Phila. woman says she sustained a fractured arm during rough, unlawful arrest

By Jon Campisi | Oct 17, 2013

A Philadelphia woman is suing the city and two of its police officers for

falsely arresting her during a time when the plaintiff says she was merely sitting on her front porch writing letters one summer evening.

Christine Maybin alleges in her federal civil rights complaint that on Aug. 24 of this year, two city cops chased an individual from the vacant property next door to the plaintiff’s home onto Maybin’s porch and arrested the man in front of Maybin.

The officers, identified as John Does in the complaint, then, without cause or justification, proceeded to place Maybin under arrest.

The woman claims she sustained right arm injuries after the officers used “unnecessary force” in placing her in handcuffs.

Maybin was then made to sit handcuffed for about a half-hour before she was released without being charged with a crime.

The two defendant police officers also subsequently released the person they had chased from the adjacent home after no narcotics or contraband were found, according to the complaint.

The complaint maintains that Maybin’s arrest was a violation of her civil rights, specifically her Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution.

Maybin, the suit claims, was arrested without probable cause or a reasonable suspicion that the woman was engaged in any criminal activity.

At no time, the complaint states, did Maybin attempt to physically strike any of the officers, nor did she harass or threaten them, or resist arrest or commit any illegal acts or engage in any conduct that would have justified the actions of the cops.

As a result of the incident, Maybin sustained a fractured arm, lacerations and contusions to her body, the suit states.

She also reportedly suffered and continues to suffer serious mental anguish, psychological and emotional distress, and physical pain and suffering.

Maybin also claims to have suffered damage to her personal and business reputation.

“The actions of Defendants were undertaken in a menacing and arbitrary manner, designed to cause Plaintiff fear, distress and embarrassment,” the lawsuit reads. “The acts of Defendants were committed willfully, wantonly, maliciously, intentionally, outrageously, deliberately and/or by conduct so egregious as to shock the conscience.”

The suit goes on to state that the defendant police officers made statements to higher-ups, the district attorney and others in order to conceal their “unlawful and unconstitutional” conduct and attempt to deny Maybin access to the courts and to due process.

The complaint also accuses the City of Philadelphia of permitting, encouraging and tolerating unreasonable and illegal use of force by its police officers, unjustified and illegal arrest, abuse of police powers, and for allowing psychologically or emotionally unfit individuals to serve on the police force.

The plaintiff seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, along with declaratory judgment, attorney’s fees and litigation costs.

Maybin is being represented by Philadelphia attorney Michael Pileggi.


The federal case number is 2:13-cv-05998-CMR. 

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