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IN UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DEC 19 2012
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS JAM .
WESTERN DIVISION By:_ES W. CLERK

FRANCISCO MAYORGA PLAINTIWCLERK
vs.
Case No. ___
STEVE'S AUTO CENTER OF
CONWAY, INC.; and
STEVE GAFNER, d/b/a
STEVE'S AUTO AND WRECKER SERVICE DEFENDANTS
COMPLAINT
Plaintiff, Francisco Mayorga, by and through counsel, the Koch Law Firm, P .A., for
his complaint against Defendants, states:
This case assig,.,ed Judge
and to Magtstrate Juogt:: ---
PARTIES AND JURISDICTION

1. Plaintiff was at all times relevant to this litigation a resident of Faulkner
County, Arkansas.
2. Corporate Defendant Steve's Auto Center of Conway, Inc., is a for-profit
corporation organized and existing under Arkansas state law. Steve's Auto Center's
principal place of business is located in Faulkner County, Arkansas, and the events giving
rise to this lawsuit all took place in Faulkner County, Arkansas. The address for the
president and registered agent for Steve's Auto Center of Conway is in Vilonia, Arkansas.
3. Defendant Steve Gafner is a resident of Faulkner County, Arkansas, and
does vehicle towing under the business name "Steve's Auto and Wrecker Service," which is
purportedly located at 1335 E. Oak Street in Conway, AR 72032.
4. This Court therefore has personal jurisdiction over the parties, and venue is
proper under 28 U.S.C. 1391(b).
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5. This lawsuit is brought under 42 U.S.C. 1981, national ongm
discrimination, and this Court therefore has subject matter jurisdiction over the federal
claim; the Court also has supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiffs state law claims.
GENERAL ALLEGATIONS OF FACT
6. On or about Sunday, November 18, 2012, Defendants towed three vehicles
from Kohl's department store parking lot in Conway, Arkansas, asserting that they did so
on authority from Kohl's. These vehicles belong to Plaintiff.
7. Kohl's representatives, however, deny authorizing Defendants to remove any
vehicles from their property.
8. On Tuesday, November 21, 2012, Plaintiff went to Defendant's place of
business to retrieve the vehicles. Plaintiff took the proper paperwork to show that he was
the rightful owner of the vehicles. However, Defendants refused to release the vehicles to
Plaintiff.
9. In spite of repeated attempts to recover his property from Defendants,
Plaintiffwas unable to do so, and this resulted in excessive charges for daily storage fees.
10. While dealing with Plaintiff, Defendants noted his accent and skin color, and
determined that Plaintiffs national origin is from outside the United States; Defendants
asserted to Plaintiff that they suspected he was in the country unlawfully, and that he
would have difficulty asserting his rights.
11. While Plaintiff was demanding that his property be returned to him,
Defendants told Plaintiff that if he kept pressing the matter, they would make some calls
and see that Plaintiff gets deported from the country.
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12. Defendants did call the police and report that he had Plaintiffs vehicles, that
Plaintiff is of a different national origin, and that Plaintiff was suspicious.
13. After Defendants had already had the vehicles for several days-and had
refused to release them to the Plaintiff-the police came to check on the vehicles. The
police asserted that there was some irregularity with the license plate on one of the vehicles,
and told Defendants they would be investigating. They did not, however, assert any
probable cause to believe that any of the vehicles were stolen.
14. Although Defendants assert that the police advised them to "hold" the
vehicles pending the investigation of the tag, Defendants asserted no-and had no-
apparent authority to keep Plaintiffs property from him.
15. Eventually, Plaintiff hired an attorney to contact Defendants about the
vehicles. The day after being contacted by Plaintiffs attorney, Defendants offered to
release the vehicles. However, Defendants refused to release the vehicles until Plaintiff
paid over $3,400.00 in towing and storage fees.
16. While investigating the matter, Plaintiff discovered that Defendants scout
private parking lots and tow vehicles without having authorization to do so, especially
seeking vehicles where something indicates that the vehicle's owners are Hispanic.
