United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
TERENCE KERN United States District Judge.
the Court are the Joint Motion to Dismiss of Larry Steidley
and Janice Steidley for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction
and Failure to State a Claim (Doc. 18).
Amended Complaint, Plaintiff Diana Thurman (“Ms.
Thurman”) alleges the following facts. In April 2014,
Ms. Thurman's son, Justin Thurman
(“Thurman”), was arrested and jailed in the
Rogers County Detention Center. Ms. Thurman actively
participated in her son's criminal case, including
retaining counsel and attending court appearances.
a May 2014 hearing regarding Thurman's new criminal
charges, an unidentified woman claiming to work for Defendant
Janice Steidley, who was then the Rogers County District
Attorney (“DA Steidley”), contacted Thurman's
mother, Diana Thurman (“Ms. Thurman”). This woman
told Ms. Thurman she had reservations about the conduct of
the police in Thurman's case and asked if Ms. Thurman was
interested in discussing the matter further. Ms. Thurman
agreed and was instructed to meet at the office of DA
Steidley's husband, Larry Steidely (“Mr.
Steidley”), who is also an attorney. Mr. Steidley and
the unidentified woman reviewed Thurman's file with Ms.
Thurman and indicated that DA Steidley “wanted to help
her son.” (Compl. ¶ 9.)
days later, Ms. Thurman drove to Claremore Lake to meet DA
Steidley and Mr. Steidley (the “Steidleys”). The
Steidleys and the unidentified woman were seated in the
backseat of a black vehicle. The driver of the vehicle got
out and instructed Ms. Thurman to get into the backseat,
where the Steidleys told her they wanted to help her son but
that they needed something from her. According to the
Complaint, the Steidleys revealed their plan to “set
up” the Sheriff of Rogers County
(“Sheriff”). The Sheriff had led a petition
against DA Steidley that resulted in a grand jury
investigation and a 74-page report that was critical of DA
Steidleys' alleged plan was for Ms. Thurman to dress
provocatively, entice the Sheriff to consume alcohol, and
elicit “embarrassing or humiliating statements”
from him. (Id. ¶ 14.) At the end of this
meeting at Claremore Lake, DA Steidley allegedly told Ms.
Thurman not to tell anyone about their meeting and that jail
is a dangerous place. The unidentified woman told Ms. Thurman
that she needed to help them because people died in jail all
the time, and it would be a shame to find her son hanging in
his cell. Ms. Thurman participated in the scheme over the
next several months, meeting with the Sheriff at various
public places and reporting back to Mr. Steidley, who would
give her further instructions and suggestions. At one point
during the scheme, the Steidleys convinced Ms. Thurman to
write a false narrative stating that she abused her son in
order to help him obtain a better plea deal. Ms. Thurman now
believes the Steidleys wanted to use this narrative as
additional leverage over her.
point after Steidley lost the primary in the next district
attorney election, Ms. Thurman contacted the Oklahoma State
Bureau of Investigations (“OSBI”) and informed it
of the scheme. OSBI urged her to continue the scheme so they
could use her as an informant to gather evidence against the
Steidleys. In January 2015, DA Steidley left office.
Thurman alleges the Steidleys caused her “to live in
fear of her life, wondering on a daily basis whether her
welfare or the welfare of her family was in imminent
harm.” (Am. Compl. ¶ 24.) She further alleges that
the Steidleys' actions caused her to suffer both
physically and psychologically; caused damage to her
relationships with her son and her husband; and had a
negative effect on her financially and emotionally.
(Id. ¶ 25.) Ms. Thurman asserts two claims for
relief against the Steidleys: (1) a 42 U.S.C. § 1983
claim for violation of Ms. Thurman's substantive due
process rights (“§ 1983 Claim”); and (2) a
Bosh claim for violation of article 2, section 7 of
the Oklahoma Constitution (“Bosh
Additional Facts Derived from State Court Criminal Records
(“State Court Records”)
relied upon state court judicial records - namely,
Thurman's criminal record dating back to January 18, 2007
- in support of its motion to dismiss for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction and its motion to dismiss for failure to
state a claim. Ms. Thurman did not object to the
Court's consideration of the records, dispute the
records, or even discuss the records in her response to the
Steidleys' motion to dismiss.
State Court Records reflect the following sequence of events.
On April 17, 2007, Thurman pled guilty to five charges in
CF-2007-294, Tulsa County, Oklahoma. (Steidleys' Mot. to
Dismiss, Ex. 1.) On August 26, 2008, Thurman pled guilty to
five different charges in CF-2007-5659, Tulsa County,
Oklahoma. (Id., Ex. 2.) On October 23, 2013, Thurman
pled guilty and was convicted of driving under the influence
(“DUI”) and transporting an open container of
liquor in CF-2013-259 (‘2013-259”), Rogers
County, Oklahoma, for which Thurman received an eight-year
suspended sentence. (Id., Ex. 3.)
December 3, 2013, Tulsa County District Community Corrections
officials filed a “Violation Report” alleging
Thurman violated two conditions of his probation related to a
one-vehicle accident that occurred on October 28, 2013. As a
result of this incident, new criminal charges were filed in
CF-2013-00440 (“2013-440”), Mayes County,
Oklahoma, for DUI and transporting an open container. The
Although Thurman continued to use alcohol after being
sentenced four days prior on his Rogers County case, this
officer feels that be has not had time to get treatment for
his addiction. Thurman is scheduled to attend intensive
inpatient treatment at the House of Hope in Grove, Oklahoma
on December 10, 2013. This officer believes if Thurman
abstains from any alcohol consumption, he will be a
productive citizen in society. Therefore, this officer
respectfully requests Thurman be court-ordered to participate
in the SCRAM program for the remainder of his probation and
be ordered to complete DUI Court in Rogers County.
(Id., Ex. 4.) On March 10, 2014, Thurman pled guilty
and was convicted of driving under the influence
(“DUI”) and transporting an open container of
liquor in 2013-440, for which Thurman received a ten-year
suspended sentence with “2 years District Attorney
supervised probation.” (Id., Ex. 5.)
April 14, 2014, Chrissie Stone (“Stone”), Drug
Court Coordinator, submitted a “Violation Report”
in 2013-259 to Judge Sheila Condren and Assistant District
Attorney for Rogers County, Timothy Wantland
(“Wantland”). This report provides:
The defendant [Thurman] pled into the Rogers County Drug
Court Program on January 27, 2014. At the time of his plea
under oath he agreed that he had read and understood the
rules of the Rogers County Drug Court Performance Contract.
The defendant completed his Drug Court Intake on January 27,
2014. At the time of his intake he once again agreed that he
understood the Rules and Conditions of the Rogers County Drug
Court. The defendant is in violation of this said contract in
the following manner:
1. The defendant failed to appear for a required Drug Screen
on March 29, 2014.
2. The defendant had a dilute UA on April 4, 2014.
3. The defendant a positive Drug Test for Alcohol on April ...