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Miller v. County of Monroe

United States District Court, Second Circuit

May 17, 2013

VIRGINIA K. MILLER, Individually and as Administratrix of the Estate of Paul J. Miller, Plaintiff,
v.
COUNTY OF MONROE, THE MONROE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, SHERIFF PATRICK M. O'FLYNN, JOHN DOE NUMBERS 1 THROUGH 10, THE TOWN OF GREECE, THE TOWN OF GREECE POLICE DEPARTMENT, OFFICER SHAUN MOORE, OFFICER JOSEPTY HOPPER, JOHN DOE NUMBERS 11 THROUGH 20, Defendants.

Miller v. County of Monroe, Dist. Court, WD New York 2013

John R. Parrinello, Esq., The Parrinello Law Firm, LLP, Rochester, NY, for Plaintiff.

Howard A. Stark, Esq., Monroe County Department of Law, Rochester, NY, For Defendants County of Monroe, The Monroe County Sheriff's Office, and Sheriff Patrick M. O'Flynn.

David D. Spoto, Esq., Gallo & lacovangelo LLP, Rochester, NY, For Defendants The Town of Greece, The Town of Greece Police, Department, Officer Shaun Moore, Officer Joseph Hopper and John Doe Numbers 11 through 20.

DECISION & ORDER

CHARLES J. SIRAGUSA, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

This civil rights case, removed from New York State Supreme Court in the Seventh Judicial District, Monroe County civil index number 11-2984, is before the Court on a motion, filed on February 6, 2013, ECF No. 22, by defendants County of Monroe, The Monroe County Sheriff's Office, and Sheriff Patrick M. O'Flynn[1] (hereinafter collectively referred to as the County defendants). The County defendants seek an order pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) awarding them judgment on the pleadings and dismissing Plaintiff's complaint against them. For the reasons stated below, the County Defendants' application is granted.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

This lawsuit arises from the December 20, 2010, death of Plaintiff's decedent at his home in Hilton, New York. According to the complaint, Paul Miller ("Miller") had been escorted to his home by Monroe County Sheriff's Deputies and/or Town of Greece Police Officers after his arrest for driving while intoxicated. Compl. § 29. Once his handcuffs had been removed, Miller walked to his desk and "took possession of his legally registered handgun." Id. § 30. One or more Sheriff's Deputies and/or Greece Police Officers present, "crouched and drew his [sic] weapon." Id. § 31. The Complaint then spells out the ensuing acts, resulting in Miller's death:

32. Upon information and belief, at that point Plaintiff's decedent informed the Defendant Monroe County Sheriff's Deputy(ies) and/or Town of Greece Police Officer(s) that the handgun was not meant for the law enforcement officer(s) or Plaintiff Virginia Miller.
33. Upon information and belief, at that point Plaintiff Virginia Miller began talking to her husband....
* * *
35. Upon information and belief, at that point Plaintiff Virginia Miller told one or more of the Defendant County Sheriff's Deputies and/or Town of Greece Police Officers that she was going to talk to her husband and Plaintiff Virginia Miller pulled free of the Deputy or Officer who was holding her arm and attempting to pull her out of the home.
36. Upon information and belief, at that point Plaintiff Virginia Miller was alone in the home with Plaintiff's decedent and one or more of the Defendant Monroe County Sheriff's Deputies and/or Town of Greece Police Officers was/were outside the door to the home, which was open, and Plaintiff Virginia Miller was talking to Plaintiff's decedent, asking him to give her the gun.
37. Upon information and belief, Plaintiff Virginia Miller stayed inside the home alone with Plaintiff's decedent for some time, talking to Plaintiff's decedent and both Plaintiff Virginia Miller and Plaintiff's decedent smoked a cigarette as they talked.
38. Upon information and belief, one or more of Defendant Monroe County Deputy Sheriffs and/or Town of Greece Police Officers, who was outside the home, repeatedly told Plaintiff Virginia Miller to come out of the house.
39. Upon information and belief, at all times Plaintiff's decedent had been pointing the handgun straight up at the ceiling and he did not point the handgun in any other direction.
40. Upon information and belief, one or more of Defendant Monroe County Sheriff's Deputy(ies) and/or Town of Greece Police Officer(s) grabbed Plaintiff Virginia Miller's arm and pulled her outside the home....
* * *
44. Upon information and belief, one or more Defendant Monroe County Sheriff's Deputies and/or Town of Greece Police Officers subsequently placed Plaintiff Virginia Miller, still handcuffed, in the back seat of a police car.
45. Upon information and belief, at the time Plaintiff Virginia Miller was placed in the back seat of the police car she could no longer see or speak to Plaintiff's decedent....
* * *
48. Upon information and belief, a Defendant Monroe County Sheriff's Deputy and/or Town of Greece Police Officer backed the police car into a neighbor's driveway....
* * *
52. Upon information and belief, from inside the police car, Plaintiff Virginia Miller saw several of Defendant Monroe County Sheriff's Deputies and/or Town of Greece Police Officers, and/or other Defendants, their agents, servants and/or employees, standing in a half-circle facing Plaintiff's decedent, with many floodlights turned on.
53. Upon information and belief, at that point, Plaintiff's decedent and the Defendant Monroe County Sheriff's Deputies and/or Town of Greece Police Officers and/or other Defendants, their agents, servants and/or employees, were standing in the street, approximately 30 to 40 feet from Plaintiff Virginia Miller.
54. Upon information and belief, at that point Plaintiff's decedent was still pointing the handgun straight up towards the sky, as he had been at all times.
55. Upon information and belief, in the early morning hours of December 20, 2010, Plaintiff Virginia Miller saw the Defendant Monroe County Sheriff's Deputies and/or Town of Greece Police Officers and/or other Defendants, their ...

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