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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA

STEVEN KOHN, RENEE LEAVY,

)

REBECCA KOHN, HANNAH KOHN,

)

SARA KOHN, LEAH KOHN,

)

COMPLAINT

HINDA KOHN (a minor), ABRAHAM KOHN

)

(a

minor), SIMHA KOHN (a minor),

)

CLARA KOHN (a minor), SOPHIA KOHN

)

(a

minor), DAVID KOHN (a minor)

)

 

)

 

Plaintiffs

)

vs.

)

)

City of Hollywood, a municipal corporation

)

Jeffrey Sheffel, Joel Cantor,

)

City of Hollywood Police Department,

)

Robert Knapp, Chadwick Wagner, Alexander Perez,)

Grant Einhorn, Sandra Einhorn, Peter Bober

)

Richard S. Blattner

)

)

Defendants

)

 

/

)

COMES NOW Plaintiffs by and through their undersigned counsel, and hereby sue the

above named Defendants, and in support thereof allege as follows:

I.

PARTIES

1. Plaintiff’s STEVEN KOHN (KOHN), RENEE LEAVY, REBECCA KOHN, HANNAH

KOHN, SARA KOHN, LEAH KOHN, HINDA KOHN (a minor) ABRAHAM KOHN (a minor)

SIMHA KOHN (a minor) CLARA KOHN (a minor) SOPHIA KOHN (a minor) and DAVID

KOHN (a minor), at all times material to this action, were residents of Broward County, Florida.

2. Defendant ROBERT KNAPP (“Defendant Knapp”), at all times material to this action,

was a Detective of the Defendant, City of Hollywood, and at all times mentioned in this

complaint was acting under color of law and color of their authority as a police detective of

Defendant City of Hollywood.

3. Defendant ALEXANDER PEREZ (“Defendant Perez”), at all times material to this

action, was an officer of the Defendant City of Hollywood, and at all times mentioned in this

complaint was acting under color of law and color of their authority as a police officer of

Defendant City of Hollywood.

4. Defendant CHADWICK WAGNER (“Defendant Wagner”), is the police chief of

Defendant City of Hollywood and at all times mentioned in this complaint was acting under

color of law and color of his authority as police chief of Defendant City of Hollywood.

5. Defendant CHADWICK WAGNER, as police chief of Defendant, City of Hollywood, is

responsible for the acts of the police officers of Defendant, City of Hollywood, while in the

performance of their duties as police officers for Defendant, City of Hollywood. Furthermore, he

is responsible for the ongoing training of the police officers of Defendant, City of Hollywood, to

ensure that those officers are competent to carry out their assigned duties.

6. Defendant JEFFREY SHEFFEL (“Defendant Sheffel”), at all times material to this

action, was the City Attorney for the City of Hollywood in Broward County, Florida.

7. Defendant JOEL CANTOR (“Defendant Cantor”), at all times material to this action, was

an attorney for the City of Hollywood and/or the Hollywood Police Department and was a

resident of Broward County, Florida.

8. Defendant PETER BOBER, at all times material to this action, was the Mayor for the

City of Hollywood in Broward County, Florida.

9. Defendant RICHARD S. BLATTNER, at all times material to this action, was a

Commissioner for the City of Hollywood in Broward County, Florida

10.

Defendant CITY OF HOLLYWOOD, a municipal corporation (“Defendant

Hollywood”), at all times material to this action, was a City of Broward County, Florida.

11. Defendant HOLLYWOOD POLICE DEPARTMENT (“Defendant HPD”), at all times

material to this action, was an agency of the City of Hollywood in Broward County, Florida.

12. At all times material to this action, the applicable, aforementioned Defendants were

acting under color of state law.

13. Defendant GRANT EINHORN (“Defendant Einhorn”), at all times material to this

action, was a resident of Broward County, Florida.

14. Defendant SANDRA EINHORN (“Defendant Einhorn”), at all times material to this

action, was a resident of Broward County, Florida.

II.

JURISDICTION

15. This is a civil action arising under the Constitution of the United States of America.

16. This complaint seeks, inter alia, damages pursuant to 42 U.S.C.A. § 1983 and 42

U.S.C.A. § 1988 for violations of Plaintiff’s civil rights.

17. This action is brought pursuant to the provisions of 42 United States Code, Sections

1983, 1985, and 1988. This Court has supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s common law

torts claims pursuant to 28 United States Code, Section 1367 as they arise out of the same

transaction or occurrence as Plaintiff’s federal claims.

18. This action seeks monetary damages against Defendants in their official and individual

capacities in excess of Seventy Five Thousand Dollars ($75,000), exclusive of costs, interest and

attorney's fees, as well as injunctive relief.

19. All conditions precedent to bringing this action have been met, including, but not limited

to, a Notice of Claim setting forth the name and post office address of the claimants and of their

attorneys, the nature of the claim, the time when, the place where, and the manner in which the

claim arose, and the items of damage and injuries claimed to have been sustained so far as then

practicable, was served upon Defendants.

III.

BACKGROUND

This is an action for damages sustained by citizens of the United States against

Hollywood City, Hollywood City Police Department, employee police officers of Hollywood

City, employees of Hollywood City government, the Mayor of Hollywood City, the Chief of

Police of Hollywood City, a Commissioner of Hollywood City, and two Hollywood City

residents.

On June 8, 2011, while the Plaintiffs were preparing for a religious holiday celebration

that was taking place that day, 12 armed Hollywood Police officers arrived with an unlawfully

obtained search warrant, demanding entry to the home. Entry was granted under threat of

incarceration. The officers unlawfully detained the family, and proceeded to unlawfully search

for and seize all computers, financial records, legal records, cameras, telephones, diaries,

photographs, and other papers of all of the Plaintiffs. The officers unlawfully conducted a search

for drugs as well.

The search and seizure warrant was obtained as a result of cooperative efforts undertaken

between Defendants Grant Einhorn and Sandra Einhorn, and Defendants Knapp, Perez, Sheffel,

Cantor, Wagner, Bober, Blattner, Hollywood City, and Hollywood City Police Department,

whose combined purpose was to violate the Civil Rights of the Plaintiffs under color of law.

Defendant Sandra Einhorn knowingly falsely accused Plaintiff Steven Kohn of violating

a restraining order that she knew did not exist, and then later lied about it under oath.

Defendants Perez and Knapp knowingly violated common police practices by refusing to take

reasonable efforts to determine the terms and status of the alleged restraining order, in violation

of the Plaintiff Steven Kohn’s civil rights. Defendant Perez knowingly violated common police

practices regarding the issuance of a subpoena by refusing to ascertain whether the evidence

sought could possibly lead to a conviction under the statute cited, in violation of Plaintiff Steven

Kohn’s civil rights. Defendant Perez determined that an innocent cultural and religious act

undertaken by Plaintiff Steven Kohn was an act of harassment, in violation of Plaintiff Steven

Kohn’s civil rights. Defendant Knapp perjured as the Affiant in order to obtain a search warrant,

in violation of the civil rights of all of the Plaintiffs. Defendant Knapp caused the search warrant

to be executed, violating the civil rights of all of the Plaintiffs. Defendant Knapp caused the

search warrant to be executed on a major religious holiday, violating the civil rights of all of the

Plaintiffs. Defendant Knapp caused the search warrant to be exceeded by allowing and directing

a search for drugs, when the warrant was allegedly only for the purposes of seeking evidence of

cyber stalking, in violation of the civil rights of all of the Plaintiffs. Defendants Knapp, Sheffel,

Bober, Cantor, Wagner, Hollywood City Police Department, upon being provided on at least

seven occasions with indisputable proof that the warrant was based on non-existent probable

cause, failed to return the Plaintiffs property, violating the civil rights of all of the Plaintiffs.

Defendants Knapp, Sheffel, Bober, Blattner, Cantor, Wagner, Hollywood City and Hollywood

City Police Department conspired to retain Plaintiffs property in order to prevent the Plaintiffs

from being able to complete a competent defense in a lawsuit initiated by Defendants Grant

Einhorn and Sandra Einhorn, and timed the return of the property to coincide with the conclusion

of the legal proceedings of that lawsuit, in violation of the civil rights of all of the Plaintiffs.

Defendants Sheffel and Cantor conspired to maliciously file a lawsuit against Plaintiff Steven

Kohn that was to be executed during the time period when Hollywood Police Department was in

illegal possession of Plaintiff’s legal and financial records, in violation of Plaintiff Steven

Kohn’s civil rights. Plaintiffs bring suit against Chief Chadwick Wagner as the supervisory

officer responsible for the conduct, training and supervision of police officers under his charge.

Defendant Wagner failed to properly train police officers in the appropriate methods of

determining and prosecuting violations of restraining orders and cyber stalking laws. Defendant

Wagner failed to adequately discipline and supervise officers in regards to their propensity to

allow, supervise and commit illegal searches against the citizenry and to have appropriate

policies, procedures, and practices in place regarding the appropriate methods of lawful search

and seizures.

IV. FACTS APPLICABLE TO ALL COUNTS

20. Defendant Grant Einhorn was accused by Plaintiff Steven Kohn of placing pamphlets of

an ethnically and religiously disparaging nature on the cars of guests attending the engagement

party of Plaintiff Rebecca Kohn, which took place on November 27, 2010. The pamphlets were

entitled “Are the Kohn’s Jewish?” and questioned the Kohns’ Jewishness based upon some of

their culturally Arabic practices and based upon an internet based Islamic clothing business that

two of the Kohn children were engaged in, using faux Muslim Facebook personas to promote.

Twenty two of the pamphlets were recovered by the Kohns before the party ended.

21. Plaintiff Kohn called the police, who determined the pamphlets were not harassing

because they were free speech.

22. Plaintiffs, seeking a way to find peace with their neighbors while also not offering any

legitimacy to what was perceived as Einhorns’ anti-Muslim sentiments, presented them with a

gift.

23.

Einhorn called the police, saying they thought the gift was harassing. The police

determined that the gift was an act of harassment, and opened an investigation under case

number 33-1011-187374, which is the focus of this lawsuit.

24. After the Einhorns rebuffed the Kohns gift offering, Plaintiff Steven Kohn wrote a

message to Defendant Sandra Einhorn on Facebook pleading for a peaceful resolution.

25. On December 1, 2010, Sandra Einhorn wrote a letter to Defendant Commissioner

Blattner of Hollywood City, showing him the Facebook message that Defendant Kohn sent.

(Exhibits pp1-2). The letter, signed by Sandra Einhorn in her professional capacity, both opens

and closes reminding Commissioner Blattner of their professional relationship, and then asks

him for several forms of intervention that are not legal for him to provide, after implying that a

quid pro quo is in place:

a) Language that implies that favors are being traded:

"Grant and I have gone out of our way to work with the City and Code Compliance in order to help the situation from the City's end, with code violations and such. I would expect the same support from the City for us."

b) Language that directly requests Commissioner Blattner use coercive influence to

cause the police to target the Defendants: "As our City Commissioner I plead for you

to please help my neighbors and I in bringing these people to justice."

c) Implied request for financial help in securing an attorney: "We have been forced to

hire an attorney we really can't afford." "Please help us!"

