Balkan & Patterson Handling Two Cases Against Lee County Sheriff’s Office; Cases Allege Intimidation, Illegal Search and Seizures

The attorneys of Balkan & Patterson are handling two cases against the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida that allege false arrest and detention, malicious prosecution, and negligent retention, supervision and training.

The plaintiffs in the first suit, brothers Christoper and Ryan Close, allege that the sheriff’s office and a former deputy sheriff repeatedly harassed pawnbrokers and illegally jailed them without probable cause. Despite the complaints again the deputy and his repeated actions, the county continued to employ him as a deputy sheriff.

The deputy falsely accused Christoper Close of conducting transactions and filing paperwork that violated the pawnbroker act, and arrested him after severely disrupting business in the pawnshop. In addition, Christoper was detained in the back seat of a hot police cruiser for more than an hour. It is clear that the deputy did not adequately review the paperwork and forms in question, which show that Christopher was not involved in the transactions in question.

Christopher’s case from dropped, and shortly after, the same deputy arrested his brother, Ryan Close. The arrest was made despite the deputy sheriff knowing that it was illegal to do so. Ryan was subjected to the same treatment and false accusations as Christopher. During the arrest, an aggressive deputy referenced his brother’s arrest and told him, “Maybe you won’t be as lucky as your brother.” Ryan was also left in the backseat of a police cruiser for hours – in Florida’s summer heat – and his requests for an attorney were ignored. He was jailed on 35 pawnbroker fraud counts.

The couple in our second case, the Roses, were arrested on the same day as Ryan Close and suffered the same mistreatment as the brothers. The Roses were arrested on 53 pawnbroker fraud counts, and their $53,000 bail/bond nearly bankrupted them. This case is in the mandatory pre suit notice phase.

For additional information about this case, please visit our website at or view a news article from the Naples Daily News by clicking here.


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