United States District Court, N.D. New York
June 21, 2004.
ROBERT LAWRENCE HOGAN, JR., Plaintiff,
DAVID T. CAPUTO, individually/also as a police officer for the Village of Ravena; SCOTT GIROUX, Police Chief for the Ravena Police Department; JOHN BUONO, Mayor of the Village of Ravena; JAMES CAMPBELL; MICHAEL BRESLIN, County Executive for the County of Albany, a Municipality; OFFICER SLURES, Badge Number 105, individually and as a police officer for the Albany CO. Sheriff, Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: LAWRENCE KAHN, District Judge
MEMORANDUM DECISION and ORDER
Plaintiff Robert Hogan Jr. ("Plaintiff") commenced the instant
action asserting claims for false arrest, malicious prosecution,
the intentional infliction of emotional distress, and violations
of his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights, arising out of his
arrest on August 21, 1999. Presently before the Court are
Defendants' motions for summary judgment pursuant to FED. R. CIV.
P. 56 seeking dismissal of the Complaint in its entirety.
During the days of August 20-21, 1999, Plaintiff resided with
his girlfriend and two minor children (aged three and eleven) at
55 Van Buren Avenue, Ravena, New York. Plaintiff's next door
neighbor was Lisa Mascione ("Mascione"). At that time, Plaintiff
was on probation. At approximately 10:00 p.m. on August 20, 1999, Plaintiff's
girlfriend left for work. At around that same time, Plaintiff
retrieved his children from Mascione, who had been babysitting
them. While at home, Plaintiff consumed two glasses of rum and
coke, thereby violating the terms and conditions of his
probation, which prohibited him from consuming alcoholic
beverages. At approximately 5:00 a.m. on August 21, 1999,
Plaintiff took Mascione's car to purchase cigarettes. At
approximately 5:15 a.m., Mascione called the police and reported
that her car was missing.
Shortly thereafter, Defendant Town of Coeymans Police Officer
David Caputo ("Caputo") arrived at Mascione's house. Mascione
reported that she observed her vehicle leaving her driveway and
that she had not given anyone permission to use it. Mascione
further reported that Plaintiff knew that she often left the keys
in the car and that she had let him borrow it in the past.
Approximately 15-20 minutes later, Plaintiff returned with
Mascione's car. Caputo inquired of Plaintiff whether he had
permission to take the car. Plaintiff apparently responded that
he had permission to use the car whenever he wanted. Mascione
denied that and claimed that Plaintiff was first required to
obtain permission before using the vehicle on any particular
Caputo claims that he smelled alcohol on Plaintiff's breath and
further noticed that his eyes were glassy and his speech slurred.
Caputo attempted to perform sobriety tests on Plaintiff, which,
according to Caputo, Plaintiff failed to properly complete.
Caputo then administered a breathalyzer test (also known as a
screening test) to Plaintiff. Caputo claims that Plaintiff was
attempting to circumvent the test. Plaintiff claims that he fully
complied with the tests. Caputo contends that, as he was
administering the breathalyzer test to Plaintiff, Plaintiff
shoved Caputo and ran into his home, which Plaintiff denies.
Plaintiff contends that, with Caputo's permission, he went into
the house to call his girlfriend and to use the bathroom. At around this same time, Defendant Albany County Sheriff's
Deputy Craig Sleurs ("Sleurs") arrived at the scene. Sleurs
witnessed the commotion between Caputo and Plaintiff. Sleurs then
saw Plaintiff flee from Caputo and run into his home. Sleurs ran
after Plaintiff while Caputo went to cover the back entrance into
the home, ensuring that Plaintiff did not exit from the rear of
As Plaintiff entered his home, he slammed the door behind him.
Sleurs opened the door and pursued Plaintiff into the house.