26. The next morning, December 2, 2010, Commissioner Blattner arranged a meeting

consisting of the Chief of Police Wagner, City Attorney Sheffel, Code Enforcement Chief Milan,

City Manager Benson, and himself, in order to find a way to help Sandra Einhorn. (Exhibits pp1,

3-7). The specific subject of the meeting was apparently the Facebook message, the context of

which is clearly not official business of the city. City Attorney Jeff Sheffel stated in an email the

morning of 12/2/2010 that “I am anxious to meet to discuss an appropriate strategy.” (Exhibits

p7).

27. As a result of the aforementioned meeting, Hollywood Police department opened a

criminal investigation of the gift that Kohn gave, which ultimately resulted in the illegal search

and seizure described herein.

28. Commissioner Blattner, City Manager Benson, and Code Chief Clay Milan have been

named as co-Respondents in HUD File No.: 04-11-1099-8, Title VI Case No.: 04-11-1099-6,

Section 109 Case No.: 04-11-1099-9 for their role in this matter as it relates to discriminatory

code enforcement practices. (Exhibits pp8-14).

29. Defendants Grant and Sandra Einhorn sought the removal of Kohns pets via a private

nuisance lawsuit (CACE 10-048282(18)) that was filed less than 3 weeks after the

aforementioned letter meeting, after City of Hollywood entered into a contract with Sandra

Einhorn to provide up to $55,000 worth of services to the City.

30. The Defendant Sandra Einhorn knowingly made a false report to Hollywood Police

Department, with the intent and outcome of violating Plaintiffs state and federal protection from

unreasonable search and seizure, and causing a direct interference with an injunction hearing in

Broward County Circuit Court taking place on August 3-4 2011. (CASE NO.: 10-048282)

31. Defendant Sandra Einhorn lied under oath regarding her false report to Hollywood Police

Department.

32. Hollywood City government, on 8 documented occasions, conducted searches within the

curtilage of Kohn’s property that were enabled or caused by the Einhorns, who allowed and

encouraged city employees to stand on objects in order to peer over the 6 foot privacy fence that

rests on the property line. The 8 occasions are 7/20/10, 8/24/10, 9/7/10, 9/16/10, 9/29/10,

11/24/10, 12/1/10, and 12/3/10.

33. Hollywood City government, acting in collusion with Defendant Sandra Einhorn,

conspired to violate Plaintiffs state and federal protection from unreasonable search and seizure

and interfered with the outcome of the aforementioned lawsuit by handicapping the Plaintiff’s

ability to mount a proper defense in CACE 10048282(18).

34. This was accomplished on June 8, 2011 via an unconstitutional search and seizure of the

Plaintiff’s business, legal strategies, and all evidence that was to be used in his defense in the

nuisance lawsuit.

35. The warrant was issued under Hollywood Case Number 33-1011-187374, showing that

the giving the gift to Einhorn was the genesis this action.

36. The search warrant was based upon a false report made by Defendant Sandra Einhorn,

that a valid restraining order existed against Plaintiff, Steven Kohn, and that Steven Kohn had

violated the active restraining order against her.

37. On January 7, 2011, Defendant Sandra Einhorn petitioned (DVCE 11-134) to obtain an

injunction for a protective order against Plaintiff Steven Kohn. A hearing date was set without a

temporary injunction being granted. (Exhibits p15). On January 18, 2011, the hearing was

continued until April 15, 2011. The form that was used to set the hearing was the same form that

is used to extend a temporary restraining order, had one been previously granted. Hon. Judge

Michael Kaplan explained to both parties that the order merely maintained the status quo, and

that since no temporary restraining order had been granted, there was no temporary order to

extend. (Exhibits pp16-18).

January 25, 2011 Police Report authored by HPD Officer Ferguson, which reported Defendant

Sandra Einhorn stating "that she will go to court to obtain an injunction order from the judge."

(Exhibits p19).

39. On January 27, 2011, responding to concerns Plaintiff Steven Kohn expressed,

Hon.Judge Kaplan issued an order vacating the order of January 18, 2011 and set the hearing for

April 15, 2011. (Exhibits p20).

40. At the hearing on April 15, 2011, the Petition was dismissed (Exhibits p21).

41. Instantly after the hearing on April 15, 2011, Sandra Einhorn re-Petitioned on case

DVCE 11-2439. A hearing was set for May 2, 2011 without setting a temporary injunction

(Exhibit), and was dismissed on May 2, 2011 after a full hearing.

42. The allegations made in DVCE 11-2439 were far in excess of those contained within

Hollywood Case Number 33-1011-187374, and were not deemed by the Court to constitute

stalking even if true (else the temporary injunction would have been granted).

43. On April 24, 2011, Hollywood Police Officer Plummer (badge #3221) authored a report

saying that Defendant Sandra Einhorn stated that she had a temporary restraining order against

Mr. Kohn on case DVCE 11-2439. (Exhibits p85) A recording of Defendant Sandra Einhorn’s

call to HPD from the previous day (April 23) also exists wherein she repeats that she has a

restraining order against Mr. Kohn.

44. Sometime before February 23, 2011, Defendant Sandra Einhorn provided Hollywood

Police Department with a copy of the January 18, 2011 order, as evidenced by:

a. In January 2012, Plaintiff Steven Kohn made a public records request of

Hollywood Police Department, specifically asking for “the complaint from Sandra

Einhorn stating she had a restraining order that was being violated.” (Exhibits

p22, last paragraph under item 3).

b. On January 11, 2012, Hollywood Police sent an email stating “Attached please

find a copy of the restraining order you requested as part of your public records

request.” (Exhibits pp. 23-26).

c. Comparing Kohn’s copy (Exhibits p18) to the copy that Hollywood Police

provided (Exhibits p26), it is unmistakable that the court stamp is in a different

location on HPD’s copy, and there is no time stamp showing it was a copy of the

one entered into the file. The only two copies of the order that lack a time stamp

are the copies given in open Court to the Petitioner (Sandra Einhorn) and

Respondent (Steven Kohn). Therefore, the only possible source of the Hollywood

Police Department copy is Defendant Sandra Einhorn.

45. On February 23, 2011, the Broward County Circuit Court held a hearing on CASE NO.:

10-048282, and elected to not grant a temporary injunction to remove Kohn’s pets at that time.

Immediately after the hearing, at 1:46PM, Hollywood Police Detective Alex Perez ran an NCIC

report and found the aforementioned order of January 18, 2011. (Exhibits p25).

46. The NCIC report explicitly states: "Do not search, detain, or arrest based solely on this

record. Contact entering agency to confirm status and terms of protection order." (Exhibits p27).

47. Defendant Perez took no actions to confirm the status or terms of the protection order.

Had Defendant Perez either looked at the docket in DVCE 11-134 or looked for the original

restraining order that was allegedly being extended (which would have been necessary in order

to know precisely what the terms were), he would have seen that no such order had been granted.

48.

On March 30, 2011, Detective Perez visited the Einhorns at their home, and obtained

from them emails that Sandra Einhorn claimed had been sent from Kohn’s unsecured wireless

network.

49. On April 29, 2011, based upon materials provided by Einhorn, and without verifying the

existence or terms of a restraining order, Defendant Perez (Badge #2064) issued a subpoena to

Comcast to learn the origin of the emails, basing his request on suspected violations of a

restraining order that he knew or should have known did not exist. (Exhibits pp 28-32)

50. On June 1, 2011, in the “General Affidavit and Application for Search Warrant”,

Plaintiff, Steven Kohn, was accused by Officers of the City of Hollywood of violating of Florida

Statute 784.048 (1)(d)(4) entitled Aggravated Stalking in sworn testimony under oath by

Defendant Detective Robert Knapp Badge #2536.

51. The Affidavit requested that the search warrant authorize the search of emails of

Plaintiff’s Rebecca Kohn, Hannah Kohn, and (14 year old) Hinda Kohn for possible violations of

felony cyber stalking after injunction. Defendant Knapp then executed an affidavit in order to

obtain a search warrant which was executed on June 8, 2011. The affidavit alleges on its face the

following:

On 01/07/2011, victim Einhorn applied for a temporary injunction against Steven Kohn, restraining him from assaulting, threatening, abusing, harassing, following, interfering with, or stalking the victim. The temporary order was approved on 01/18/2011 and suspect Steve Kohn was served with this order on the same date. The order was active and set to expire on the assigned court date of 04/15/2011. The protection order was verified via NCIC/FCIC on 02/23/2011 and the dates listed were confirmed.

(Emphasis Added) (Affidavit is attached as Exhibits pp 33-41).

52. The Affidavit contains statements that are deliberately false or were made with a reckless

disregard for the truth as Sandra Einhorn stated under oath that the Hollywood Police

Department knew she had not obtained a restraining order, and simple following of standard

operating procedures would have revealed that no such order existed.

53. The Affiant, Detective Robert Knapp, blatantly disregarded the truth when Sandra

Einhorn specifically discussed with Hollywood Police that she did not have a restraining order

against Steven Kohn and yet he still made a representation that he verified the restraining order.

Supra.

54.

The Affidavit lists Florida State 933.18(6) and Florida Statute 933.02 as grounds for

issuance of the Search Warrant. However, the underlying felony, aggravated stalking pursuant to

Fla. Stat. 784.048(1)(d)(4) that Defendant had been alleged to have violated, required an

injunction to be in place. Because there was no valid injunction, the warrant rested on perilous

probable cause grounds.

55. The Affidavit contained false and manufactured statements made in order to achieve a

willful and reckless violation of Steven Kohn’s Fourth Amendment right to be protected from

unreasonable searches and seizures

56. The Search Warrant was subject to the following requirements:

a. Must be issued by a neutral disinterested magistrate. Merrill v. State, 849 So. 2d 1175;

b. Those seeking the warrant must demonstrate to the magistrate the existence of

probable cause to believe that the evidence sought will aid in a particular apprehension of

conviction for particular offense Merrill v. State, 849 So. 2d 1175; and

c. Warrants must particularly describe the things to be seized as well as the place to be

searched. Dalia v. U.S., 441 U.S. 238 (1979).

57. The Fourth Amendment, the Florida Constitution, and Florida Statutes (§ 923.04 and

923.05) provide that no warrant shall issue, but upon probable cause supported by oath or

affirmation, in particular describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be

seized. A search warrant is issued only upon a showing of probable cause to believe that the

legitimate object of the search is located in a particular place. Steagald v. U.S., 451 U.S. 204

(1981). The reason cited must be sufficient to create a reasonable belief that a crime has been

committed, and, as long as a neutral magistrate has a substantial basis for concluding that a

search would uncover evidence of wrongdoing, the probable cause requirement is satisfied.

Schmitt v. State, 590 So. 2d 404 (Fla. 1991).

58. A basic principle is that searches and seizures inside a constitutionally protected area

without a warrant are presumptively unreasonable. Welsh v. Wisconsin, 466 U.S. 740 (1984).

