he was therefore authorized to arrest the plaintiff - see N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 155, and N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 140.10(1)(a). Additionally, the testimony is that Mr. Woods did not produce evidence of a driver's license when requested to do so. This in and of itself would allow the police to make an arrest. Once authorized to make an arrest, Trooper Candela was entitled to search the grab area around Mr. Woods. It should make no difference that instead of searching the area himself, that he asked the plaintiff to do so.
This Court finds that as a matter of law Trooper Candela was entitled to make the stop and search of the grab area around Mr. Woods. That search turned up a nightstick for which the plaintiff was unable to produce a certificate allowing him to possess the instrument. Regardless of whether the plaintiff consented to the search of the entire car or not, the air gun and suspicious clothing would have been ultimately discovered during an inventory search of the vehicle once it was impounded. In any event, the air rifle and suspicious clothing were discovered by Trooper Woods in plain view on the back seat of the plaintiffs car. Under these circumstances, this court concludes as a matter of law that Trooper Woods acted with probable cause and thus the search and arrest of the plaintiff was entirely constitutional under federal law.
Because this Court concludes that the defendant acted with probable cause at all times and thus no unconstitutional search and seizure occurred, it need not reach the issue of the Trooper's qualified immunity. The Court notes however that on the present record, it is evident that it was objectively reasonable for the officer to believe that probable cause existed, and additionally that officers of reasonable competence would generally agree that the probable cause test was met. See Robison v. Via, 821 F.2d 913 (2d Cir. 1987).
The complaint in this action states claims for unreasonable searches and seizures, violation of the right not to be arrested without probable cause, violations of plaintiff's right to remain silent, plaintiff's rights not to be deprived of liberty without due process of law, to the equal protection of the laws, and substantive due process. While the motion papers and briefs address only the plaintiff's claims for unreasonable searches and seizures and not to be arrested without probable cause the issues surrounding those claims are the foundation of the plaintiff's remaining claims. With this Court's dismissal of the plaintiff's claims seeking damages resulting from an unreasonable searches and seizures plaintiff's other claims must fail as well. Those claims are based upon the presumed illegality of the underlying stop and search of the plaintiff's car and his subsequent arrest. As this Court has concluded that no constitutional violation occurred in the stop, search and arrest, plaintiff's remaining claims must fail and are dismissed as well.
While not critical to this Court's resolution of the matter, we express our appreciation to attorney Robert N. Isseks for calling our attention to the reversal by the New York Court of Appeals in 60 N.Y.2d 897 (1983) of the decision in Brown v. City of New York, 80 A.D.2d 596, 436 N.Y.S.2d 37 (2d Dept. 1981). The Appellate Division decision in Brown has been cited after November 23, 1983, inappropriately by federal courts as setting forth the law of collateral estoppel in New York insofar as concerns judgments of acquittal in prior criminal trials. See, e.g. Gill v. Stella, 845 F. Supp. 94, 100 (E.D.N.Y. 1994). There is no identity of parties present in this case; a requirement for collateral estoppel in New York.
The Clerk shall file a final judgment.
Dated: White Plains, New York
April 9, 1996
Charles L. Brieant, U.S.D.J.
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