Caputo returned to the front of the home and also entered after
Plaintiff. Plaintiff ran into one of the rooms in his home and
shut the door. Caputo and Sleurs ordered Plaintiff out of the
room. Plaintiff complied. Caputo then placed Plaintiff under
Plaintiff was later arraigned on charges of obstruction of
governmental administration ("OGA") and endangering the welfare
of a child. Defendants contend that these charges were adjourned
in contemplation of dismissal ("ACOD"), pursuant to N.Y. Criminal
Procedure Law § 160.50. Plaintiff denies that he received an
ACOD, claiming that he did not consent to such a disposition as
is required by § 160.50. Plaintiff claims that the charges were
Plaintiff also was charged with violating the terms of his
probation. After a hearing at the Albany County Court, Plaintiff
was found to have violated the terms of his probation by, among
other things, obstructing governmental administration as a result
of his having pushed, and fled from, Caputo. Plaintiff appealed
the revocation of his probation to the Appellate Division, Third
Department, which affirmed. See People v. Hogan, 284 A.D.2d 655
(3d Dep't 2001).
Plaintiff commenced the instant action, contending that
Defendants' actions violated his constitutional rights under the
Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments and that he was subject to false
arrest, malicious prosecution, and the intentional infliction of
emotional distress. Defendants now move to dismiss the Complaint
in its entirety pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. III. STANDARD OF REVIEW
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 provides that summary
judgment is proper when "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 a judgment
as a matter of law." FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). In applying this standard,
courts must "`resolve all ambiguities, and credit all factual
inferences that could rationally be drawn, in favor of the party
opposing summary judgment.'" Brown v. Henderson, 257 F.3d 246,
251 (2d Cir. 2001) (quoting Cifra v. General Electric Co.,
252 F.3d 205, 216 (2d Cir. 2001)). Once the moving party meets its
initial burden by demonstrating that no material fact exists for
trial, the nonmovant "must do more than simply show that there is
some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita
Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986)
(citations omitted). Rather, the nonmovant "must come forth with
evidence sufficient to allow a reasonable jury to find in her
favor." Brown, 257 F.3d at 251 (citation omitted). Bald
assertions or conjecture unsupported by evidence are insufficient
to overcome a motion for summary judgment. Carey v. Crescenzi,
923 F.2d 18, 21 (2d Cir. 1991); Western World Ins. Co. v. Stack
Oil, Inc., 922 F.2d 118, 121 (2d Cir. 1990).
(a) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
In New York, the statute of limitations applicable to claims
for the intentional infliction of emotional distress is one year.
N.Y.C.P.L.R. § 215(3). Plaintiff commenced the instant action in
August 2002. There is no evidence in the record of any conduct by
Defendants toward Plaintiff during the one year period prior to
the filing of this lawsuit. Indeed, there are no allegations of
any allegedly intentional and outrageous acts by these Defendants aside from
the date of arrest in August 1999. Accordingly, Plaintiff's claim
for the intentional infliction of emotional distress is
(b) False Arrest and Malicious Prosecution
State law claims for false arrest and malicious prosecution
also are subject to a one year statute of limitations.
N.Y.C.P.L.R. § 215(3). Plaintiff was arrested in August 1999. In
his January 23, 2004 affidavit, Plaintiff claims that the charges
against him were dismissed in October 2000. Assuming this to be
true, any claim for false arrest had to be instituted before
November 2001. Because Plaintiff commenced the instant action
more than one year after the date he was arrested and more than
one year after the date the criminal prosecution was dismissed,
his common law false arrest and malicious prosecution claims are
untimely. Convington v. City of New York, 171 F.3d 117 (2d Cir.
1999) (false arrest); Dudick v. Gulyas, 277 A.D.2d 686, 688 (3d
Dep't 2000) (malicious prosecution).
The false arrest and malicious prosecution claims also must be
dismissed as to Sleurs because: (1) there is no evidence in the
record from which a fair-minded trier of fact could reasonably
conclude that Sleurs arrested Plaintiff; and (2) Plaintiff admits
that Sleurs did not file any criminal charges.
