For Eileen McAfee, piles of legal documents are on living room table represent justice and the outcome of her lawsuit against Powhatan Animal Control Officer Christine Boczar, a healing.
“You just can’t just do this to people…. The point of my filing a Fourth amendment lawsuit is to send a message: you cannot make up false accusations against people, and take them out of their home,” she said.
It all started in January, 2011 when McAfee delivered a dog house for a chained dog in Powhatan county and was bitten by the hound mix. McAfee was attempting to help out the dog.
Boczar investigated, and called McAfee for information, but McAfee says she couldn’t provide an address.
“She said to me in a regular tone, what’s the address, but I could probably find the house and she had no comment to that,” said McAfee.
Bozcar had McAfee arrested for failing to give authorities the address of a potentially dangerous dog.
“I knew I hadn’t committed a crime,” she said. And, so did the judge. He dismissed the case on the basis that Boczar had no probable cause.
“And the dismissal was you cannot be charged with withholding information you didn’t know,” said McAfee.
Soon after, the animal welfare advocate turned around and sued Boczar.
The federal lawsuit cost McAfee hundreds of thousands of dollars, but to her it was well worth it.
“It concerned me responding to a dog that we thought was in need…, but to be retaliated against because you went onto someone’s turf, another localities turn as Boczar sees it, you can’t do that,”she said.
Boczar could not be reached for comment because her phone number wasn’t listed, but her boss, Sheriff Greg Neal said “I may not agree with the outcome of the case, but I respect the jury’s decision.