59. Statutes and rules authorizing searches and seizures are strictly construed and affidavits

and warrants issued pursuant to such authority must meticulously conform to statutory and

constitutional provisions. State v. Quigg, 17 So. 2d 697 (Fla. 1944).

60. The reviewing court, judge, or magistrate must make sure that a magistrate had a

substantial basis for concluding that probable cause existed. Massachusetts v. Upton, 466 U.S.

727 (1984); McNeely v. State, 690 So. 2d 1337 (Fla. 1st DCA 1997). Whether an affidavit

supporting a search warrant sufficiently supports a probable cause finding must be determined

within its four corners. State v. Starks, 633 So. 2d 546 (Fla. 5th DCA 1994). The burden is on the

state to prove that the police had probable cause for a search and seizure. Doctor v. State, 596 So.

2d 442 (Fla. 1992).

61. A defendant in the proceeding has the right, under the Fourth and Fourteenth

Amendments, subsequent to the ex parte issuance of a search warrant to challenge the

truthfulness of factual statements made in an affidavit supporting the warrant. Mason v. State,

375 So. 2d 1125 (Fla. 1st DCA 1979); State v. Jacobs, 320 So. 2d 45 (Fla. 2d DCA 1975).

62.

Under the circumstances in this matter, the search warrant would have been issued

pursuant to Section 933.02(3) which provides that a search warrant may be issued when any

property constitutes evidence relevant to proving that a felony has been committed.

63. Even where the search warrant can be found properly issued, an exception exists to

evidence seized which is “testimonial” or “communicative” in nature; such evidence is

considered tantamount to compelling the defendant to become a witness against himself in

violation of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. State v. Kircheis, 269

So. 2d 16, 17 (Fla. 3d DCA 1972).

64. The target of the affidavit and warrant in this matter were statements allegedly made in

emails by Steven Kohn which were communicative in nature showing violations of aggravated

stalking. Under Kircheis, such search would be unlawful because of the nature of the items

sought.

65. Further, regardless of whether the emails sought after by the City of Hollywood’s Police

Department were of the same communicative nature of those described in Kircheis, the affidavit

is completely void of any meaningful probable cause.

66. Steven Kohn challenged the truth of the information contained in the warrant Affidavit.

67. Particularly, the Affiant left out the fact that at the time the search warrant was sought

and signed, alleged victim Einhorn and the Affiant both knew that the temporary injunction that

was the crux of the alleged law violation was denied, as Einhorn had informed the police of this

fact. This is contrary to the Affiant’s sworn statement in which Affiant verified that a valid

injunction existed, and was in place continuously from 1/18/11 through 4/15/11, and wherein the

Affiant implied that he knew the terms and conditions of the injunction.

Q: And did the police officers of the Hollywood Police Department ever ask you, if you have a restraining order against Steve Kohn? A: The Hollywood Police knew that I had been unsuccessful in obtaining a restraining order against Steve Kohn. Q: So they knew that you were unsuccessful? A: Yes. Q: Okay. Did they -- did they – A: Or that's what I told them. Q: And did you ever lead them to believe to believe you had a valid restraining order against Mr. Kohn? A: No, it would be foolish to lead police into something that they could very easily figure out for themselves one way or another. Q: So your testimony is that you never told police you had a valid restraining order against Mr. Kohn? A: That is correct. Q: In fact, you told the police you did not have valid restraining order because it was denied? A: I told -- I called the police and I -- actually lost when the decision was made that I did not receive it. I did call Hollywood Police to let them know that I did not receive the restraining order. Yes, that is correct.

Einhorn v. Kohn, 10-048282 (18) (2011). (Attached is a copy of pages 197,198 of the trial transcript in relevant part as Exhibits pp.86-88).

69. The direct result of Detective Knapp’s falsely reporting that a valid restraining order

existed in his affidavit to the magistrate was the execution of an unconstitutional search and

seizure warrant against Plaintiff Steven Kohn and his entire family, conducted by 12 armed

Hollywood Police officers, causing extreme emotional distress to all members of the Kohn

family, disrupting the family’s observance of a major religious holiday, causing the complete

confiscation of Mr. Kohn’s business, financial records, legal strategies, medical records, the

school work of his children, his adult children and minor children’s online job materials, all of

the Plaintiff’s records and plans that were going to be used in his defense in the lawsuit initiated

by the Einhorns, and all of the telephones, cameras, pictures, and diaries of every member of the

household.

70.

Steven Kohn was entitled to an evidentiary hearing (referred to as a "Franks hearing;"

Franks v. Delaware (1978) 438 U.S. 154 [57 L.Ed.2nd 667].) on this issue upon a "substantial

showing" that:

a. The affidavit contains statements that are deliberately false or were made with a reckless disregard for the truth; and

b. The affidavit's remaining contents are reevaluated after the false statements are excised

to see if, as corrected, there is still sufficient evidence to justify a finding of probable cause. Frank v. Delaware (1978) 438 U.S. 154, 155-156 [57 L.Ed.2nd 667, 672];

precluding the cross-examination of the affiant until the necessary showing is made. See also People v. Wilson (1986) 182 Cal.App.3rd 742, 747; Theodor v. Superior Court (1972) 8 Cal.3rd 77, 103; People v. Cook (1978) 22 Cal.3rd 67, 78; and People v. Bradford (1997) 15 Cal.4th 1229, 1297; People v. Lewis et al. (2006) 39 Cal.4th 970, 989); and

c. The affidavit contains information that is the direct product of a Fourth Amendment violation. (See People v. Weiss (1999) 20 Cal.4th 1073.)

71. After the City of Hollywood and the Hollywood Police Department were repeatedly

made aware that the search and seizure were illegal, they declined to make a decision to return

Mr. Kohn’s property, which included the legal defenses, strategies and evidence Mr. Kohn

intended to use in the Einhorn lawsuit (CASE NO.: 10-048282), and money-earning capability of

the Plaintiff, until the very same day that the hearing concluded in CASE NO.: 10-048282 on

August 4, 2011. Although the decision was made on that date, the property still was not

returned.

72. After the City of Hollywood and the Hollywood Police Department were made aware

that the search and seizure were illegal, and after seeing Mr. Kohn’s financial status, income

earning capability, and legal strategies on the illegally seized electronic items, the City of

Hollywood on July 13, 2011 then filed a $161,487 lawsuit against Mr. Kohn (Case number:

CACE 11-016210) resting on the same or similar facts as were being litigated in the August 3-4 th

hearing in CASE NO.: 10-048282. (CACE 11-016210 was subsequently dismissed on April 2,

2012 after the Circuit Court found that even if Mr. Kohn’s keeping of pets had actually violated

the subject ordinance, the maximum penalty allowable by law was only $100, an amount below

the threshold of jurisdiction for the Circuit Court).

73. By filing the lawsuit on July 13, 2011, Mr. Kohn would have been expected to be served

on July 14, making his reply due on August 3, 2011; the first day of the August 3-4 hearing in

CACE 10-048282(18). This was another action by Hollywood City designed to interfere with

that proceeding.

74. On August 8, 2011, after the hearing of August 3-4 during which time Mr. Kohn did not

have access to the evidence he intended to use in his defense (due to Hollywood’s unlawful

possession of it), the Circuit Court in case CACE 10-048282(18) granted an injunction against

Mr. Kohn, causing him to remove his pets. Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.530 allows for a

Motion for Rehearing within 10 days of rendition of the order, making August 18, 2011 the last

day that such a Motion could have been filed.

75. The next business day that Detective Knapp was at work after August 18 was Tuesday

August 23, 2011, the selfsame day that the Kohns’ property was made available to the Kohns for

pickup. In other words, Hollywood Police Department waited until the day the hearing in the

civil case CACE 10-048282(18) was completed before deciding to return Kohn’s property, and

waited 19 additional days, until the day after the time had expired for a Motion for Rehearing to

actually allow the property to be retrieved.

76. On August 16, 2011 while still illegally retaining possession of Kohn’s property even

after having allegedly decided to return it, and with only 2 days remaining for Mr. Kohn to file a

Motion for Rehearing in CACE 10-048282(18), Hollywood City filed a Motion for Final

Summary Judgment [for $161,487] in the case they had filed on July 13, 2011, for Mr. Kohn’s

alleged violation of a minor city ordinance that has a $100 maximum fine built into it if violated.

77.

Plaintiff, Steven Kohn, filed a Motion to Quash the search warrant as unconstitutional

due to the absolute nonexistence of probable cause, and after argument by counsel, and without

opposition from the City of Hollywood, the motion was granted by Broward County Circuit

Judge Martin J. Bidwill on December 16, 2011. (Exhibits p52-58)

78. Hollywood Police Detective Robert Knapp’s report of December 15, 2011, submitted as

testimony to Judge Martin J. Bidwill on December 16, 2011, stated that he had ignored the

instructions in the NCIC printout and relied exclusively on the NCIC printout in order to obtain a

search warrant (Exhibits p45):

“After reading the teletype indicating the effective date of the restraining order issued by Judge Michael G. Kaplan, I authored a search warrant of the Kohn’s residence seeking any and all electronic equipment or storage devices capable of accessing the internet and/or the sending and receiving of electronic mail.”

79. Detective Knapp was fully aware that a business was being seized, stating on page 6 of

the search warrant affidavit (Exhibits p38):

"In light of concerns that might arise that the listed home business may be hindered without the use of their computer system(s) while a forensic examination is conducted, your affiant assures the Court that every effort will be made to expedite the forensic examination and return any system(s) expeditiously if after the forensic exam determines that no evidence was found in such system(s).”

80. On the morning of June 8, 2011, Defendant, Kohn’s birthday and the Jewish Holiday of

Shavuot, while the Kohn family was preparing their holiday meal, 12 armed Hollywood Police

officers executed the search warrant based on the alleged violation of a non-existent restraining

order that Defendant Sandra Einhorn had presented to HPD as a valid restraining order. (Search

warrant and affidavit are shown as Exhibits pp33-44) Defendant Einhorn had claimed that the

“order” had been violated via the sending of emails to her—emails that were sent via an open

unsecured wireless network housed in Kohn’s home, which Einhorn had access to due to the

close proximity of the houses. During the June 8, 2011 execution of this warrant, all records that

Kohn had which could have been used in his Defense in the Einhorn lawsuit (CACE

10048282(18)) were taken, including all backups. Also seized were Kohn’s entire business, all

telephones, all handheld cameras, home movies (including Kohn’s wedding video), and all of the

Kohn children’s school work as well as all of the personal computers, cameras, telephones, and

records (financial records, medical records, etc.) of everyone living in the house, both adults and

minors. (see Exhibits pp47-51 for inventory list).

81. The search warrant was granted on June 1 2011, and on its face indicates that the

urgency of the matter is such that "

serving

this warrant and making the search in the daytime or

nighttime, or on Sunday, as the exigencies of the occasion may demand or require "

82. In spite of the apparent urgency of the warrant on its face, Defendants waited an entire

week, until the first day of the major Jewish Holiday of Shavuot, to execute it. Based on prior

actions of the Defendants against the Plaintiffs cultural and religious practices, Plaintiffs allege

that this timing was intentional, designed to disrupt the family Holiday and was not coincidental.

