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Olson v. Hertz

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

January 25, 2013

CHRISTINE ANN OLSON, Plaintiff,
v.
MADISON COUNTY SHERIFF ROBERT HERTZ, MADISON COUNTY DETECTIVE BRAD WELLS, MADISON COUNTY DEPUTY BRAVE, STATE OF ILLINOIS BUREAU OF IDENTIFICATION, FBI’S NATIONAL INFORMATION CENTER, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, FBI AGENT JAMES WATSON, and FBI AGENT JOHN DOE2 PAPPAS, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

MICHAEL J. REAGAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

On January 26, 2011, Christine Olson filed a pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and an array of other federal statutes, against multiple state and federal law enforcement officials and entities (Doc. 1). At this juncture, the Fourth Amended Complaint (Doc. 123) controls. Defendants Agent Pappas, Sheriff Hertz, Major Wells, Deputy Brave, Agent Watson, the Illinois Bureau of Identification, the FBI National Criminal Information Center (NCIC), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who are the only defendants remaining at this juncture, are before the Court seeking to dismiss all claims against all defendants (Docs. 130, 134, 150). Plaintiff Olson opposes dismissal (Docs. 153, 154, 155).

1. Summary of Claims

In essence, Plaintiff Olson contends that Defendants have her confused with convicted felon(s) “Christie A. Olson” and “Christine R. McLaughlin, ” as well as “Christine E. Novak” and/or “Christene Novak. According to Plaintiff, Defendants have conspired to spread this false criminal history (including drug trafficking, burglary, theft, DUI, “hit and run”, and child abuse) and allegations of mental illness to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and others, and to otherwise harass and intimidate her, obstruct justice and violate her civil rights. Olson states that the conspiracy all began in August 1998, but due to Defendants’ efforts to cover up their conspiracy, until September 2009 she thought she was merely the victim of identity theft (Doc. 123, pp. 4, 6). Based on these allegations, Plaintiff asserts the following claims[1]:

Counts I, IV, VI, IX and XI

Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Plaintiff Olson alleges that Sheriff Hertz, Major Wells and Deputy Brave, all of the Madison County, Illinois, Sheriff’s Department, and FBI Agents Watson and Pappas, individually and in conspiracy, through their action and inaction, violated her rights under the First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, denied her “life, liberty and happiness, ”[2] caused her to “answer for infamous crimes” and obstructed justice; more specifically:
A. Hertz, Wells and Watson retaliated against Olson after she exercised her First Amendment right to seek redress of identity theft, and after she identified a possible suspect in the murder of Angie Housman[3], causing Olson to be treated differently than other citizens who reported information relative to criminal activity; and
B. FBI Agent Watson (along with Agent James Edwards, who has been dismissed) directed other FBI agents to take no action to help Olson, and further directed them not to meet with her when she appeared at the Fairview Heights, Illinois, FBI Office.

Counts II, VI and XI

Pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), Plaintiff Olson alleges that Sheriff Hertz, Major Wells and Deputy Brave, all of the Madison County, Illinois, Sheriff’s Department, and FBI Agents Watson and Pappas, all conspired with the FBI, NCIC, the Illinois Bureau of Identification, and others, using false information to obstruct justice and harass and intimidate Olson, in violation of her rights under the United States constitution and the constitution of the State of Illinois.

Counts III, V, VIII and XII

Defendants Hertz, Brave, Wells, Watson and Pappas, along with the FBI, NCIC and Illinois Bureau of Identification, joined in a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act conspiracy under 18 U.S.C. §§ 1962(d), 19164(c), by retaliating against Olson in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1513(e) and (f), and by committing fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028.

Count X

The FBI, NCIC and Illinois Bureau of Identification, as well as Watson, Wells, Hertz and Pappas, shared incorrect information about Plaintiff’s criminal history, causing her to answer for infamous crimes in violation of her rights under the Fifth Amendment.

Count XIII

Defendants Sheriff Hertz, Major Wells and Deputy Brave violated the Illinois constitution when they conspired to prevent plaintiff Olson from “obtaining justice by law” when they propagated false reports about Olson’s criminal ...

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