The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sweet, District Judge.
Defendant Sergeant Culbert ("Culbert") has moved this court
pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for
summary judgment against plaintiff, pro se, Peter Daniel Thomas
Thomas is the father of David Thomas.
Culbert is a sergeant with the New York City Police
Department, Shield # 1572.
Thomas filed this action on or about July 25, 1988 against
defendants Beth Israel Medical Center, State Family Court Judge
Mary Bednar, City of New York Human Resources Administration
("H.R.A."), Special Services for Children ("S.S.C."), William
Grinker, as Commissioner of H.R.A. ("Commissioner") and Herman
D. Wilson, caseworker with S.S.C. ("Wilson"). Thomas alleged
among other things, that defendants unlawfully removed his son
from his custody on July 12, 1988. On November 4, 1988
defendants moved to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) or, in the alternative, for
summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
56. On March 20, 1989, this Court dismissed the complaint
against Beth Israel Medical Center and Judge Bednar with
prejudice and dismissed the complaint against the city
defendants with leave to replead within twenty days.
On or about April 6, 1989, Thomas filed an amended complaint
identical to the original complaint with the exception of
adding Culbert to the already named city defendants. The city
defendants moved to dismiss the amended complaint on or about
June 7, 1989. By memorandum decision dated September 27, 1989,
this Court dismissed the complaint against H.R.A., S.S.C., the
Commissioner and Wilson with prejudice. The court found,
however, that assuming the truth of all the facts alleged in
the amended complaint, dismissal of the claims against the
police officer was inappropriate at that time. In a memorandum
opinion dated October 2, 1989, Thomas' motion by order to show
cause for a preliminary injunction seeking return of his child
Culbert moved for summary judgment on the claims against him
on April 20, 1990. The motion was considered fully submitted as
of April 27, 1990.
The facts of this dispute are set forth in detail in the
September 29, 1989 opinion, familiarity with which is assumed.
Standards for Summary Judgment
To grant summary judgment the court must determine that no
genuine issue of material fact exists and that the moving party
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c).
The court's responsibility is not to resolve disputed issues of
fact, Donahue v. Windsor Locks Bd. of Fire Comm'rs,
834 F.2d 54, 57 (2d Cir. 1987), but to determine whether there are any
factual issues to be tried, while resolving ambiguities and
drawing inferences against the moving party. Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2510, 91
L.Ed.2d 202 (1986) (citing Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., Inc.,
398 U.S. 144, 158-59, 90 S.Ct. 1598, 1608-09, 26 L.Ed.2d 142
(1970)). Summary judgment enables the court to dispose of
meritless claims before ...