83. The Kohn family was so accustomed to being visited by Hollywood Police or Code

Enforcement on religious holidays that Plaintiff Renee Leavy can be clearly heard on a video

recorded by the City of Hollywood Police Department during their search, very upset, shouting

before even coming to the door on June 8 that the police have been at the door “every holiday,

every holiday since we’ve moved in!”

84. Plaintiff Leavy also stated to Defendant Knapp, at the front door right after the Warrant

was read “She brought her stalking charge to court and you know the judge dismissed it twice”

to which Defendant Knapp’s companion (Sgt Bien) replied “That has nothing to do with why

we’re here, okay? That has nothing to do with why we’re here.”

85.

A search for drugs was also conducted in an unconstitutional expansion of the warrant

even if the warrant had been valid. No drugs were found.

86. The search warrant was quashed as unconstitutional due to the absolute nonexistence of

probable cause, by the order of Broward County Circuit Judge Martin Bidwill, on December 16,

2011, without any objection from Hollywood Police department. The Motion to Quash and the

Order are both shown in full in Exhibits pp52-58. Included in the Motion is an excerpt from

Sandra Einhorn’s testimony from the August 3-4, 2011 hearing in CACE 10048282(18), wherein

she testified under oath in Court stating:

Q: And did the police officers of the Hollywood Police Department ever ask you, if you have a restraining order against Steve Kohn? A: The Hollywood Police knew that I had been unsuccessful in obtaining a restraining order against Steve Kohn. Q: So they knew that you were unsuccessful? A: Yes. Q: Okay. Did they -- did they – A: Or that's what I told them. Q: And did you ever lead them to believe to believe you had a valid restraining order against Mr. Kohn? A: No, it would be foolish to lead police into something that they could very easily figure out for themselves one way or another. Q: So your testimony is that you never told police you had a valid restraining order against Mr. Kohn? A: That is correct.

87. The aforementioned December 15, 2011 report authored by Detective Knapp and

presented in Court the following day, stated:

“On August 04, 2011, I confirmed that the listed restraining order against Mr. Kohn had erroneously been issued by the Courts and also that the entered teletype confirmation had remained in the system even after an order to vacate the restraining order had been issued. This was confirmed by Broward Clerk of Courts Domestic Violence Manager Tonya Green. She advised that the listed restraining order teletype information was issued in error and to prove that it was issued in error, she showed me a copy of the listed order vacated on 01/27/2011. Based upon this information and the fact that the listed search warrant relied on the active restraining order, I prepared for the release of all of the listed seized items to Mr. Kohn on 08/20/2011.”

(Exhibits p45).

88. Detective Knapp, as well as Mayor Peter Bober, City Attorney Jeff Sheffel and City

Attorney Joel Cantor, had already repeatedly received the very same information (the copy of the

1/27/2011 vacating order) from Plaintiff Kohn on 6/27, 6/28, 6/29, 6/30, 7/1, 7/2, and 7/20/2011

(Exhibits pp59-77). On 7/5/2011 City Attorney Jeff Sheffel asked City Attorney Joel Cantor and

Police Chief Chadwick Wagner to show him the alleged restraining order. (Exhibits p72). The

meeting took place on 7/7/2011 (Exhibits p76).

89. Although the Defendants had the Plaintiffs computers in their possession for 8 weeks

before deciding to return them, the computers were never formally searched and no evidence was

gathered. Based on this fact, it would appear that the seizure of the property was the actual goal,

and there was no intention to actually conduct a true police investigation.

90. These are the unpleasant and indisputable facts:

a) After Hollywood officials already had the proof they would later rely upon to return

the property of the Kohn family, they waited 6 additional weeks to make the decision

to return the property—the day that the hearing concluded on August 4, 2011 where

Sandra Einhorn and Grant Einhorn sued for an injunction against Steven Kohn.

b) The Court issued the Order granting injunction on August 8, 2011.

c) Hollywood officials elected to keep the property for almost 3 additional weeks after

deciding to return it, until exactly after the 10 day time period had expired during

which the Plaintiffs could have filed a Motion for Rehearing under Local Rule 1.530.

d) Hollywood’s City Attorney, after knowing for certain that they were illegally holding

Kohn’s property, business, and records (including his bank records), filed a lawsuit

for $161,437.02 against Kohn on July 13, 2011, and then moved for Summary

Judgment on the $161,437.02 on August 16, 2011 (for what the court ultimately

confirmed was an offense with a maximum fine of $100), while knowingly still

illegally holding all of Kohn’s records.

e) Hollywood City officials, working in collusion with Sandra Einhorn, held the seized

materials for precisely the amount of time necessary to prevent the Plaintiffs from

properly defending themselves in the lawsuit initiated by the Einhorns, and to prevent

the Plaintiffs from properly defending themselves in the lawsuit initiated by the City.

91. After City Attorney Jeffrey Sheffel asked the Chief of Police, Chadwick Wagner, and

City Attorney, Joel Cantor, (on 7/5/11) to show him “whether there was a restraining order in

place at the time the actions alleged in the warrant took place”, after he was confronted by a

political activist by phone about the illegal search and seizure, Mr. Sheffel again asked Police

Chief Wagner and Attorney Cantor on 7/28/11 “When I met with your guys to confirm the

validity of the warrant, I did not take a copy of the Temporary Restraining Order. (Exhibits p70)

Could you please have it scanned and e-mailed to me.” By 7/5/11 all three people had already

seen the Vacate order of 1/27/11 at least 4 times.

92. It is simply inconceivable that two experienced attorneys, a police chief, and an

experienced detective, individually and collectively could not have understood that a vacated

injunction was not valid, and that it took them almost two months, [conveniently until the very

day proceedings ended in CASE NO.: 10-048282], to realize this fact, absent malicious intent.

Their actions and the timing thereof must have been intentional, and were obviously undertaken

to violate Plaintiffs state and federal protection from unreasonable search and seizure and

influence the outcome of the aforementioned proceedings.

V. FEDERAL CAUSES OF ACTION

COUNT I §1983 VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS (All Defendants official and individual capacity)

PLAINTIFFS repeat and re-allege Paragraphs 1 through 92, and incorporate them by

reference herein.

1. Defendant Knapp, using his capacity as a ranking officer in the Hollywood Police

Department, and exploiting the City of Hollywood’s policy and practice that officers do not have

to confirm the veracity of facts in order to swear to them in an affidavit, gave sworn testimony to

a Broward County Circuit Court judge in order to obtain a search warrant in violation of the

Plaintiffs 4 th Amendment Right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.

2. Defendant Perez and Defendant Knapp, like any reasonable officer should have

known that when a citizen reports that a crime has been committed, the facts need to be verified

before swearing to those facts in an affidavit to obtain a search warrant, and that failing to do so

could violate the Plaintiffs constitutional rights to be protected from unreasonable search and

seizure.

3. This was done with the blessing of Defendant Wagner, who was present at the

meeting that took place on December 8, 2010, the subject of which was supporting Defendant

Sandra Einhorn in her personal fight against the Plaintiffs.

4. Defendant Wagner allowed his officers to abuse process and selectively enforce

the Florida Statute on Aggravated Stalking in order to violate the 4 th and 14 th Amendment rights

of the Plaintiffs, seize control of Plaintiffs business (computers) including all backups,

traumatize the family and children in order to break their spirit and will to fight, and gain

leverage for the City of Hollywood in their upcoming lawsuit against the Plaintiffs by obtaining

Plaintiffs financial position, legal strategies, and violate their right to procedural due process by

handicapping their ability to defend themselves in the August 3-4 2011 hearing.

5. This was accomplished by a raid on the Plaintiffs home on June 8, 2011 where 12

visibly armed officers of the Hollywood Police Department, including Defendant Knapp, and

some in uniform, forced their way into the Plaintiffs home, held them against their will, searched

their home, and seized their personal property.

6. The selective enforcement of the Aggravated Stalking statute is evidenced by the fact

that this was the first time that the Hollywood Police Department took such aggressive action

against a family and individual under this statute.

7. Defendant Sandra Einhorn acted in concert with Defendant Perez and Defendant

Knapp in order to cause them to violate the 4 th Amendment rights of the Plaintiffs.

8. This was done when she engaged Defendant Perez, and then Defendant Knapp at the

Hollywood Police Department in order to pursue a criminal complaint that she knew had no

merit.

9. Defendant Sandra Einhorn then led the officers to believe that she had obtained a

restraining order against Plaintiff, Steven Kohn, and the officers relied on her word in pursuing a

search warrant to prove that Plaintiff, Steven Kohn, had violated that restraining order. That

search warrant was ultimately executed on June 8, 2011.

10. The Plaintiffs were damaged by the actions of Defendants Einhorn, Perez, Knapp,

and Wagner as well as the Hollywood Police Department’s custom and practice of selective

enforcement of criminal statutes and non-requirement of officers to verify facts before swearing

to them and pursuing criminal complaints, by having been subject to a search and seizure

grounded on an affidavit to obtain a search warrant that was avoidable. This scheme was

designed and executed to violate the Plaintiffs constitution rights.

11. By reason of the foregoing, all Defendants in their official capacity violated 42

U.S.C. §1985.

12. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1988, Plaintiff is entitled to attorney’s fees and cost in

addition to the damages complained of herein.

13. By reason of the foregoing, Plaintiffs were severely and permanently injured when 12

armed officers from the Hollywood Police Department stormed into their home in execution of a

search warrant which would not have been gotten but for the coordinated effort of all of the

Defendants.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs demand damages against all Defendants in their individual and

official capacity, in an amount in excess of ONE MILLION AND 00/100 ($1,000,000.00)

DOLLARS.

COUNT II §1983 VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS (Defendants City of Hollywood, Hollywood Police Department)

PLAINTIFFS repeat and re-allege Paragraphs 1 through 92, and incorporate them by

reference herein.

1. The City of Hollywood, and Hollywood Police Department’s decision to adopt a

the course of action taken toward the Plaintiffs was directed by those who establish

governmental policy, specifically the Chief of Police, the Mayor, and both City Attorneys, as

well as the officer (Defendant Knapp) who had the responsibility under state law to obtain and

execute a search warrant under certain circumstances.

2.

The City of Hollywood, and Hollywood Police Department’s decision to adopt a

the course of action taken toward the Plaintiffs was ratified and respected by those who establish

governmental policy, specifically the Chief of Police, the Mayor, and both City Attorneys, as

well as the officers (Defendants Detective Knapp and Alex Perez) who had the responsibility

under state law to obtain and execute a search warrant under certain circumstances.

