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GONZALEZ v. CITY OF SCHENECTADY

April 5, 2001

ELIZABETH GONZALEZ, MICHAEL FYVIE AND CHARLES FRISBEE, PLAINTIFFS,
V.
THE CITY OF SCHENECTADY, RICHARD BARNETT, MICHAEL SILER, THOMAS MATTICE, MICHAEL GLASSER, MARISELA MOSHER, WILLIAM LACHANSKI, AND ERIC HESCH, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS AGENTS, SERVANTS AND/OR EMPLOYEES AND POLICE OFFICERS OF THE CITY OF SCHENECTADY AND THE CITY OF SCHENECTADY POLICE DEPARTMENT, AND "JOHN DOE" AND "JANE DOE," INDIVIDUALLY AND BEING UNNAMED AGENTS, SERVANTS AND/OR EMPLOYEES AND POLICE OFFICERS OF THE CITY OF SCHENECTADY AND THE CITY OF SCHENECTADY POLICE DEPARTMENT, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: McAVOY, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM — DECISION & ORDER

Plaintiffs commenced the instant action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging violations of their Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights arising out of their alleged arrests, detainments, and strip searches by Defendants. Plaintiffs also assert various pendent state law causes of action. Presently before the Court are Plaintiffs Elizabeth Gonzalez and Michael Fyvie's motion for partial summary judgment pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 56 on the issue of the City of Schenectady's liability for its strip search policy and Defendants City of Schenectady, Thomas Mattice, Michael Glasser, Marisela Mosher, William Lachanski, and Eric Hesch's cross-motion for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56 on that same issue.

I. BACKGROUND

The Court will state only those facts relevant to the instant motions.

A. The Strip Search Policy

At all times relevant hereto, the City of Schenectady (the "City") had an informal policy requiring that all detainees being held within the City cell block would be strip searched regardless of the crime for which the detainee was being held. Glasser Dep., p. 13; Mosher Dep., p. 9; Lachanski Dep., p. 6; Mattice Dep., p. 69; Hesch Dep., p. 31-32; Def. Rule 7.1(a)(3) stmnt, no. 1.

B. Elizabeth Gonzalez

On April 28, 1998, Defendant City of Schenectady Police Officer Eric Hesch stopped Gonzalez's vehicle for a purported traffic violation. Hesch obtained Gonzlez's driver's license, vehicle registration, and insurance card. Hesch returned to his car and learned that there was an "association hit" on Gonzalez.*fn1 Hesch explained the association hit to Gonzalez and asked her if she would come to the police station to resolve the matter. Gonzalez agreed.*fn2 According to Gonzalez, Hesch ordered a female police matron at the police station to strip search her. Gonzalez contends that she was then strip searched.*fn3 Defendants deny having strip searched Gonzalez.

The matron then took Gonzalez's fingerprints. Hesch drove the fingerprints to Albany to check whether Gonzalez was indeed a wanted individual. The fingerprint check revealed that Plaintiff was not one of the wanted individuals. Plaintiff was then released without being charged with any crimes or being issued any tickets.

C. Michael Fyvie

On May 30, 1999, Defendant City of Schenectady Police Officer Michael Glasser responded to a fight call. At that time, Glasser arrested Fyvie, brought him to the police station, and charged him with disorderly conduct. After being held in a holding cell for a period of time, Fyvie was issued an appearance ticket and released. As he was leaving the police station, Fyvie had some words with a police officer.*fn4 City police officers then grabbed him, returned him to the booking area, and strip searched him. Fyvie was then placed in a cell for approximately one hour until his parents posted bail for his release. No further charges were leveled against Fyvie.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Summary Judgment ...


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