Woman sues Braxton County sheriff's deputy after allegedly being unlawfully incarcerated

By Philip Gonzales | Nov 14, 2017

CLARKSBURG  – A Braxton County woman alleges a sheriff's deputy subjected her to unreasonable seizure.

Rosa L. O'Neal filed a complaint Oct. 6 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, Clarksburg Division against Sheriff's Deputy Bryce A. Scarbro and Braxton County Commission alleging unreasonable seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

According to the complaint, on Oct. 6, 2015, Scarbo went to the plaintiff's property looking for her son, which had a court order issued for immediate drug testing that she claims she was not aware of. The suit states Scarbro told her he saw the plaintiff's son run through her home, so she permitted Scarbro to search the home and Scarbro also questioned her. The suit states her son was not found there or was there any evidence he had been there recently.

According to the suit, the plaintiff was arrested two days later on a charge of obstructing an officer "for allegedly lying to Deputy Scarbro." She was incarcerated for 15 hours, and the criminal charge was dismissed on Jan. 20, 2016, the suit states.

"The state filed the motion to dismiss because the evidence showed that the plaintiff did not lie to defendant Scarbro, as allegedlin defendant Scarbro's affidavit. Nor did defendant Scarbro observe a man matching the plaintiff's son's description enter the plaintiff's home, as alleged in the affidavit," the suit states.

The plaintiff holds Scarbro and Braxton County Commission responsible because the defendants allegedly caused a seizure of the plaintiff pursuant to the legal process and that process was unsupported by probable cause because Scarbro included false allegations.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks compensatory and punitive damages, attorney's fees, costs and all other relief that are just and fair. She is represented by John H. Bryan of John H. Bryan, Attorney at Law in Union.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, Clarksburg Division Case number 1:17-cv-00170

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John H. Bryan Attorney At Law U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia Clarksburg Division

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