(c) Due Process
Plaintiff claims that his home was unlawfully searched and his
person unlawfully seized in violation of the due process clause
of the Fourteenth Amendment. "Where a particular Amendment
`provides an explicit textual source of constitutional
protection' against a particular sort of government behavior,
`that Amendment, not the more generalized notion of "substantive
due process," must be the guide for analyzing these claims.'"
Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 273 (1994) (quoting Graham
v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 395 (1989)); Lauro v. Charles,
219 F.3d 202, 207 (2d Cir. 2000). Because Plaintiff's complaints of an
unlawful search and seizure are explicitly governed by the Fourth
Amendment, his claims must be analyzed under that Amendment; not
under substantive due process. Id. The due process claim is,
(d) Collateral Estoppel*fn1
Before engaging in any further substantive analysis of
Plaintiff's claims, it is necessary to address the issue of
collateral estoppel raised by Defendants. One of the factual
issues in this case is whether Plaintiff pushed Officer Caputo
and ran into his home. Caputo contends that he was pushed by
Plaintiff. Plaintiff denies this. Caputo and Sleurs assert that
Plaintiff fled into his home. Plaintiff denies this as well.
Under New York law, collateral estoppel "precludes a
party from relitigating in a subsequent action or
proceeding an issue clearly raised in a prior action
or proceeding and decided against that party or those
in privity, whether or not the tribunals or causes of
action are the same." Burgos v. Hopkins,
14 F.3d 787, 792 (2d Cir. 1994) (quoting Ryan v. New York
Tel. Co., 62 N.Y.2d 494, 500, 478 N.Y.S.2d 823, 826,
467 N.E.2d 487, 490 (1984)). New York courts will
invoke the doctrine of collateral estoppel "if the
issue in the second action is identical to an issue
which was raised, necessarily decided and material in
the first action, and the [party against whom
preclusion is sought] had a full and fair opportunity
to litigate the issue in the earlier action." Parker
v. Blauvelt Volunteer Fire Co., 93 N.Y.2d 343, 349,
690 N.Y.S.2d 478, 482, 712 N.E.2d 647 (1999)
(citation omitted). Also, the issue raised in the
first action must be "decisive" of the second action.
See Curry v. City of Syracuse, 316 F.3d 324, 331
(2d Cir. 2003) (citation omitted). The burden of
showing that an issue raised in a subsequent
proceeding "is identical to one that was raised and
necessarily decided in the prior action rests
squarely on the party moving for preclusion."
Sullivan v. Gagnier, 225 F.3d 161, 166 (2d Cir.
Cobb v. Pozzi, 363 F.3d 89, 113 (2d Cir. 2004).
Here, there is a factual issue concerning whether Plaintiff
shoved Caputo and ran into the residence. These same factual
allegations were presented to the Albany County Court in
connection with Plaintiff's probation revocation hearing.
Specifically, Plaintiff was charged with violating the terms and
conditions of probation requiring that he refrain from committing
any additional crime, offense, violation or other illegal
activity. In support of the probation revocation charges,
Plaintiff was accused of, among other things, having obstructed
governmental administration arising out of the events of August
21, 1999 and, in particular, his having shoved Caputo and run
into his house. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Albany
County Court found that: "[w]ith regard to the obstruction, I
find that's been proved by a preponderance of the evidence.
Indeed, what else would he be shoving a police officer in the
middle of the night and running and slamming a door for?" Tr. of
Oct. 13, 1999 Probation Revocation Hearing at 45. Because the
allegations that Plaintiff shoved Caputo and ran into the house
supported the finding that Plaintiff obstructed governmental
administration in violation of the terms and conditions of his
probation, these factual issues were necessarily decided and
material to the probation revocation proceeding. See Curry v.
City of Syracuse, 316 F.3d 324
, 331 (2d Cir. 2003) (applying
collateral estoppel to parole revocation hearing).
