Hollywood Woman Files Lawsuit After BSO Nabs Her With Backpack Full of Kitchen Herbs
Typically, being caught with a backpack and car full of "herb" would land an easy arrest. But for Hollywood resident Robin Brown, her herb was the cooking variety -- 50 grams of sage.
Brown, 49, was arrested in March 2009 after a deputy from the Broward Sheriff's Office was apparently convinced her sage was weed, and now she's filling a wrongful arrest lawsuit.
She says she was bird watching in Weston when the deputy came across her stash of sage, then searched her car and found more.
Brown told the Sun-Sentinel she was engaging in a practice called "smudging" -- a Native American ritual where sage is burned to "clear negative energy" and "helps take your prayers to heaven."
Deputy Dominic Raimondi used a field drug-testing kit on the substance, which came back as a false positive for marijuana.
The deputy sent the sage -- which was purchased at an Albuquerque, New Mexico, airport -- to a crime lab, where it sat around for a while.
According to court records, Assistant State Attorney Mark Horn authorized Brown's arrest three months later, even though the sage was still hanging out untested in the crime lab.
Not only did deputies show up to arrest her while she was at work -- at Massage Envy in Weston -- they gave her a strip search, body cavity search, and a night in jail.
After her fiancee posted $1,000 bail, she was released the next morning.
Four months after the big bag of not-weed was pulled from Brown's backpack and car, it was finally tested at the crime lab -- where they discovered it was definitely not pot.
Brown filed a lawsuit against the State Attorney's Office of Broward claiming her wrongful arrest caused public humiliation, mental pain, and suffering, and alleged the attorney's office engaged in negligence and malicious prosecution.
The lawsuit was tossed by alleged pervert Circuit Judge John Bowman in January, under the claim that prosecutors are given immunity in those types of situations.
Brown is currently appealing her loss in a district court of appeals, in the hopes that a jury can hear her case.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.