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BAASCH v. REYER

August 10, 1993

THOMAS L. BAASCH, Plaintiff,
v.
EDWARD M. REYER and DEMCHAK LIQUORS, INC., A.K.A. MICHAELS LIQUORS and MICHAEL FANDREY and JAMES LYDON (OR JOHN DOE), and TOWN OF RIVERHEAD (as defendant and/or respondeat superior), Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: LEONARD D. WEXLER

 WEXLER, District Judge.

 On November 24, 1992, this Court directed a verdict against Thomas L. Baasch ("Baasch" or "plaintiff") on his § 1983 action stemming from his arrest for trespass in a liquor store run by one of the defendants, Edward M. Reyer ("Reyer"). In addition, the Court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiff's state claims and dismissed them without prejudice. On March 28, 1993, Baasch filed this motion requesting a new trial pursuant to Rule 59 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and a stay of the judgment awarding defendant statutory costs pending the disposition of the Rule 59 motion pursuant to Rule 62(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Defendants cross-moved for imposition of sanctions pursuant to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons stated below, plaintiff's motion for a new trial is denied, as is his motion for a stay. Defendants' motion for sanctions is granted.

 On December 23, 1989, Baasch was arrested for criminal trespass in the third degree. These charges were eventually dismissed on speedy trial grounds. Baasch wanted to buy a bottle of vermouth from Demchak Liquors. When Baasch was informed that the liquor store was out of the specific brand of vermouth that he wanted, he became loud and began to use obscene language. Consequently, Reyer refused to sell Baasch any liquor and requested that he leave the premises. Upon Baasch's refusal to vacate the premises, Reyer summoned the police and initiated citizen's arrest proceedings. When the police arrived, Baasch requested that a cross complaint against Reyer be taken. This request was denied because of a police policy not to take cross complaints while pursuing an initial complaint.

 In response to this incident, Baasch filed suit in this Court against Reyer, Demchak Liquors, the arresting officers, and the Town of Riverhead pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and pendent state claims. Baasch claimed that Reyer and Demchak Liquors entered into a conspiracy with the police officers to deprive him of his constitutional rights. His claims against Reyer and Demchak Liquors include false arrest, malicious prosecution, and a violation of his Twenty-first Amendment right to purchase alcohol. Claims against the arresting officers and the Town of Riverhead included involvement in the conspiracy to deprive Baasch of his rights, a violation of his First Amendment rights, and the officers' refusal to accept Baasch's cross complaint against Reyer or to conduct an investigation into the matter.

 At the conclusion of trial, this Court directed a verdict as a matter of law against Baasch on all federal claims. All federal counts concerning Reyer and Demchak Liquors were dismissed on the ground that Baasch offered absolutely no evidence of any conspiracy between the police officers and the private actors. Consequently, the Court found that Reyer and Demchak Liquors were not state actors and thus could not be sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This Court also dismissed the Twenty-first Amendment claim, finding that contrary to Baasch's contention, the Amendment does not give him a constitutional right to purchase a particular brand of alcohol.

 The claims against the police officers and Town were also dismissed. The civil rights claim based upon Baasch's allegation of false arrest and malicious prosecution were dismissed because this Court found that the officers had probable cause to arrest and prosecute Baasch based on the civilian complaint filed by Reyer. The First Amendment claim was dismissed because this Court found, as a matter of law, that the officers did not violate Baasch's First Amendment rights when they arrested him for his loud and obscene outburst in the liquor store. The failure of the police to accept Baasch's cross complaint against Reyer was dismissed for failing to state a federal cause of action. Because all the federal actions were dismissed, the Court declined to entertain any supplemental state claims against the police officers or Town.

 After granting the directed verdict in favor of defendants, the Court scheduled a hearing on whether to impose sanctions against Baasch for prosecuting this frivolous law suit. Because of Baasch's status as a pro se litigant, the Court declined to impose sanctions at that time. However, Baasch was warned that the filing of any new frivolous actions would result in the imposition of sanctions against him. Despite that warning, Baasch brought on the present motion.

 II. DISCUSSION

 A. Motion for a New Trial

 Plaintiff's first contention is that there existed a conspiracy to deprive him of his Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial. Apparently, plaintiff believes that by directing a verdict against him, this Court entered into a conspiracy with defendants to deprive him of his right to a jury verdict. Like his other conspiracy claim, Baasch offers no substantiation to support this serious allegation. This Court does not take lightly plaintiff's accusation, and Baasch is instructed to stop making unsubstantiated and far-fetched allegations of conspiracies. Because Baasch has offered no legitimate argument why the directed verdict should not have been entered, plaintiff's motion for a new trial is denied on this ground.

 Plaintiff also uses this motion as a vehicle to reargue his underlying § 1983 claim against Reyer and Demchak Liquors. Plaintiff, however, fails to provide this Court with any new evidence to support his conspiracy claim. Accordingly, ...


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