Plaintiff had a full and fair opportunity in New York State
court to litigate the issue in the probation revocation
proceeding. Plaintiff was represented by counsel at the probation
revocation hearing. He was provided the opportunity to
cross-examine the witnesses against him, including Caputo; to
call his own witnesses; to testify on his own behalf; and
otherwise present his own evidence. Plaintiff had significant
incentive to litigate the issue because an adverse finding at the
probation revocation hearing was likely to result in
incarceration. Curry, 316 F.3d at 331. "[T]he fact that [Plaintiff] chose not to testify, and that his counsel
conducted only a limited cross-examination, is beside the point.
The opportunity was clearly there." Id.
Finally, the determination of the probation revocation is
decisive of the current action. "[A]n issue is `decisive in the
present action' if it would prove or disprove, without more, an
essential element of any of the claims set forth in the
complaint." Id. at 332. One of Plaintiff's claims is for common
law false arrest/false imprisonment.
Under New York law, to succeed on a false arrest/false
imprisonment claim, Plaintiff must prove that; (1) the defendant
intended to confine him, (2) Plaintiff was conscious of the
confinement, (3) Plaintiff did not consent to the confinement,
and (4) the confinement was not otherwise privileged. Johnson v.
Kings County District Attorney's Office, 308 A.D.2d 278, 285-86
(2d Dep't 2003). Here, the first three elements of the false
arrest claim are readily satisfied. The finding of the Albany
County Court, however, disproves the fourth element whether the
confinement was otherwise privileged.
It is well-settled under New York law that the existence of
probable cause to effectuate an arrest negates a claim for common
law false arrest. "Probable cause to arrest exists when the
officers have knowledge or reasonably trustworthy information of
facts and circumstances that are sufficient to warrant a person
of reasonable caution in the belief that the person to be
arrested has committed or is committing a crime." Weyant v.
Okst, 101 F.3d 845, 852 (2d Cir. 1996); see People v.
Hetrick, 80 N.Y.2d 344, 348 (1992). Here, Plaintiff was charged
with OGA in violation of N.Y. Penal Law § 195.05. Section 195.05
A person is guilty of obstructing governmental
administration when he intentionally obstructs,
impairs or perverts the administration of law or
other governmental function or prevents or attempts
to prevent a public servant from performing an
official function, by means of intimidation, physical
force or interference, or by means of any
independently unlawful act, or by means of
interfering, whether or not physical force is
involved, with radio, telephone, television or other telecommunications systems owned
or operated by the state, or a county, city, town,
village, fire district or emergency medical service
or by means of releasing a dangerous animal under
circumstances evincing the actor's intent that the
animal obstruct governmental administration.
The factual determination that Plaintiff shoved Caputo while he
was attempting to administer an alcohol screening test and ran
into the house necessarily disproves an essential element of
Plaintiff's false arrest claim namely, whether Caputo had
probable cause to arrest Plaintiff for the obstruction of
governmental administration. When Plaintiff shoved Caputo and ran
into the house while Caputo was trying to administer a screening
test, a person of reasonable caution would believe that Plaintiff
unlawfully obstructed or impaired the administration of law or
other governmental function. See Matter of Shannon B.,
70 N.Y.2d 458, 489-90 (1987) (striking police officer who was
performing lawful duty would constitute the crime of obstruction
of governmental administration and attempted assault in the
Because the factual finding of the Albany County Court was
decisive as to Plaintiff's common law false arrest claim and all
the other elements of collateral estoppel are satisfied,
Plaintiff is collaterally estopped from denying that he shoved
Caputo and ran into the house.*fn2 (e) Whether a Warrantless Search and Seizure was Justified
The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and
seizures. U.S. CONST. AMEND IV. The police may not enter a
private residence and arrest a person residing there without
either: (1) a warrant; or (2) the existence of both probable
cause and an exception to the warrant requirement. Payton, 445
U.S. at 576; Anthony v. City of New York, 339 F.3d 129, 135 (2d
Cir. 2003). The officers did not have a warrant. Thus, they must
rely on the existence of probable cause coupled with an exception
to the warrant requirement.
