The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hurd, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Arthur LaGrange ("LaGrange" or "plaintiff")
commenced the instant action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and
1988 alleging violations of his Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and
Fourteenth Amendment rights. Plaintiff also asserts pendent
state law claims for assault, battery, false arrest, unlawful
imprisonment, malicious prosecution, and conversion. He seeks
compensatory and punitive damages. Defendants, City of Kingston
police officer Michael Ryan ("Officer Ryan"), City of Kingston
(the "City"), and John Doe*fn1 (collectively referred to in
this opinion as "the defendants") have moved for summary
judgment, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56.*fn2 Plaintiff opposes.
This matter was submitted for decision without oral argument.
Plaintiff, almost 83 years old at the time of the events
alleged in the complaint, and his wife Thelma LaGrange
("Mrs.LaGrange"), then 76 years old, resided at Fairview Gardens
Apartments in Kingston, New York. In the spring of 1999,
Victoria Castiglione ("Castiglione") and Byron Frayne ("Frayne")
moved into the apartment above them. Plaintiff began to complain
to management that Frayne made excessive noise at late hours.
When his complaints failed to resolve the problem to his
satisfaction, Mrs. LaGrange contacted the Kingston Police
Department on May 8, 1999. Castiglione and Frayne also
registered complaints with the police department in late May and
June of 1999 against LaGrange, alleging that he followed Frayne
through the streets of Kingston and threatened to shoot Frayne
if he continued making excessive noise.
On June 29, 1999, Frayne requested a police escort to the
apartment while he and Castiglione removed some personal
belongings. Officer Ryan responded. At 1:30 a.m., he met
Castiglione and Frayne in the parking lot of Fairview Gardens
Apartments, where they advised him of the ongoing problem
between themselves and Mr. and Mrs. LaGrange. Officer Ryan
escorted them to their door and
waited outside. At this point the stories diverge.
Plaintiff alleges that at approximately 1:30 a.m., he awoke
from sleeping when he heard knocking at his front door. He
grabbed his pistol and inserted a clip into it on the way to the
door. He held the gun down against his hip and opened the door
partially to see who was there. He saw Officer Ryan standing at
the door with a gun aimed at his face. Officer Ryan ordered
LaGrange to put his gun down, which he did. Plaintiff then
claims that Officer Ryan grabbed him, pushed him down to the
ground, put his knee over the middle of his back, and handcuffed
him with his hands behind his back. He remained on the ground
for approximately half an hour. He alleges that while he was
being placed into the police car, he told Officer Ryan that he
needed his medication because he could not breathe, but Officer
Ryan replied that he did not need it.
According to Officer Ryan, while waiting outside for
Castiglione and Frayne, he saw a door open off to his right and
plaintiff was standing in the doorway with a gun. He ordered
LaGrange to put the gun down, which he did. Ryan then claims he
ordered the plaintiff to get down on the ground. When he failed
to respond, Officer Ryan pushed him down, placed one hand on his
back, and handcuffed him. He then radioed for backup and EMTs.
At approximately 1:41 a.m., EMTs arrived and evaluated
LaGrange in the back of Officer Ryan's police car. Backup
officers arrived and asked Mrs. LaGrange if there were any other
weapons in the apartment. She acknowledged that there was also a
rifle and a shotgun, and indicated where they were located. The
apartment was searched and the guns were retrieved from the
bedroom. The officers also secured a bag of cleaning supplies,
ammunition, and the plaintiffs driver's license and pistol
Plaintiff was transported to the police station and processed
by Officer Ryan. The officer in charge at the time LaGrange was
brought in, Sergeant Tremper,*fn3 allowed him to choose
between being placed in a cell or in the booking room until his
arraignment that morning. He chose the booking room, where he
was secured to a bench by one handcuff. He remained there until
his arraignment at approximately 9:00 a.m.
LaGrange was arraigned before a city court judge on the charge
of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree.*fn4
Following arraignment, the judge directed that the plaintiff be
taken to the hospital and return to appear before him the next
day. LaGrange was evaluated in the emergency room and admitted
to the hospital. He also received a psychological evaluation. He
appeared in court the next day, when the judge released him on
his own recognizance and ordered him to report to probation
weekly and submit to an examination by Ulster County Mental
Health. On October 5, 1999, a grand jury returned a no bill.
A. Summary Judgment Standard
Summary judgment must be granted when the pleadings,
depositions, answers to interrogatories, admissions, and
affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact, and that the moving party is entitled to summary
judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56;
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247, 106 S.Ct.
2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986); Lang v. Retirement Living Pub.
Co., 949 F.2d 576, 580 (2d Cir. 1991). The moving party carries
the initial burden of demonstrating an absence of a genuine
issue of material fact. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56; Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265
(1986); Thompson v. Gjivoje, 896 F.2d 716, 720 (2d Cir. 1990).
Facts, inferences therefrom, and ambiguities must be viewed in a
light most ...