3. The course of action taken by the defendants was

a. Repeatedly refusing to verify that a restraining order existed;

b. Repeatedly refusing to determine what the terms of the alleged order were or

what the status of the alleged order was;

c. Repeatedly refusing to confirm whether the alleged actions attributed to

Plaintiff Steven Kohn were potentially violations of the terms of the

restraining order;

d. Drafting and then swearing to a warrant affidavit without verifying or

attempting to verify the accuracy thereof;

e. Executing the putative search warrant;

f. Intentionally executing the putative search warrant on a major religious

holiday;

g. Unconstitutionally broadening the search by conducting search for drugs;

h. Illegally seizing the property of the Plaintiffs;

i. Failing to promptly return the Plaintiffs’ property after repeatedly being made

aware of the fact that the requisite probable cause could not possibly exist;

j. Holding the property until precisely the same time that the hearing of August

3-4 was concluded in order to influence the outcome of that hearing; and

k. Intentionally selecting the timing of the filing of the $161,487.02 lawsuit to

coincide with the illegal seizure of the Plaintiffs’ property in order to

influence the outcome of that lawsuit.

4. Assuming, arguendo, that the Plaintiff was in fact violating a restraining order via an

electronic means, as was alleged, various alternatives to obtain the evidence existed, and the

most invasive and aggressive method was deliberately selected. For example, officers could have

obtained a warrant that would allow them to rapidly create images of hard disk drives rather than

seize them for an indefinite period of time. The city officials with policy making power united

before and after the fact to deliberately ratify and respect the course of action taken.

5. By reason of the foregoing, Defendant City of Hollywood and Defendant Hollywood

Police Department violated 42 U.S.C. §1983.

6. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1988, Plaintiff is entitled to attorney’s fees and costs in

addition to the damages complained of herein.

7. By reason of the foregoing, Plaintiffs were severely and permanently injured when 12

armed officers from the Hollywood Police Department stormed into their home in execution of a

search warrant which would not have been gotten but for the coordinated effort of all of the

Defendants.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs demand damages against Defendants City of Hollywood and

Hollywood Police Department in an amount in excess of ONE MILLION AND 00/100

($1,000,000.00) DOLLARS.

COUNT III §1985 CONSPIRACY TO INTERFERE WITH CIVIL RIGHTS (All Defendants official and individual capacity)

PLAINTIFFS repeat and re-allege Paragraphs 1 through 92, and incorporate them by

reference herein.

1. Acting upon a written request made by Defendant Sandra Einhorn, [made as a vendor

providing services to Hollywood City], on December 2, 2010, Commissioner Richard Blattner of

Hollywood City (Legislative branch), requested that a meeting be convened in order to assist the

Einhorns in their personal complaints about the Kohns. (Exhibits p1)

2. Defendant Einhorn specifically asked for Police action to be taken against the Plaintiffs:

"As our City Commissioner I plead for you to please help my neighbors and I in bringing these people to justice." ExhibitDefendant Einhorn also made an implied request for legal

or financial help, stating "We have been forced to hire an attorney

we really can't afford." "Please help us!"

(Exhibit p1-2)

3. Defendant Sandra Einhorn also declared that there was already a quid pro quo

arrangement in place with Hollywood City, when stating

"Grant and I have gone out of our way to work with the City and Code Compliance in order to help the situation from the City's end, with code violations and such. I would expect the same support from the City for us.” (Exhibit p1-2)

4. In direct violation of the Separation of Powers Doctrine, and of Article II, Section

2.06, of the Charter of the City of Hollywood Commission (Exhibits page 78), Defendant

Blattner called a meeting consisting of Hollywood Police Department, Code Enforcement, the

City Manager, and City Attorney, for the stated purpose of aiding Einhorn and determining an

appropriate course of action to take against the Plaintiffs. (Exhibits pp1,3-7)

5. The specific subject of the meeting was the Facebook message referenced in

paragraphs 23-24 of this complaint, the context of which is clearly not official business of the

city. Defendant Sheffel stated in an email the morning of 12/2/2010 that “I am anxious to meet to

discuss an appropriate strategy.” (Exhibits p7)

6. The meeting was scheduled to occur on December 8, 2010 (Exhibits pp 3,4).

Plaintiffs allege that this meeting was convened to plan and execute a strategy intended to violate

the civil rights of the Plaintiffs.

7. Defendants Grant and Sandra Einhorn sought the removal of Kohns pets via a private

nuisance lawsuit (CACE 10-048282(18)) that was filed less than 3 weeks after the

aforementioned letter meeting.

8. Sometime between January 18, 2011 and February 23, 2011, Defendant Sandra

Einhorn informed Defendant Perez that the Plaintiff had violated a temporary injunction against

repeat violence in case DVCE 11-134, providing Defendant Perez with a copy of an

indeterminate and erroneously entered “Order Extending Injunction”, which Defendant Einhorn

knew was not actually a restraining order (Exhibits pp23-26 and/or paragraph 36), and which

Defendant Einhorn also knew had been corrected and vacated on January 27, 2011.

9. Defendant Einhorn made the report with the intent of violating the civil rights of the

Plaintiffs. Defendant Perez ignored standard operating procedure, which would have required

that he determine that an injunction exists, what its terms were, and whether the alleged behavior

would be a violation. Defendant Perez was aware that notice of a restraining order had not been

sent to Hollywood Police by Broward Sheriff’s Office, which is the standard practice. Defendant

Perez, from checking the docket on the case, knew that no restraining order had been granted,

and that the January 18 order had been vacated.

short time, Defendant Perez continued to pursue and investigate Plaintiff Steven Kohn for a

violation of FS 784.048(1)(d)(4); the felony of aggravated stalking after injunction, when both he

and the alleged victim knew that no such injunction existed. Defendant Perez continued to

pursue the investigation in order to violate the civil rights of the Plaintiffs.

11. On February 23, 2011, a hearing was held in CACE 10048282(18) wherein

Defendant Einhorn failed to obtain an injunction removing the Kohns pets. Immediately after

the hearing, Defendant Perez ran an NCIC report on Plaintiff Steven Kohn, finding the order of

January 18, 2011 had been entered. The NCIC printout explicitly informs the reader “Do not

search, detain, or arrest based solely on this record. Contact entering agency to confirm status

and terms of protection order.” (Exhibits p27)

12. Defendants Perez and Knapp disregarded the instructions, in order to violate the

civil rights of the Plaintiffs.

13. On April 15, 2011, DVCE 11-134 was dismissed. (Exhibits p21)

14. On April 29, 2011, Defendant Perez issued a Subpoena to Comcast Communications,

seeking personal information of the Plaintiffs, stating “Crimes under investigation: Stalking, F.S.

784.048(2) and Violation of Protective Injunction F.S. 784.047(5)” (Exhibits pp29-30). Both of

these felonies are dependent upon the existence of an injunction. The Subpoena was authored

with the intention of violating the civil rights of the Plaintiff both instantly (by obtaining

information about the Plaintiffs via a perjured Subpoena), and ultimately by setting the stage for

the raid of June 8, 2011.

15. The subpoena was returned on May 18, 2011, at which time Defendant Sheffel made

the decision to initiate lawsuit CACE 11016120(18) against Plaintiff Steven Kohn, seeking a

money judgment of over $161,487 for a $100 code violation. (Exhibits p 79). The timing

demonstrates a connection between the actions of Hollywood Police Department and the civil

lawsuit. [Additionally, the attorney hired by Hollywood to execute the lawsuit, made a Power

Point presentation to Hollywood City, advising her client to “Bother them- Use Pressure and a

System Wide System” when attempting to collect code enforcement judgments, and used the

specific case CACE 11016210(18) as the example. Relevant pages of the presentation are

attached as Exhibits pp80, 82, 84.]

16. On June 1, 2011, Defendant Knapp authored a “General Affidavit and Application for

Search Warrant” in order to obtain a warrant to search the Plaintiffs property and seize all of

their internet capable technology, as well as any and all papers, photographs, or other devices or

equipment that could be used for stalking purposes. (pp33-41) Defendant Knapp, having taken

over the investigation, and also responsible for following standard operating procedures,

collaborated and conspired with Defendant Perez in order to competently take over the

investigation, and therefore was aware that no injunction existed, and that the felony in question

could not possibly have been committed. By failing to verify the terms and status of a restraining

order, Defendant Knapp deliberately ignored the language in the NCIC report he allegedly relied

upon, in order to violate the civil rights of the Plaintiffs.

17. The affidavit was perjured with the intended result being the violation of the civil

rights of the Plaintiffs.

18. Based on the perjured affidavit, the search warrant was granted on June 1 2011. On

its face the warrant indicates that the urgency of the matter is such that "

serving this warrant

and making the search in the daytime or nighttime, or on Sunday, as the exigencies of the

occasion may demand or require…"

an entire week, until the first day of the major Jewish Holiday of Shavuot, to execute it.

Hollywood Police Department was already providing extra police for the street crossings near

the major synagogues in town as a result of the Holiday, and was therefore fully aware that the

day was a major Jewish Holiday. It was Defendants Knapp’s intent to interfere with family’s

religious observance and familial integrity, by selecting the morning of the Holiday as the time to

execute the warrant.

20. Defendant Knapp stated in the Affidavit that he was aware that the Plaintiffs business

was going to be seized, causing considerable hardship to all of the Plaintiffs. Defendant Knapp

intended to violate the Plaintiffs’ civil rights by seizing the family’s sole means of support for no

lawful cause.

21. On June 8, 2011, Defendant Knapp led a team of 12 armed Hollywood Police and

executed the warrant, as described in paragraph 79, committing numerous civil rights violations.

22. Included in the group of officers that Defendant Knapp assembled was an officer

whose sole purpose was to conduct a drug search. The warrant does not specify drugs. Defendant

Knapp’s purpose in bringing the officer was to violate the civil rights of the Plaintiffs.

23. The search warrant was quashed as unconstitutional due to the absolute nonexistence

of probable cause, by the order of Broward County Circuit Judge Martin Bidwill, on December

16, 2011, without any objection from Hollywood Police department. The Motion to Quash and

the Order are both shown in full in Exhibits pp52-58. Included in the Motion is an excerpt from

Sandra Einhorn’s testimony from the August 3-4, 2011 hearing in the instant case, wherein she

testified under oath in Court stating:

Q: And did the police officers of the Hollywood Police Department ever ask you, if you have a restraining order against Steve Kohn? A: The Hollywood Police knew that I had been unsuccessful in obtaining a restraining order against Steve Kohn.

Q: So they knew that you were unsuccessful? A: Yes. Q: Okay. Did they -- did they – A: Or that's what I told them. Q: And did you ever lead them to believe to believe you had a valid restraining order against Mr. Kohn? A: No, it would be foolish to lead police into something that they could very easily figure out for themselves one way or another. Q: So your testimony is that you never told police you had a valid restraining order against Mr. Kohn? A: That is correct.

24. Defendant Joel Cantor represented the city at the aforementioned hearing, and offered

no objection to the statement Defendant Einhorn made, that Hollywood Police were fully aware

there was never a valid restraining order.