It is well settled that warrantless entries into the home to
make a search, seizure, or arrest are "presumptively
unreasonable." Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573, 586 (1980);
United States v. Fields, 113 F.3d 313, 322-23 (2d Cir. 1997);
United States v. McDonald, 916 F.2d 766, 769 (2d Cir. 1990).
However, "the warrant requirement must yield in those situations
where exigent circumstances demand that law enforcement agents
act without delay." McDonald, 916 F.2d at 769 (citing Warden
v. Hayden, 387 U.S. 294, 298-99 (1967)). When a warrantless
entry is made, the burden lies with the government to establish
an exception to the warrant requirement. See Welsh v.
Wisconsin, 466 U.S. 740, 750 (1984). "The essential question in
determining whether exigent circumstances justified a warrantless
entry is whether law enforcement agents were confronted by an
`urgent need' to render aid or take action." McDonald, 916 F.2d
at 769 (quoting Dorman v. United States, 435 F.2d 385, 391
(D.C. Cir. 1970)).
"[E]xceptions to the warrant requirement are `few in number and
carefully delineated.'" Welsh v. Wisconsin, 466 U.S. 740, 749
(1984) (quoting United States v. United States District Court
for the Eastern Dist. of Mich., Southern Div., 407 U.S. 297, 318
(1972)). As the Supreme Court has stated: The police bear a heavy burden when attempting to
demonstrate an urgent need that might justify
warrantless searches or arrests. Indeed, the
[Supreme] Court has recognized only a few such
emergency conditions, see, e.g., United States
v. Santana, 427 U.S. 38, 42-43, 96 S.Ct. 2406,
2409-2410, 49 L.Ed.2d 300 (1976) (hot pursuit of a
fleeing felon); Warden v. Hayden, 387 U.S. 294,
298-299, 87 S.Ct. 1642, 1645-1646, 18 L.Ed.2d 782
(1967) (same); Schmerber v. California,
384 U.S. 757, 770-771, 86 S.Ct. 1826, 1835-1836,
16 L.Ed.2d 908 (1966) (destruction of evidence); Michigan v.
Tyler, 436 U.S. 499, 509, 98 S.Ct. 1942, 1949,
56 L.Ed.2d 486 (1978) (ongoing fire). . . .
[A]pplication of the exigent circumstances exception
in the context of a home entry should rarely be
sanctioned when there is probable cause to believe
that only a minor offense . . . has been committed."
Welsh v. Wisconsin, 466 U.S. 740, 749-53 (1984).
The Second Circuit has set forth the following non-exclusive
factors to aid in determining whether exigent circumstances
(1) the gravity or violent nature of the offense with
which the suspect is to be charged; (2) whether the
suspect is reasonably believed to be armed; (3) a
clear showing of probable cause . . . to believe that
the suspect committed the crime; (4) strong reason to
believe that the suspect is in the premises being
entered; (5) a likelihood that the suspect will
escape if not swiftly apprehended; and (6) the
peaceful circumstances of the entry. Loria v.
Gorman, 306 F.3d 1271, 1284 (2d Cir. 2002).
"[T]he presence or absence of any single factor is not
(1) Gravity or violent nature of the offense
The first factor, the gravity or violent nature of the offense,
is a factor of particular importance. Id. at 1285. In the
present case, under the totality of the circumstances,
consideration of this factor demonstrates that there were exigent
circumstances justifying the entry of law enforcement into the
Caputo contends that a warrantless entry was justified because:
(1) Plaintiff shoved him and fled; (2) Plaintiff was on probation
and had a history of violent behavior as evidenced by prior domestic dispute calls to Plaintiff's residence, his being
charged with assault, and his having ripped a telephone out of a
wall; (3) Plaintiff left minors alone in the house, and Caputo
was concerned for their safety, his own safety, and the safety of
anyone else who might have been in the house; and (4) there was
an urgent need to apprehend Plaintiff and support Sleurs, who was
already in the house.