Defendants reportedly will call about the vehicle, pretending to be interested in buying it,
but the real goal of the call is to see if the seller/owner of the vehicle has an accent that
would indicate he or she is of foreign national origin.
17. When dealing with Hispanics, Defendants seek reasons to delay releasing the
vehicles back, thus quickly raising the amount that Defendants charge for vehicle
"storage."
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18. Defendants try to maintain a close relationship with law enforcement
through various methods, such as providing discounted services for police officers and
donating vehicles to the local police agencies, so that Defendants have favorable contacts
within the law enforcement community. This gives Defendants more presence and
confidence that they will have the police on their side when faced with accusations of
wrongdoing by individuals whose vehicles Defendants have towed.
19. Plaintiff had lawful possession and control over the vehicles, and Defendants
dispossessed Plaintiff of those vehicles.
20. Plaintiff is a person of Hispanic ethnicity, and his ethnicity is apparent in his
physical characteristics and speech patterns.
COUNT ONE: 42 U.S.C. 1981
21. Plaintiff re-alleges the preceding general allegations of fact under this count.
22. The interaction between the Plaintiff and Defendants, as alleged herein,
amounts to a "contract" for purposes of 42 U.S.C. 1981, as amended.
23. Defendants' actions, as described herein, amount to a violation of 42 U.S.C.
1981, as amended.
24. Defendants' actions on this count were willful and malicious, and were
sufficiently egregious to warrant punitive damages against Defendants on this count.
COUNT TWO: CONVERSION
25. Plaintiff re-alleges the preceding general allegations of fact under this count.
26. Defendants-through their actions as alleged herein-wrongfully acquired,
transferred, detained, disposed of, or otherwise dispossessed Plaintiff of his property, and
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Defendants have exercised dominion and control over Plaintiffs property without
permission, cause, or compensation.
27. This exercise of dominion and control is adverse to the Plaintiff, who is the
actual owner and/or authorized user of the property, and is in violation of rights of the
actual owner or person entitled to possession of the property: Plaintiff.
28. Defendants' actions as described herein amount to the tort of conversion
under Arkansas law.
29. The Defendants' actions of taking, acquiring, transferring, detaining,
disposing of, or otherwise dispossessing Plaintiff of his personal property were willful,
intentional, and malicious, and were such as to justify punitive damages against
Defendants.
COUNT THREE: TRESPASS TO CHATTELS
30. Plaintiffs re-allege the preceding general allegations of fact under this count.
31. Plaintiff was at all times the rightful title holder and/or authorized user of
the personal property (chattels) detained by Defendants, and Plaintiff at all times had a
right to possession of the chattels.
32. Defendants-through their actions as alleged herein-acted to: (1)
wrongfully take Plaintiffs chattels; (2) wrongfully transfer Plaintiffs chattels; (3)
wrongfully detain Plaintiffs chattels; and/or (4) wrongfully dispose of Plaintiffs chattels,
and Defendants' actions amount to the tort of trespass to chattels under Arkansas law.
33. Defendants' actions on this count were willful, intentional, and malicious,
and were such as to justify punitive damages against Defendants.
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DAMAGES
34. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants' actions as described herein,
Plaintiff has suffered damages, including-but not limited to-loss of the possession and
use of his property, financial harm, pain and suffering, embarrassment, and humiliation;
also, Plaintiff has incurred costs and expenses that he would otherwise not have incurred.
JURY TRIAL DEMAND
35. Plaintiff demands a trial by jury on all counts.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendants, for compensatory
damages in an amount to be determined at trial, for liquidated damages, for
reimbursement for the full value of his loss of personal property, for punitive damages, for
costs of litigation and attorney fees, and for pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, and
for all other proper relief.
Respectfully submitted,
Koch Law Firm, P .A.
2024 Arkansas Valley Drive, Suite 707
Little Rock, Arkansas 72212
(501) 223-5310 office
(501) 223-5311 facsimile
reggie@reggiekoch.com
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