The opinion of the court was delivered by: Block, District Judge.
Vernon Green ("Green") brings this civil rights action pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging the use of excessive force, false
arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution in violation
of his Fourth Amendment rights. The complaint also contains state
law claims for false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious
prosecution, negligence, and assault and battery. By stipulation
dated September 8, 1993, the state law claims for negligence,
false arrest, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution were
withdrawn. The County of Suffolk, the Suffolk County Police
Department, and Suffolk County Police Officers Phillip Montgomery
("Montgomery"), Edward Fitzgerald ("Fitzgerald"), Joseph Troy
("Troy"), Joseph O'Reilly ("O'Reilly"), and Edward Holmes
(collectively "defendants") move for summary judgment pursuant to
Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for dismissal of
the entire complaint.
Since the Court determines, inter alia, that Green is
collaterally estopped from bringing this action by reason of a
prior state court adjudication, in what is deemed for the
purposes of this motion to be a juvenile delinquency proceeding,
defendants' motion is granted and the complaint is dismissed.
This action arises out of events that occurred in connection
with Green's arrest in 1988.
On the evening of November 1, 1988, Police Officers Montgomery,
Fitzgerald, Troy, and O'Reilly (collectively "the officers"),
responded to an anonymous telephone tip that stolen vehicles,
including a black Jeep Wrangler, were being kept in the parking
lot of an apartment complex on Bay Shore Road in North Babylon,
New York. The caller told the police that the vehicles would be
moved that night.
That evening, Green, who had just turned fifteen, along with
his brother and some friends, drove into the parking lot of the
Bay Shore Road apartment complex, pulling up adjacent to a black
Jeep Wrangler. Along with a companion, he got out of his car and
into the Wrangler. About this time, the officers drove into the
parking lot, blocking the exit with their vehicles. The officers
got out of their cars and pursued Green and the others in the
At this point the officers' version of the facts differs
greatly from those asserted by Green. Green claims that, without
provocation, Troy and Montgomery began firing at him as the Jeep
was rolling to a halt. The officers claim that when they tried to
make an investigatory stop of Green, he drove the Jeep directly
at Montgomery, and Troy and Montgomery then shot him in the head.
Green was apprehended, and later indicted by a Grand Jury for
attempted murder in the second degree, attempted assault in the
first degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree, grand
larceny in the third degree, and criminal possession of stolen
property in the third degree.
Following a bench trial in the Supreme Court of the State of
New York, Suffolk County, the court found in favor of Green on
the charges of attempted murder, assault, and grand larceny, and
against Green on the reckless endangerment and criminal
possession of stolen property charges. The parties disagree,
however, as to whether Green was convicted for these crimes, or
adjudicated a juvenile delinquent. In this regard, the "Sentence
and Commitment" states that Green was "convicted of/adjudicated a
Juvenile Delinquent," Plaintiff's Statement Pursuant to Local
Rule 56.1, Ex. F. However, the judge who presided over the trial
refers to Green as having been "convicted, following a bench
trial," in an order denying the release of Grand Jury testimony
regarding the indictment. Defendants' Reply Affirmation, Ex. B.
"A motion for summary judgment may not he granted unless the
court determines that there is no genuine issue of material fact
to be tried and that the facts as to which there is no issue
warrant judgment for the moving party as a matter of law." Quinn
v. Green Tree Credit Corp., 159 F.3d 759, 765 (2d Cir. 1998)
(quoting Cronin v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 46 F.3d 196, 202 (2d Cir.
1995)). The Court will assume for the purposes of this motion
that Green was adjudicated a juvenile delinquent. See Thomas v.
Roach, 165 F.3d 137, 142 (2d Cir. 1999) ("the district court must
view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving
The defendants argue that Green's previous adjudication of
juvenile delinquency on the charge of reckless endangerment
mandates a finding that the officers' shooting of Green was ...