25. The aforementioned December 15, 2011 report authored by Detective Knapp and

presented in Court the following day, by Defendant Cantor, stated:

“On August 04, 2011, I confirmed that the listed restraining order against Mr. Kohn had erroneously been issued by the Courts and also that the entered teletype confirmation had remained in the system even after an order to vacate the restraining order had been issued. This was confirmed by Broward Clerk of Courts Domestic Violence Manager Tonya Green. She advised that the listed restraining order teletype information was issued in error and to prove that it was issued in error, she showed me a copy of the listed order vacated on 01/27/2011. Based upon this information and the fact that the listed search warrant relied on the active restraining order, I prepared for the release of all of the listed seized items to Mr. Kohn on 08/20/2011.”

26. Defendant Knapp, as well as Defendants Bober, Sheffel and Cantor, had already

repeatedly received the very same information (the copy of the 1/27/2011 vacating order) from

Plaintiff Kohn on 6/27, 6/28, 6/29, 6/30, 7/1, 7/2, and 7/20/2011 (Exhibits pp59-77). On

7/5/2011 Defendant Sheffel asked Defendant Cantor and Defendant Wagner to show him the

alleged restraining order. (Exhibits p72, 76). The meeting took place on 7/7/2011 (Exhibits p76).

keep the Plaintiffs property, including the business of the Plaintiffs, in violation of the Plaintiffs

civil rights.

28. After the City of Hollywood and the Hollywood Police Department were made aware

that the search and seizure were illegal, and after seeing Mr. Kohn’s financial status, income

earning capability, and legal strategies on the illegally seized electronic items, the City of

Hollywood on July 13, 2011 then filed a $161,487 lawsuit against Mr. Kohn (Case number:

CACE 11-016210) resting on the same or similar facts as were being litigated in the August 3-4 th

hearing in CASE NO.: 10-048282. (CACE 11-016210 was subsequently dismissed on April 2,

2012 after the Circuit Court found that even if Mr. Kohn’s keeping of pets had actually violated

the subject ordinance, the maximum penalty allowable by law was only $100).

29. By filing the lawsuit on July 13, 2011, Mr. Kohn would have been expected to be

served on July 14, making his reply due on August 3, 2011; the first day of the August 3-4

hearing in CACE 10-048282(18). This was another action by Hollywood City designed to

interfere with that proceeding, in violation of the Plaintiffs civil rights.

30. After the City of Hollywood and the Hollywood Police Department were

repeatedly made aware that the search and seizure were illegal, they declined to make a decision

to return the evidence and money-earning capability of the Plaintiff, until the very same day that

the hearing concluded in CASE NO.: 10-048282 on August 4, 2011. Although the decision was

made on that date, the property still was not returned.

31. On August 8, 2011, after the hearing of August 3-4 during which time Mr. Kohn did

not have access to the evidence he intended to use in his defense (due to Hollywood’s unlawful

possession of it), the Circuit Court in case CACE 10-048282(18) granted an injunction against

Mr. Kohn, causing him to remove his pets. Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.530 allows for a

Motion for Rehearing within 10 days of rendition of the order, making August 18, 2011 the last

day that such a Motion could have been filed.

32. The next business day that Defendant Knapp was at work after August 18 was

Tuesday August 23, 2011, the selfsame day that the Kohns’ property was made available to the

Kohns for pickup. In other words, Hollywood Police Department waited until the day the

hearing in the civil case CACE 10-048282(18) was completed before deciding to return Kohn’s

property, and waited 19 additional days, until the day after the time had expired for a Motion for

Rehearing to actually allow the property to be retrieved. The timing was designed by the

Defendants to violate the Plaintiffs civil rights.

33. On August 16, 2011 while still retaining possession of Kohn’s property even after

having made the decision to return it, and with only 2 days remaining for Mr. Kohn to file a

Motion for Rehearing in CACE 10-048282(18), Hollywood City filed a Motion for Final

Summary Judgment [for $161,487] in the case they had filed on July 13, 2011, intending to

interfere with the civil rights of the Plaintiffs.

34. Although the Defendants had the Plaintiffs computers (and business) in their

possession for 8 weeks before deciding to return them, the computers were never formally

searched and no evidence was gathered. Based on this fact, it would appear that the seizure of the

property was the actual goal, and there was no intention to actually conduct a true police

investigation, and the only intent was to violate the civil rights of the Plaintiffs.

35. The Defendants intention was to obstruct justice by using force and intimidation to

prevent the Plaintiffs from testifying freely, fully, and truthfully in the court proceedings

scheduled for August 3-4 2011 in CACE 10048282(18), and affect the outcome of the

proceedings by seizing the Plaintiffs legal records, strategy, and evidence, as well as

intentionally inflicting extreme emotional and economic duress on the Plaintiffs, which would be

expected to interfere with a competent defense.

36. By initiating proceedings in CACE 11016210(18) at a time when the Defendants

were aware they were unlawfully retaining the Plaintiffs property that would be utilized in the

Plaintiffs defense, the Defendants intention was to obstruct justice by using force and

intimidation to prevent the Plaintiffs from testifying freely, fully, and truthfully in the court

proceedings in CACE 10048282(18), by intimidating the Plaintiffs into depriving themselves of

their property (pets) without due process of law, thus obstructing justice in the planned hearing

of August 3-4 2011 by rendering it moot.

37. The Defendants intention was to obstruct justice by using force and intimidation to

prevent the Plaintiffs from testifying freely, fully, and truthfully in the court proceedings in

CACE 11016210(18), and affect the outcome of the proceedings in that case by removing all of

Plaintiff Steven Kohn’s legal records and money earning capability that would be used to defend

himself.

38. By reason of the foregoing, all Defendants in their official capacity violated 42

U.S.C. §1985.

39. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1988, Plaintiff is entitled to attorney’s fees and cost in

addition to the damages complained of herein.

40. By reason of the foregoing, Plaintiffs were severely and permanently injured when 12

armed officers from the Hollywood Police Department stormed into their home in execution of a

search warrant which would not have been gotten but for the coordinated effort of all of the

Defendants.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs demand damages against all Defendants in their official and

individual capacity, in an amount in excess of ONE MILLION AND 00/100 ($1,000,000.00)

DOLLARS.

COUNT IV §1983 POLICY AND PRACTICE (Defendant Wagner Official Capacity)

PLAINTIFFS repeat and re-allege Paragraphs 1 through 92, and incorporate them by

reference herein.

1. When Defendant Knapp and Defendant Perez pursued and applied for a search warrant

without first verifying the veracity of the statement made by Defendant Sandra Einhorn, they

were acting pursuant to a policy, custom and practice of the Hollywood Police Department

which did not discourage officers from swearing to facts and taking them to be true without first

verifying them, without regard to citizens Constitutional rights.

2. Defendant Wagner displayed deliberate indifference to the unconstitutional actions of

Hollywood Police Department’s officers including allowing them to do a favor for certain people

such as Defendant Sandra Einhorn by pursing her accusation by obtaining a search warrant

without first verifying the facts.

3. Defendant Wagner knew of and ratified the repeated constitutional violations of his

officers including the pursuit of search warrants without first verifying facts.

4. Defendant Wagner confirmed that the constitutional violations of his officers were the

policy and practice of the City of Hollywood and Hollywood Police Department by having the

policy reviewed by the City Attorneys; Defendants Sheffel and Cantor.

5. By reason of the foregoing, Defendant Wagner violated 42 U.S.C. §1983.

to the damages complained of here.

7. By reason of the foregoing, Plaintiffs were severely and permanently injured when 12

armed officers from the Hollywood Police Department stormed into their home in execution of a

search warrant which would not have been gotten but for the coordinated effort of all of the

Defendants.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs demand damages against Defendant Wagner in his official

capacity, in an amount in excess of ONE MILLION AND 00/100 ($1,000,000.00) DOLLARS.

COUNT V §1983 IMPROPER TRAINING (Defendant Wagner Official Capacity)

PLAINTIFFS repeat and re-allege Paragraphs 1 through 92, and incorporate them by

reference herein.

1. Defendants Knapp and Perez received improper training in policies, procedures, and

tactics that could have caused a violation of the necessary rights of all United States citizens, and

ultimately took action to cause the abolition of the Plaintiffs constitutional rights in the instant

case.

2. Prior to June 8, 2011, Defendant Wagner did not require any or enough evidence

other than the word of a complainant to apply for a search warrant a swear to the facts.

Defendant Wagner did not require the officers to verify the facts given to them by the accuser.

3. Prior to June 8, 2011 Defendant Wagner failed and neglected to establish proper and

adequate guidelines, procedures or training programs for his officers.

4. After June 8, 2011, and becoming aware of the improper and unconstitutional actions

of his officers, Defendant Wagner did nothing to retrain his officers.

constitutional rights.

6. The actions of Defendant Wagner in assigning officers to duty who were improperly

trained in the use of police power against constitutional rights evidenced a deliberate indifference

to the right of persons with whom the officers came into contact.

7. The improper training received by Defendants Knapp and Perez were a contributing

cause of the hurt they caused to the Plaintiffs.

8. By reason of the foregoing, Defendant Wagner violated 42 U.S.C. §1983.

9. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1988, Plaintiffs are entitled to attorney’s fees and costs in

addition to the damages complained of herein.

10. By reason of the foregoing, Plaintiffs were severely and permanently injured when 12

armed officers from the Hollywood Police Department stormed into their home in execution of a

search warrant which would not have been gotten but for the coordinated effort of all of the

Defendants.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs demand damages against Defendant Wagner in his official

capacity, in an amount in excess of ONE MILLION AND 00/100 ($1,000,000.00) DOLLARS.

COUNT VI §1983 LACK OF TRAINING (Defendant Wagner Official Capacity)

PLAINTIFFS repeat and re-allege Paragraphs 1 through 92, and incorporate them by

reference herein.

1. Defendants Knapp and Perez received grossly inadequate training.

2. Prior to June 8, 2011 Defendant Wagner assigned officers to duty without proper

training.

3.

Prior to June 8, 2011 Defendant Wagner implemented a policy of assigning officers

to duty who had received grossly inadequate training.

4. Prior to June 8, 2011 Defendant Wagner failed and neglected to establish proper and

adequate guidelines, procedures or training programs for his officers.

5. Defendant Wagner was aware of his officers lack or training in using police power

against constitutional rights.

6. The actions of Defendant Wagner in assigning inadequately trained officer to duty

evidenced a deliberate indifference by Defendant Wagner to the rights of persons with whom the

officers came in contact displayed by the exceptionally inadequate training offered to and

received by the officers.

7. The exceptionally inadequate training received by Defendants Knapp and Perez

was the reason the officers believed they were within their police power to swear to unverified

facts in order to obtain a search warrant.

8. The exceptionally inadequate training received by the officers also caused them to

believe that they were under no obligation to return the property seized after becoming aware

that the property was seized illegally.

9. By reason of the foregoing, Defendant Wagner violated 42 U.S.C. §1983.

10. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1988, Plaintiffs are entitled to attorney’s fees and costs in

addition to the damages complained of herein.

11. By reason of the foregoing, Plaintiffs were severely and permanently injured when 12

armed officers from the Hollywood Police Department stormed into their home in execution of a

search warrant which would not have been gotten but for the coordinated effort of all of the

Defendants.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs demand damages against Defendant Wagner in his official

capacity, in an amount in excess of ONE MILLION AND 00/100 ($1,000,000.00) DOLLARS.