Here, Plaintiff was charged with OGA, a misdemeanor, which
alone may be insufficiently grave or violent to provide the
police with reason to ignore the constitutional mandates of the
warrant requirement. See id. However, the facts that led to
the OGA charge against Plaintiff include a violent action,
namely, his shoving Officer Caputo, a law enforcement official
who was attempting to perform his duties. The nature of this
charge, therefore, is an assault, which adds significant weight
to this prong of the inquiry.
In addition to the assault on a police officer, the potential
danger to the children created an exigent circumstance. Plaintiff
himself acknowledged that his two young children were inside the
home. Caputo also knew that Plaintiff, a probationer, had been
involved in prior violent domestic disturbances, including one
incident in which he ripped the phone out of the wall. See Dkt.
No. 39, Caputo affidavit at ¶ 4. Therefore, Caputo was concerned
that the children were seriously endangered when Plaintiff
violently shoved Caputo and fled into his home. This potential
harm to children alone may constitute exigent circumstances
worthy of warrantless entry into a home. See United States v.
Zabare, 871 F.2d 282, 289 (2d Cir. 1989) (collecting cases that
stand for the proposition that "entry may be justified if the
life or person of a law-enforcement officer or other person is in
Moreover, law enforcement officials were called to the scene to
respond to Mascione's complaint that her automobile had been
stolen. Stealing a vehicle valued at more than $100 constitutes grand larceny in the fourth degree, a felony. N.Y. Penal Law §
155.30(8). Upon his arrival at the home, Deputy Sleurs knew only
that he had been called to the scene to assist in the reported
felony.*fn3 Sleurs then observed Plaintiff shove Officer
Caputo and flee into the house. With only this knowledge, Sleurs
was certainly able to enter the home without a warrant, as it has
long been established that no warrant is necessary for law
enforcement officials to enter a home when in hot pursuit of a
fleeing felon. See United States v. Gilbert, 1998 U.S. App.
LEXIS 29425, *3 (2d Cir. 1998) (citing to United States v.
Santana, 427 U.S. 38, 42-3 (1976), for the proposition that hot
pursuit of a suspect may justify warrantless arrest in home).
Sleurs entered the home first, and upon his entry, exigent
circumstances were escalated, as Caputo was now concerned for the
safety and protection of Deputy Sleurs, as well as the children.
See Zabare, 871 F.2d at 289.
For these reasons, the Court finds that this factor weighs
strongly in favor of a finding of exigent circumstances.
(2) Whether the suspect was reasonably believed to be armed
The second factor, whether the suspect is reasonably believed
to be armed weighs against a finding of exigent circumstances.
There is no indication in the record that Plaintiff was believed
to be armed.
(3) Whether there was a clear showing of probable cause to
believe that the suspect committed the crime
As discussed above, there was a clear showing that Caputo had
probable cause to believe that Plaintiff obstructed the
administration of a government function. By shoving Caputo and
fleeing from him, it is obvious that the OGA violation occurred in the
presence of and with respect to Caputo. Therefore, there was
sufficient probable cause to believe that Plaintiff committed
While at the scene, Caputo had also obtained information from
Mascione that during these early morning hours, Plaintiff had
left his two minor children unsupervised in the home. Such an act
may amount to a charge of endangering the welfare of a child in
violation of N.Y. Penal Law § 260.10. See, e.g., People v.
Watson, 182 Misc.2d 644 (Crim. Court City of New York 1999)
(leaving seven year old child alone in locked apartment for
approximately two and one half hours subjected defendant to
criminal liability for endangering the welfare of a child). Under
the appropriate facts and circumstances, endangering the welfare
of a child certainly can be a grave offense. See, e.g.,
Nigro v. Phillips, 1997 WL 86323, *12 n. 42 (N.D.N.Y. 1997).
Caputo observed Plaintiff drive up to the Mascione residence,
and exit the vehicle with glassy eyes, and slurred speech.
