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HOGAN v. CAPUTO

United States District Court, N.D. New York


June 21, 2004.

ROBERT LAWRENCE HOGAN, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
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

I. INTRODUCTION

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.

  II. FACTS

  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 occasion.

  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 the home.

  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 arrest.

  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 dismissed outright.

  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).

  IV. DISCUSSION

  (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 time-barred.

  (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, therefore, dismissed.

  (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. 2000). 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 provides that:

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 second degree).

  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 exist:

 

(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 dispositive." Id.

  (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 home.

  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 imminent danger").

  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 this crime.

  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 escape.

  (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 Plaintiff's home.

  (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 Bruno

  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 dismissed.

  V. CONCLUSION

  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 parties.

  IT IS SO ORDERED.


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