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HAUSSMAN v. FERGUS

July 27, 1995

JOHN HAUSSMAN, Plaintiff, against E.S. FERGUS, JOHN DOE, "JOHN" HOLMES, RICHARD ROE, TWO OTHER DEFENDANTS AS YET UNKNOWN and J.C. MONDELLO, Defendants.

Peter K. Leisure, U.S.D.J.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: PETER K. LEISURE

LEISURE, District Judge:

 This is an action brought by John Haussman ("Haussman") against E.S. Fergus ("Fergus"), John Doe ("Doe"), "John" Holmes ("Holmes"), Richard Roe ("Roe"), J.C. Mondello ("Maldonado") *fn1" and two other unknown defendants. Plaintiff brings the instant action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and seeks recovery for violation of his constitutional rights by defendant police officers. Plaintiff alleges that he was arrested and searched without probable cause, punished without due process, confined, and prosecuted by defendants. Defendant Fergus now moves for summary judgment, pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Alternatively, defendant Fergus moves for an order dismissing the action against him on the grounds of qualified immunity. Defendants Holmes and Maldonado move for summary judgment on the grounds that plaintiff has failed to demonstrate their personal involvement. Finally, Richardson moves for summary judgment based on the fact that he is not a named defendant and has not been served with a copy of the summons and complaint. *fn2" For the reasons stated below, defendants' motions are granted.

 BACKGROUND

 Viewing the facts in the light most favorable to the non-movant, as this Court must on the instant motion, they are as follows. On October 22, 1991 at approximately 11:00 p.m., plaintiff, a twenty-three year old resident of Putnam County, New York, met George Divine ("Divine") and drove him to a restaurant and grill named Kelties Bum Steer ("Kelties"), located in Brewster, New York. See Affidavit of John Haussman, sworn to on June 1, 1995 ("Haussman Aff."), at PP 1, 3. Haussman, with Divine in the passenger seat, travelled on Route 6 in Putnam County through the town of Brewster and over to Route 121, where Kelties is located. Id. at P 3, 4. When Haussman pulled into the parking lot of Kelties, defendants Richardson and Fergus were already in the parking lot in their police car. *fn3" Id. at P 5.

 Haussman states that upon parking his vehicle, two New York State Troopers approached his car. Fergus approached his side of the vehicle, while Richardson approached the passenger side. See Haussman Aff. at P 5. Haussman was then ordered to perform a series of field sobriety tests. Id. at P 7. Plaintiff was arrested for driving while intoxicated, handcuffed, and brought to the police barracks in Brewster, New York ("the Barracks"). Id. at PP 7, 8. Upon arriving at the Barracks, at approximately midnight, plaintiff was shackled to a bench. Id. at P 10. At roughly 1:00 a.m., plaintiff was given an alcosensor test, which indicated that he had no alcohol in his system. Id. at 10. Defendant Fergus then indicated that he believed Haussman to be on drugs and searched him. See Haussman Aff. at PP 10, 11. Fergus withdrew Haussman's wallet, removed some condoms stored there, and passed them around the room to two or three other officers. Id. at P 11. Defendants Fergus and Holmes began taunting plaintiff and using racial epithets. *fn4" Id.

 Fergus again accused Haussman of having taken drugs and checked his skin, nose, and mouth. Id. at P 13. Fergus then checked plaintiff's blood pressure, took his temperature and pulse, and inspected his eyes with a pen light. Id. at P 14. "This horrendous scene took half an hour." Id. Haussman was then ordered to provide a urine sample, and he complied. *fn5" Id. The urine sample tested negative for drugs.

 In a separate incident, on October 23, 1991, plaintiff was again pulled over by New York State troopers, and his car was searched. See Haussman Aff. at P 19. This stop and examination lasted about forty-five minutes. Id.

 DISCUSSION

 I. The Standard for Summary Judgment

 Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that summary judgment "shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986); see also Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986); Lang v. Retirement Living Pub. Co., 949 F.2d 576, 580 (2d Cir. 1991). Summary judgment "is appropriate only 'after adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial.'" Thornton v. Syracuse Sav. Bank, 961 F.2d 1042, 1046 (2d Cir. 1992) (quoting Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322); accord Irvin Indus., Inc. v. Goodyear Aerospace Corp., 974 F.2d 241, 245 (2d Cir. 1992).

 "In deciding whether to grant summary judgment all inferences drawn from the materials submitted to the trial court are viewed in a light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. The nonmovant's allegations are taken as true and it receives the benefit of the doubt when its assertions conflict with those of the movant." Cruden v. Bank of New York, 957 F.2d 961, 975 (2d Cir. 1992). "Only when no reasonable trier of fact could find in favor of the nonmoving party should summary judgment be granted." Id.; accord Taggart v. Time, Inc., 924 F.2d 43, 46 (2d Cir. 1991); see also Lang, 949 F.2d at 580 ("In determining how a reasonable jury would decide, the court must resolve all ambiguities and draw all inferences against the moving party."); Binder v. Long Island Lighting Co., 933 F.2d 187, 191 (2d Cir. 1991) ("Viewing the evidence produced in the light most favorable to the nonmovant, if a rational trier could not find for the nonmovant, then there is no genuine issue of material fact and entry of summary judgment is appropriate.").

 The substantive law governing the case will identify those facts that are material, and "only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment. Factual disputes that are irrelevant or unnecessary will not be counted." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. "The judge's function is not himself to weigh the evidence and determine the ...


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