Plaintiff became violent with Caputo when he pushed him out of
the way. There was probable cause to believe that Plaintiff, who
had become enraged and violent with Caputo at the scene and who
had a violent history, would endanger his children, who were
located inside the home.
(4) Whether Defendants had reason to believe that Plaintiff
was in the premises being entered
The undisputed evidence is that Caputo and Sleurs witnessed
Plaintiff enter the residence and, thus, knew that he was inside.
In fact, both law enforcement officials watched Plaintiff flee
from his encounter with Caputo and run inside the house. Caputo
then went around to the back of the home to make certain that
Plaintiff did not attempt to escape through the rear. This fourth
factor must weigh in favor of Defendants. (5) Whether there was a likelihood that Plaintiff would escape
if not swiftly apprehended
This factor weighs in favor of Defendants because Plaintiff
shoved Caputo and tried to get away. In fact, Caputo specifically
stated that he feared that Plaintiff would escape from the rear
of the residence into which he had fled. This fear prompted
Caputo to run to the rear of the home to prevent Plaintiff's
(6) Whether Defendants entered the premises peacefully
It appears that the sixth factor weighs, too, in favor of
Defendants. There is no evidence that Defendants forcefully
entered Plaintiff's residence. They entered and calmly directed
Plaintiff to come out from the room he had enclosed himself in.
Plaintiff did so without protest and was placed under arrest.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court finds that exigent
circumstances existed to justify a warrantless entry into
(f) Qualified Immunity
Defendants put forth the claim that even if Plaintiff's
constitutional rights were violated, Defendants are entitled to
qualified immunity. However, because the Court has determined
that the officer's conduct did not violate a constitutional
right, the Court proceeds no further and holds that the officer
is entitled to qualified immunity.
(g) Claims Against Defendants Campbell, Breslin, Giroux and
At all times relevant hereto, Defendant James Campbell was the
Sheriff of the Albany County Sheriff's Department. Defendant
Michael Breslin was the County Executive for the County of
Albany. Defendant Scott Giroux was the Chief of the Town of
Coeymans/Village of Ravena Police Department. Defendant Bruno was
the Mayor of the Village of Ravena. It is well-settled that "[a] finding of personal involvement of
the individual defendants in an alleged constitutional
deprivation is a prerequisite to an award of damages under
Section 1983." Feingold v. State of New York, ___ F.3d ___,
___, 2004 WL 916629, at *16 (2d Cir. 2004) (internal quotations,
alterations and citation omitted). Plaintiff has failed to
establish a violation of a constitutional right and further, has
failed to proffer any facts suggesting any personal involvement
by these Defendants. Accordingly, the claims against Campbell,
Breslin, Giroux and Bruno must be dismissed.
(h) Municipal Liability
A municipality may only be held liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
for its own unconstitutional deeds; that is, for its own
unconstitutional customs and policies. Back v. Hastings on
Hudson Union Free School Dist., ___ F.3d ___, ___, 2004 WL
739846, at *13 (2d Cir. 2004).
Plaintiff has come forward with no evidence of any
unconstitutional policies or procedures utilized by the County of
Albany or the Village of Coeymans. In fact, Plaintiff has
conceded that he has no evidence substantiating his contention
that his constitutional rights were violated by an
unconstitutional custom or policy of any of the municipal
defendants. See Pl.'s Dep. at 122 (admitting to having no
knowledge of any other illegal arrests by Caputo or the
enforcement of the Village of Coeymans Police Department's
policies in other instances), 126 (admitting to having no
knowledge that Sleurs was inadequately trained).
Accordingly, the claims against the municipalities must be
For the foregoing reasons, it is hereby
ORDERED that Defendants' motion for summary judgment is
GRANTED; it is further ORDERED that the common law claims of false arrest, malicious
prosecution, the intentional infliction of emotional distress,
and the claims under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments are
DISMISSED as to all defendants; it is further
ORDERED that the Clerk serve a copy of this order on all of the
IT IS SO ORDERED.