Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

BROME v. CITY OF NEW YORK

March 15, 2004.

KENNETH BROME, Plaintiff, -against- THE CITY OF NEW YORK, et al., Defendants


The opinion of the court was delivered by: WILLIAM PAULEY, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff Kenneth Brome ("Brome") brings this action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and New York State law, for false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, and inadequate training and supervision against defendants the City of New York (the "City"), Detective Stephen Minogue ("Detective inogue"), and the New York City Police Department (the "N.Y.P.D."). Currently before this Court are defendants' motions for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons set forth below, Detective Minogue's motion is denied, and the N.Y.P.D.'s and the City's motions are granted.*fn1 Page 2

BACKGROUND

  On evening of January 19, 2001, Detective Minogue participated in a "buy and bust" operation in the vicinity of 146'-'" Street and Broadway in Manhattan. (Amended Complaint ("Compl.") ¶ 12; Deposition of Stephen Minogue, dated March 4, 2003 ("Minogue Dep.") at 5-7, 15-16.) During the "buy and bust" operation, Detective Minogue received a radio message from an undercover officer suggesting that he follow a suspect described as "a male Hispanic with long black hair tied back in a ponytail, wearing a multi-colored jacket." (Minogue Dep. at 25-26.) Detective Minogue followed that individual to an apartment building at 562 West 144th Street. (Minogue Dep. at 26.)

  At that moment, plaintiff Brome, a parole violator, was in the lobby of 562 West 144th Street. (Compl. ¶ 13.) Unbeknownst to Brome and Detective Minogue, a retaking warrant had been issued for Brome on January 16, 2001. (Deposition of Kenneth Brome, dated March 4, 2003 ("Brome Dep.") at 104-105; Declaration of John A. Compton Jr. ("Compton Decl.") Ex. G: Warrant; Pl's 56.1 1 3; Minogue Dep. at 62.)

  The events that followed are sharply in dispute. Detective Minogue claims that he entered the vestibule of 562 West 144th Street through an unlocked outer door, which was separated from the lobby by a locked interior door with a transparent plexiglass panel. (Minogue Dep. at 39-41.) Peering Page 3 through the transparent panel, Detective Minogue claims he saw plaintiff and the unidentified man engage in a hand-to-hand drug transaction. (Def.'s 56.1 29-31; Minogue Dep. at 39-41.) Detective Minogue asserts that he pulled out his shield, knocked on the plexiglass panel, and motioned for the two men to open the door. (Minogue Dep. at 51.) According to Detective Minogue, both men tried to rush past him, and he was successful in restraining plaintiff. (Minogue Dep. at 39-40, 52-53.)

  During his struggle with plaintiff, which spilled into the street, Detective Minogue contends that he observed a clear plastic bag in plaintiff's hand. (Minogue Dep. at 53-57; Pl.'s 56.1 Ex. G.) While no drugs were recovered from plaintiff's person, Detective Minogue claims that he found the plastic bag containing 12 small orange bags filled with crack cocaine near where he subdued plaintiff. (Minogue Dep. at 56.) Plaintiff was then placed under arrest.

  Plaintiff's version of events differs substantially from Detective Minogue's. Plaintiff contends that he did not engage in any hand-to-hand drug transaction, and that his only exchange with the unidentified man was "pointing to him to hit the button so [Brome] could leave the building." (Brome Dep. at 153.) According to plaintiff, there is no door with a plexiglass panel in the lobby of 562 West 144th Street. Moreover, he asserts that his initial contact with Detective Page 4 Minogue came as he exited the outer door of the building. (Brome Dep. at 119, 151-52.) Plaintiff maintains that he tried to wrestle free of Detective Minogue's grasp because he did not know that Detective Minogue was a police officer. (Brome Dep. 120-22.) Plaintiff claims that no drugs were recovered at the scene. (Brome Dep. at 125; Rothstein Decl. ¶ 22.)

  On January 20, 2001, the New York County District Attorney's Office ("D.A.") charged and prosecuted plaintiff with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance Third Degree and Resisting Arrest. (Compton Decl. Ex. L; Rothstein Decl. Ex. H; Compl. ¶¶ 9-10.) A few days later, plaintiff was indicted on both counts by a grand jury, and remained in custody. (Compl. ¶ 19; Compton Decl. Ex. D.) On March 21, 2001, plaintiff moved to suppress all tangible evidence, including the alleged narcotics. (Compl. ¶ 12; Compton Decl. Ex. N; Brome Dep. at 149.) On October 18, 2001, Justice Richter of Manhattan Criminal Court dismissed all charges on the grounds that Detective Minogue lacked probable cause to arrest Brome. (Compl. ¶ 17; Rothstein Decl. Ex. A; Compton Decl. Ex. B; Brome Dep. at 153; Pl's 56.1 11 18-19.) Approximately three weeks later, plaintiff was released from custody. (Compton Decl. Ex. A.) Plaintiff filed this action on September 16, 2002. Page 5

  DISCUSSION

 I. Summary Judgment Standard

  Summary judgment must "be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The party moving for summary judgment bears the burden of establishing "the absence of any genuine issues of material fact." Anderson v. Liberty hobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 256 (1986). Any ambiguity must be resolved in favor of the non-movant, see Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 330 n.2 (1986), and "all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor." Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 255. If the moving party meets its initial burden, the non-movant must do "more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to material facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1996). The non-movant must "set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial," Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e), and must produce evidence that would permit a rational juror to render a verdict in his favor. See Gallo v. Prudential Residential Servs., Ltd. P'ship, 22 F.3d 1219, 1223-24 (2d Cir. 1994). Page 6

 II. False Arrest and False Imprisonment

  Defendants seek summary judgment on plaintiff's false arrest and false imprisonment claims. In New York, false arrest and false imprisonment claims are considered "synonymous causes of action" requiring satisfaction of the same elements. Sepulveda v. City of New York, No. 01 Civ. 3054 (DC), 2003 WL 21673626, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. July 17, 2003); accord Boyd v. City of New York, 336 F.3d 72, 76 n.6 (2d Cir. 2003) ("As goes false arrest, so goes [plaintiff's] false imprisonment claim.")-"[To] prevail on a false arrest claim, a plaintiff must show that (1) defendant intended to confine him, (2) the plaintiff was conscious of the confinement, (3) the plaintiff did not consent to the confinement and (4) the confinement was not otherwise privileged." Broughton v. State of N.Y., 37 N.Y.2d 451, 456 (1975); see also Boyd, 336 F.3d at 75 ("The elements of false arrest and malicious prosecution under § 1983 are `substantially the same' as the elements under New York law. Therefore, the analysis of the state and the federal claims is identical.") (internal quotation omitted). When a warrantless arrest is at issue, as in this case, it is presumptively ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.