STATE CAUSES OF ACTION

COUNT VII FALSE IMPRISONMENT (Defendant Knapp individual Capacity)

PLAINTIFFS repeat and re-allege Paragraphs 1 through 92, and incorporate them by

reference herein.

1. Defendant Knapp acted with malicious purpose and with wanton and willful

disregard for the rights and safety of the Plaintiffs in obtaining and executing a search without

probable cause.

2. Defendant Knapp used force to influence an illegal search and seizure of Plaintiffs

home and personal property by rounding up the parents and children into a closed area of the

home while the family’s property was being searched and seized. Confinement to any area of the

home to accomplish this illegal search and seizure was false imprisonment.

3. By reason of the foregoing, Plaintiffs were severely and permanently injured when 12

armed officers from the Hollywood Police Department stormed into their home in execution of a

search warrant which would not have been gotten but for the coordinated effort of all of the

Defendants.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs demand damages against Defendant Knapp in his official

capacity, in an amount in excess of ONE MILLION AND 00/100 ($1,000,000.00) DOLLARS.

COUNT VIII EXCESSIVE FORCE (Defendant Knapp Individual Capacity)

PLAINTIFFS repeat and re-allege Paragraphs 1 through 92, and incorporate them by reference

herein.

1. If Defendant Knapp did not have probable cause to search and seize personal property

belonging to the Plaintiffs, he used excessive force in achieving his objective. A reasonable

officer would have known that 12 armed Hollywood police officers surrounding a residential

home and rounding up a family would clearly violate the rights of the Plaintiffs.

2. Defendant Knapp acted with malicious purpose and with wanton and willful

disregard for the rights and safety of the Plaintiffs, by executing an unconstitutional search

warrant with excessive force.

3. Any use of force was excessive to effect this illegal search and seizure.

4. By reason of the foregoing, Plaintiffs were severely and permanently injured when 12

armed officers from the Hollywood Police Department stormed into their home in execution of a

search warrant which would not have been gotten but for the coordinated effort of all of the

Defendants.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs demand damages against Defendant Knapp in his official

capacity, in an amount in excess of ONE MILLION AND 00/100 ($1,000,000.00) DOLLARS.

COUNT IX CHIEF OF POLICE’S OFFICIAL CAPACITY

PLAINTIFFS repeat and re-allege Paragraphs 1 through 92, and incorporate them by

reference herein.

Knapp and Perez were under the command of Defendant Wagner at all times material to this

action and Defendant Wagner is liable via respondeat superior.

2. Alternatively, Defendants Knapp and Perez were both acting within the scope of their

employment by the Hollywood Police Department.

3. By reason of the foregoing, Plaintiffs were severely and permanently injured when 12

armed officers from the Hollywood Police Department stormed into their home in execution of a

search warrant which would not have been gotten but for the coordinated effort of all of the

Defendants.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs demand damages against Defendant Wagner in his official

capacity, in an amount in excess of ONE MILLION AND 00/100 ($1,000,000.00) DOLLARS.

CONCLUSION

1. Hollywood City and Hollywood Police Department have a pattern, practice, and custom

of intentionally disregarding the parameters of the laws and ordinances they entrusted to enforce,

intentionally disregarding standard police procedures, intentionally disregarding Court orders,

and condones such violations of law by not disciplining employees or officers that engage in

such indiscriminate constitutional violations that are perpetrated against the public and against

Plaintiffs in particular.

2. Hollywood City and Hollywood Police Department failed to discipline or prosecute

known incidents of warrantless searches, and to overrule the conclusions within the Department

in spite of the overwhelming evidence that such incidents are unjustified and improper.

Hollywood Police Department failed to investigate or prosecute known incidents of false

reporting made to law enforcement.

3.

On information and belief, the abuse to which Plaintiffs were subjected was

consistent with an institutionalized practice of Hollywood City and Hollywood Police

Department, which was known to and ratified by Defendants Wagner, Bober, Sheffel, and

Cantor, and neither took any effective action to prevent Defendants Knapp or Perez from

continuing to engage in such misconduct.

4. As a direct and proximate result of the deliberate indifference of Hollywood City or

Hollywood Police Department to prevent or change unconstitutional policies, customs and

practices, all twelve of the Plaintiffs suffered the following injuries and damages:

a. Violation of their constitutional rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments

to the United States Constitution to be free from an unreasonable search and seizure of their

person and property, to be afforded due process of law and equal protection under the law;

b. Loss of physical liberty; and

c. Government interference with religious worship

d. Disruption of familial integrity

e. Humiliation, emotional distress, and suffering

f. Loss of income and other financial damage

5. As a direct and proximate result of the actions of Defendants Hollywood City,

Hollywood Police Department, Knapp, Perez, Bober, Blattner, Wagner, Sheffel, Cantor, Grant

Einhorn and Sandra Einhorn, the following clearly established and well-settled federal

constitutional rights of the Plaintiffs were violated:

a. Freedom from an unreasonable search and seizure;

b. Equal Protection under the law;

d.

Freedom of association

e. Freedom of religious practice

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully requests the following relief against each and every

Defendant, jointly and severally:

1. Compensatory and exemplary damages in an amount according to proof and which is

fair, just and reasonable;

2. Punitive damages under 42 U.S.C.A. § 1983 and Florida law against the individual

defendants in an amount according to proof and which is fair, just and reasonable;

3. All other damages, penalties, costs, interest, and attorney’s fees allowed by 42

U.S.C.A. §§ 1983 and 1988, and as otherwise may be allowed by Florida and/or federal law;

4. An order prohibiting Defendants and their police officers from unlawfully interfering

with the rights of Plaintiffs and others to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures and

excessive and unreasonable force;

5. An order prohibiting Defendants and their police officers from engaging in racial

profiling or otherwise discriminating against Plaintiffs or others based on their nationality;

6. An order requiring Defendants to rescind any and all of their policies, practices,

procedures, and/or customs allowing police officers to engage in racial profiling and/or

discrimination based on race;

7. An order requiring Defendants to institute and enforce appropriate and lawful policies

and procedures prohibiting racial profiling, racial discrimination, and the use of excessive force;

8. An order prohibiting Defendants and their police officers from engaging in the “code

of silence” as may be supported by the evidence in this case;

9. An order requiring Defendants to train all Hollywood Police officers concerning racial

profiling, racial bias and discrimination, and this Court’s orders concerning the issues raised in

injunctive relief requests 4 through 8 above; and

10. Such other and further relief as presented by the evidence in this case and as this

Court may deem just and proper.

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

Plaintiffs in this matter hereby request trial by jury.

DAVID LOW, P.A. Counsel for Plaintiffs 17840 W. Dixie Hwy. North Miami Beach, Florida 33160 Phone: (305) 935-8986 Fax: (305) 675-2685

BY:

17840 W. Dixie Hwy. North Miami Beach, Florida 33160 Phone: (305) 935-8986 Fax: (305) 675-2685 BY:

DAVID LOW, ESQ.

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8 U.S. Department Of Housing and Urban Development Georgia State Office Five Points Plaza 40 Marietta

U.S. Department Of Housing and Urban Development Georgia State Office Five Points Plaza 40 Marietta Street Atlanta, GA 30303-2806

Mr. & Mrs. Steven Kohn 3841 N 51st Ave Hollywood, FL 33021

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Kohn:

August 12, 2011

Subject:

Housing Discrimination Complaint Kohn, Steven & Renee v. City Commission of Hollywood, FL, et al HUD File No.: 04-11-1099-8 Title VI Case No.: 04-11-1099-6 Section 109 Case No.: 04-11-1099-9

Your complaint, alleging one or more discriminatory housing practices, was officially filed on 08/08/2011 as a complaint under the Federal Fair Housing Law, 42 U.S.C. Sections 3601-3619. For your records, we are enclosing a copy of your complaint, and, as required by law, a copy has been sent to the respondent(s).

Additionally, the complaint was filed under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI). Title VI prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin in the programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department. The HUD regulation implementing Title VI at 24 CFR Part 1 requires that no person shall, on the ground of race, color or national origin be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity. Further, Title VI at 24 CFR Part 1 provides for an investigation whenever a complaint or other information indicates a possible failure by a HUD-funded recipient to comply with the Acts. The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will investigate this complaint under this authority.

The complaint also was filed under Section 109 of Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (Section 109). Section 109 requires that no person in the United States shall on the ground of race, color, national origin, sex or religion be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity funded in whole or in part with community development funds.

The purpose of this letter is to inform you of: 1) the rights you have during the processing of this complaint, 2) the rights each respondent has in responding to this complaint, and 3) the

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steps the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (the Department) will take to determine whether the complaint has merit.

In order to ensure that the Department informs you properly of the law's requirements, this notification letter contains language required by the law. A similar letter is used to notify all parties whenever a formal complaint has been filed with the Department under the Federal Fair Housing Law.

We are governed by federal law, which sets out what steps we must take when a formal complaint is filed. The law also includes steps that each respondent can take to answer or refute the allegations of this complaint.

Under federal law, a respondent can file an answer to this complaint or any amendment made to this complaint within 10 calendar days of receipt of the Department's notification letter to him or her. Each respondent's answer must be signed and affirmed that the response is truthful by including the statement "I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct." A respondent can, with the agreement of the Department, amend his or her answer at any time during the investigation.

Our responsibility under the law is to undertake an impartial investigation and, at the same time, encourage all sides to reach an agreement, where appropriate, through conciliation. The law requires us to complete our investigation within 100 days of the date of the official filing of the complaint. If we are unable to meet the 100-day requirement for issuing a determination, the law requires that we notify you and the respondent(s) and explain the reasons why the investigation of the complaint is not completed.

In handling this complaint, we will conduct an impartial investigation of all claims that the Fair Housing Act has been violated. If the investigation indicates that there is not evidence establishing jurisdiction, the case will be dismissed. At any point, you can request that our staff assist you in conciliating (or settling) this complaint with the respondent(s). If the case is not resolved, we will complete our investigation and decide whether or not the evidence indicates that there has been a fair housing violation. If the parties involved have not reached an agreement to settle the complaint, the Department will issue a determination as to whether there is reasonable cause to believe a discriminatory housing practice has occurred.

If our investigation indicates that there is reasonable cause to believe that an unlawful discriminatory housing practice has occurred, the Department must issue a charge. If the investigation indicates there is no reasonable cause to believe that discrimination has occurred, the complaint will be dismissed. In either event, you will be notified in writing.

If the determination is one of reasonable cause, the notification will advise you and the respondent(s) of your rights to choose, within 20 days, whether you wish to have the case heard by an Administrative Law Judge, or to have the matter referred for trial in the appropriate U.S. District Court.

Under federal law, even if the Department dismisses the complaint, you still have the right to bring an individual suit under the Federal Fair Housing Law. You may file your lawsuit

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in an appropriate federal, state or local court within two years of the date of the alleged discriminatory practice or of the date when a conciliation agreement has been violated. The law does not count, as part of the two-year period, any of the time when a proceeding is pending with the Department. You also have the legal right to file a lawsuit in court, even if your complaint formed the basis for a charge, as long as an Administrative Law Judge has not started a hearing on the record with respect to the charge.

