75231
(214) 584-9020 Office
(214) 584-9021 Fax
jbish@swbell.net
ATTORNEY FOR Defendant S. Branch
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
This is to certify that on October 24, 2016, a copy of this document was served via the
Courts ECF filing system or by facsimile upon Plaintiffs Counsel: Tyler J. Bexley, Reese,
Gordon, Marketos, LLP, 750 N. Saint Paul Street, Suite 610, Dallas, Texas 75201-3202. Fax:
214-501-0731, tyler.bexley@rgmfirm.com and Gene Gamez, Counsel for DART P.O. Box
660163, Dallas, Tx. 75266-7255, Fax: (214) 749-0281, ggamez@dart.org
s/ Jane Bishkin_______
Jane Bishkin
Attorney for Defendant S. Branch

DEFENDANT BRANCHS ORIGINAL ANSWER TO PLAINTIFFS COMPLAINT

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