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CAMPANARO v. CITY OF ROME

April 2, 1998

ROBERT J. CAMPANARO, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF ROME; RAYMOND L. ARCURI; SCOTT P. HALL; MICHELE J. MANUELE; WILLIAM NETZBAND; RICHARD HAHN; EDWARD STEVENS; DAVID BRUCE; JOHN DOE; G. PATRICK MILLER; and MERINO J. CICCONE, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SCULLIN

 Introduction

 This is a civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 alleging claims for false arrest and malicious prosecution by Defendant police officers. *fn1" Additionally, Plaintiff brings a civil rights claim alleging municipal liability on the part of the City of Rome for the Plaintiff's arrest and prosecution. Defendants have counterclaimed for attorneys fees, damages for emotional distress, and sanctions, alleging that Plaintiff's suit is frivolous, unfounded and brought solely to harass defendants.

 Facts

 Early in the morning of January 22, 1994, Defendants Raymond Arcuri and Scott Hall were present in the "Rhine Haus," a bar on Dominick Street in Rome, New York. They were off duty and in civilian clothes. Plaintiff was also at the bar, in the company of Robert McLean and Gene Clark, who are not parties to this action. Defendant Hall was acquainted with Plaintiff and McLean, and Plaintiff admits that he knew Defendant Hall prior to the events at issue here.

 At approximately 2:15 a.m., Arcuri and Hall got in a fight with McLean and Clark. Who initiated the fight and what events led to the argument are disputed. Plaintiff was not initially involved in the altercation.

 Plaintiff admits that he entered the fracas by grabbing Hall, forcibly pulled him off McLean and throwing him in such a was as to cause Hall to fall to the ground. Plaintiff contends, and Defendants dispute, that at that point in the altercation Defendant Hall grabbed him by the neck, forcing the Plaintiff to push Hall away. Plaintiff alleges that later during the altercation Officer Hall "came at him." It is undisputed that Plaintiff then struck Defendant Hall in the face. Plaintiff contends, however, that he only struck Hall because Hall was coming at him.

 Defendant Bruce, an on-duty, uniformed officer, received reports of a fight and responded to the Rhine Haus as the altercation was ending. He and other uniformed officers arrested McLean and Clark at the direction of Defendant Hall. Defendant Bruce instructed the Plaintiff to remain present at the bar, but the plaintiff left the premises and was arrested by Defendant Hall and Defendant Stevens, who was one of other the responding officers on duty. They arrested Plaintiff on the street behind the Rhine Haus. Defendant Manuele interviewed Defendants Hall and Arcuri at the scene and, based on information they provided, signed a felony complaint charging Plaintiff with Assault in the Second Degree.

 Defendant Hall suffered a black eye, bruises to his face, and a great deal of pain. A physician examined him at the hospital shortly after the fight and six months later he testified to a grand jury that he continued to suffer headaches.

 The Rome Police Department conducted multiple investigations into the events which took place at the Rhine Haus that night. The investigations were undertaken at the direction of Defendants Ciccone and Miller and were conducted by, among others, Defendants Hahn and Netzband. The investigations found no wrongdoing on the part of Defendants Hall and Arcuri.

 Plaintiff was indicted by the Grand Jury for assaulting Defendants Arcuri and Hall, but was subsequently acquitted at trial.

 Discussion

 Under Rule 56(c), summary judgment is warranted if, when viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the non-movant, the court determines that there is no genuine issue of material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); Eastman Kodak Co. v. Image Tech. Servs., Inc., 504 U.S. 451, 457, 119 L. Ed. 2d 265, 112 S. Ct. 2072 (1992); Commander Oil v. Advance Food Serv. Equip., 991 F.2d 49, 51 (2d Cir. 1993). To survive a motion for summary judgment the non-movant must do more than present evidence that is merely colorable, conclusory, or speculative. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249-50, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986). The non-movant must offer evidence that demonstrates ...


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