There may be other applicable federal, state or local statutes under which you and/or the respondent(s) may initiate court action. You may consult a private attorney in this regard.

The law also requires us to notify you that section 818 of the Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful for a respondent or anyone else to coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with you in your exercise or enjoyment of, any right granted or protected under the Federal Fair Housing Law. The law also makes it illegal for anyone to coerce, threaten or interfere with you for your having aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of, any right or protection granted to them under the Federal Fair Housing Law.

Some explanatory material on the law is enclosed for your information.

If you have any questions regarding this case, please contact Candace Tapscott at (305) 536-4479, ext. 2218. Please refer to the case number at the top of this letter in those contacts, and keep this office advised of any change of your address or telephone number. We hope this information has been helpful to you.

Enclosures

Sincerely,

number. We hope this information has been helpful to you. Enclosures Sincerely, Carlos Osegueda FHEO Region

Carlos Osegueda FHEO Region IV Director

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HOUSING DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT

CASE NUMBER:

04-11-1099-8/6/9

1. Complainants

Steven Kohn

3841 N 51st Ave

Hollywood, FL

33021

Renee Kohn

3841

N 51st Ave

Hollywood, FL

33021

2. Other Aggrieved Persons

Rebecca L. Kohn

Hannah E. Kohn

Sara R. Kohn

Minor #1 Kohn

Minor #2 Kohn

Minor #3 Kohn

Minor #4 Kohn

Minor #5 Kohn

Minor #6 Kohn

Minor #7 Kohn

3. The following is alleged to have occurred or is about to occur:

Discriminatory acts under Section 818 (coercion, Etc.). Using ordinances to discriminate in zoning and land use.

4. The alleged violation occurred because of:

National origin and religion.

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5. Address and location of the property in question (or if no property is involved, the city and state where the discrimination occurred):

3841 N 51st Ave Hollywood, FL

33021

6. Respondent(s)

City Commission of Hollywood, FL

P. O. Box 220945

Hollywood, FL

33022-9045

Cameron D. Benson, City Manager City of Hollywood, FL

P. O. Box 220945

Hollywood, FL

33022-9045

Richard Blattner, Dist 4 Commissioner City of Hollywood, Florida

P. O. Box 220945

Hollywood, FL

33022-9045

Cathy Swanson-Rivenbark, Interim City Mgr City of Hollywood, FL

P. O. Box 220945

Hollywood, FL

33022-9045

Clay Milan, Director, Code Enforcement

City of Hollywood, FL - Office of Code Enforcement

P. O. Box 220945

Hollywood, FL

33022-9045

Irish Gardner, Code Enforcement Officer

City of Hollywood, FL - Office of Code Enforcement

P. O. Box 220945

Hollywood, FL

33022-9045

7. The following is a brief and concise statement of the facts regarding the alleged violation:

Complainants Steven and Renee Kohn own a single family home located at 3841 N

51st Ave., in Hollywood, Broward County, Florida.

their religion as Sephardic Orthodox Judaism.

readily observable religious practices, speech, dress, and customs are influenced by Arabic culture. The complainants belong to a class of persons whom the Fair

The complainants identified

The complainants note that their

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Housing Act (the Act) as amended, protects from unlawful discrimination because

of religion and national origin.

ordinances and restrictions of the City of Hollywood, Florida, administered by and through the Respondent City Commission, Respondent Cameron D. Benson, the City Manager, Respondent Cathy Swanson-Rivenbark, Interim City Manager, Respondent Richard Blattner, District 4 City Commissioner, Respondent Clay Milan, Director of Code Enforcement, and Respondent Irish Gardner, Code Enforcement Officer. To the complainants' belief, none of the respondents practice Sephardic Orthodox Judaism.

The complainants' property is subject to the

According to the complainants, shortly after they moved into their home in 2008, some of their neighbors objected to their Judeo-Arabic cultural practices, describing the complainants as "Palestinians," "Muslims," and "terrorists." The neighbors undertook a campaign to harass the complainants by repeatedly reporting them to the City of Hollywood Police and Code Enforcement in regard to their pets:

eight hens and two 17" Dwarf Nigerian goats. In November of 2010, the same neighbors went so far as to circulate a pamphlet entitled, "Are the Kohns Jewish," pointing out Muslim influences that, in their opinion, negate their status as Jewish.

On November 24, 2010, the City of Hollywood dispatched 5 police cars, 10 armed police officers and 2 code enforcement officers to the complainants' home to deliver citation warnings about their pets, which Respondent Milan contends are

livestock. The complainants felt intimidated, upset, and humiliated by the City's

show of force.

ordered to be delivered before an inspection of their property had even occurred. They assert that they are in compliance with the City's ordinances, dispute the

characterization of their pets as "livestock," and believe the City is selectively

enforcing these ordinances against them, based on cultural biases.

testimony on July 27, 2011, Respondent Gardner, a code enforcement officer,

admitted that other city residents with poultry have been treated differently by the

City.

Sephardic Orthodox Judaism.

their neighbors, the complainants assert they have never demonstrated threatening behavior to justify the City's show of force.

The complainants observed that the warnings were written and

In deposition

To the complainants' belief, these other residents are not practitioners of

During their dealings with the respondents and

Within a few days of circulating the "Are the Kohns Jewish" pamphlet, on December 1, 2010, the neighbor e-mailed Respondent Blattner asking for his support in dealing with the Kohns via code compliance enforcement. Respondent

Blattner forwarded her e-mail to other City officials and convened an internal

meeting to discuss the complainants.

cultural bias of City officials, and as a result of the neighbor's discriminatory

influence on Respondent Blattner, the City of Hollywood has persisted in harassing the complainants. Continually since August 23, 2010, the City of Hollywood has fined the complainants $250/day for their pets, applying the lien retroactively to

August 18, 2009.

On July 13, 2011, the City of Hollywood filed a lawsuit against

the complainants to collect over $160,000 in Code Enforcement fines.

The complainants assert that because of the

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The complainants believe the respondents are using code enforcement violations as a pretext to discriminate against them based upon their religion and perceived

national origin.

intimidated them in violation of Section 818 of the Act.

respondents collectively have used zoning and land use ordinances to discriminate against them in violation of Section 810(g)(2)(C) of the Act, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Section 109 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974.

They allege that the respondents collectively have harassed and

They further allege the

8. The most recent date on which the alleged discrimination occurred:

July 13, 2011, and is continuing.

9. Types of Federal Funds identified:

Community Development Block Grant.

10. The acts alleged in this complaint, if proven, may constitute a violation of the following:

Sections 818 and 810(g)(2)(C) or f of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 as amended by the Fair Housing Act of 1988.

Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Section 109 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974.

Please sign and date this form:

I declare under penalty of perjury that I have read this complaint (including any attachments) and that it is true and correct.

Steven Kohn

(Date)

Renee Kohn

(Date)

N O T E :

HUD WILL FURNISH A COPY OF THIS COMPLAINT TO THE

PERSON OR ORGANIZATION AGAINST WHOM IT IS FILED.

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TN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SEVENTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

IN AND FOR BROWARD COUNTY, FLORTDA

caseNo.: ll-

Division:

l3V

5q

ORDER

EXTENDING IN{UCTION FOR PROTECTION AGAII\ST: '

(p"l nrprAT VIOLENCE (

)

H

( ) DOMESTTC VTOLENCE

DATING VIOLENCE -n*

Fi"

)i,<

:

( ) SEXUALVTOLET\CE

THIS CAUSE camebefore the Cour t on {date} f- ( 8 I

q

, upon Petitioner's

motion for an extension of injunction for protection and it appearing to the Court as follows:

E "/

Ex parte. The claims in the motion for extension of injunction for protection make it appear

to the Court that there is an immediate and present danger of domestic, repeat, dating, or

sexual violence, as required under section 74I.30 or section

784.046, Florida Statutes. The

!

f

. A full hearing

u.*.@ i,

t{-tS'

at

previously entered injunction is extended until

on the petition is scheduled for

Room frZO

Florida 33301.

{darc} Va

{date}

S-{ /

t :3O

, Broward County Courihouse,2}l S.E. 6th Street, Fort Laudildale,

NOTICE: Because this is a civil case, there is no requirement that these proceedings be transcribed at public expense.

YOU ARE ADVISED THAT IN THIS COURT:

{

a. A court reporter is provided by the court.
f

b. Electronic audio tape recording only is provided by the court. A parly may

arrange in advance for the services of and provide for a court reporter to prepare a written transcript of the proceedings at thatparty's expense.

c. If this is a repeat violence,

dating violence, or sexual violence action, no

,

are provided by the court. A parfy

.1."t oni. ,rdio tape recording or Lourt reporting ,.*i

may afiange in advance for the services of and provide for a court reporter to prepare a written

transcript of the proceedings at the party's expense.

A RECORD, WHICH INCLUDES A TRANSCRIPT, MAY BE REQUIRED TO SUPPORT AN APPEAL. THE PARTY SEEKING THE APPEAL IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HAVING THE

Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.980(m), Order Extending Injuction for Protection Against Domestic, Repeat Violence, Dating Violence, or Sexual Violence (03/04)

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TRANSCRIPT PREPARED BYA COURT REPORTER. THE TRANSCRIPT MUST BE FILED

WITH THE REVIEWTNG COURT OR THE APPEAL MAY BE DENIED.

If you are aperson with disability who needs any accommodation in order to participate in

this proceeding, you are entitled, at no cost to you, to the provision of certain assistance.

Please contact

{name } A.D.A Information

{address} Broward Countv Courthouse

within 2 working days of your receipt of this order. If you are hearing or voice impaired, call

Tdd 1-800-9ss-877t.

,{telephone} (.954) 83I-6364 ,

After notice and hearing. Respondent was served with a copy of the temporary injunction, if applicable, and a notice of this hearing within the time required by Florida law and was afforded an opportunity to be heard. The notice and opportunity to be heard were sufficient

to protect Respondent's right to due process. The following persons attended the hearing:

(

) Petitioner

(

) Respondent.

After hearing the testimony of each party present and of any witnesses, or upon consent of Respondent, the Court finds that Petitioner is a victim of domestic, repeat violence, dating violence, or sexual violence or reasonably fears that helshe will become a victim of dating violence from Respondent. The previously entered injunction is extended until

{date}

ORDERED on

, or until fuither order of the Court.

l*{ g*f t

COPIES TO:

Sheriff of

Petitioner (or his or her attorney):

County

Respondent (or his or her attorney):

State Attorney's Office

CIRCUTT JUDGE

-rF

--6by

JUDGE I\NICHAELG. KAPIjH

by U.S. Mail by hand delivery in open court (Petitioner must

acknowledge receipt in writing on face of the

original order

see below)

forwarded to sheriff for service

-

hand delivery in open court (Respondent must acknowledge receipt in writing on face of the

original order

see below)

by certified mail (may only be used when