United States District Court, W.D. New York
MICHAEL A. TELESCA, District Judge.
Plaintiffs Charles Reed, Sr., and Richard Reed, bring this action against defendants Kurt Cashman, ("Cashman") a Parole Officer with the New York State Division of Parole, and various police officers of the City of Rochester, New York, claiming that the defendants violated their civil rights by conducting an unlawful search of their residence. Specifically, Charles Reed, Sr., and Richard Reed, the father and brother respectively of Charles Reed, Jr., a parolee subject to the supervision of the New York State Division of Parole, claim that Cashman and the other defendants mistakenly entered and searched their residence when the defendants intended to search Charles Reed, Jr.'s residence. They claim that because the entrance into and search of their residence was unauthorized and was conducted without a warrant, the search of their residence was unlawful. Only Charles Reed Jr.'s father and brother are the plaintiffs in this action. Charles Reed, Jr., is not a party to this lawsuit.
Defendant Cashman now moves for summary judgment against the plaintiffs on grounds that plaintiff Charles Reed, Sr., lacks standing to bring this action because he does not reside at the residence that was searched. Defendant Cashman further contends that plaintiff Richard Reed has failed to establish that he was subjected to an unlawful search and seizure because the residence that was searched was in fact the residence of Charles Reed Jr., and therefore the defendants were authorized to enter and search the premises where Charles Reed Jr., lived. Finally, defendant Cashman alleges that he is entitled to qualified immunity from liability for his actions in conducting the home visit, search and seizure of Charles Reed Jr.'s alleged property, on grounds that the search was conducted in the course of Cashman's carrying out of his lawful duties as a parole officer in a lawful manner.
Plaintiffs' oppose defendant Cashman's motion claiming that there are questions of facts as to whether or not Charles Reed, Sr. lived at the residence that was searched. Plaintiffs claim that Charles Reed Sr., lived at the residence, and therefore is entitled to assert a claim for an unlawful search. Plaintiffs further argue that Charles Reed, Jr., did not reside at the apartment that was searched, and that defendant has failed to establish that Charles Reed Jr., resided at the apartment that was searched, and therefore, summary judgment is inappropriate at this time.
For the reasons set forth below, I grant defendant's motion for summary judgment, and dismiss plaintiff's claims against defendant Cashman with prejudice.
Plaintiffs Charles Reed, Sr., and Richard Reed, are the father and brother respectively of Charles Reed, Jr., a person who at the time of the events at issue was on parole and subject to the supervision of the New York State Division of Parole. According to the Complaint, on July 27, 2012, Defendant Kurt Cashman, who was Charles Reed, Jr.'s parole officer, unlawfully conducted a search of 532 Upper Falls Boulevard, in the City of Rochester, New York. Plaintiffs allege that the search was unlawful because Cashman searched Apartment 2 of 532 Upper Falls Boulevard (where Charles Reed, Sr., and Richard Reed allegedly resided) instead of Apartment 1, where Charles Reed Jr., the parolee, lived. It is undisputed that 532 Upper Falls Boulevard is owned by Charles Reed Sr., and his wife Lisa Reed, however there is no evidence that Charles Reed Sr., was present during the search. According to the plaintiffs, the defendants searched Apartment 2 without a warrant, and caused damage to the apartment, including damage to the door, drywall, and ceiling tiles.
According to defendant Cashman, the search of Apartment 2 was lawfully conducted in accordance with his supervisory obligations as Charles Reed, Jr.'s parole officer. According to Cashman, Apartment 2 was Charles Reed Jr.'s lawful address, and Apartment 1 of 532 Upper Falls Boulevard was abandoned and uninhabited. According to Cashman, when he and the other defendants came to search 532 Upper Falls Boulevard, Richard Reed allowed them to enter the residence. The defendants then proceeded upstairs, and entered a bedroom where Charles Reed, Jr., the parolee, was found in bed with his girlfriend. Charles Reed, Jr.'s pants and wallet were in the room. The defendants also found a loaded firearm concealed in the room, and upon finding the weapon, took Charles Reed, Jr., into custody for violation of his parole.
According to the defendants, the search of Apartment 2 was lawful because Charles Reed Jr., was authorized by his parole officer to live at Apartment 2 only, and was not authorized to live in Apartment 1. Additionally, defendant Cashman contends that Charles Reed, Jr., did indeed live in Apartment 2, because that is where he was found: in his bedroom, with his girlfriend, with property belonging to him, and his identification. Defendants further contend that there is no evidence that plaintiff Charles Reed, Sr., lived at 532 Upper Falls Boulevard at the time of the search, and that all evidence demonstrates that he is a longtime resident, with his wife, of 14 Lavender Circle in the City of Rochester, New York. Plaintiffs contend that Charles Reed, Jr., did live in Apartment 1 of 532 Upper Falls Boulevard, and have submitted a purported lease executed by him with his mother, the owner of the property, indicating that he rented Apartment 1.
I. Summary Judgment Standard
Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that summary judgment "should be rendered if the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." When considering a motion for summary judgment, all genuinely disputed facts must be resolved in favor of the party against whom summary judgment is sought. Scott v. Harris , 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007). If, after considering the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, the court finds that no rational jury could find in favor of that party, a grant of summary judgment is appropriate. Scott , 550 U.S. at 380 (citing Matsushita Elec. Industrial Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp. , 475 U.S. 574, 586-587 (1986)).
In the instant case, defendant Cashman moves for summary judgment on grounds that plaintiff Charles Reed, Sr., lacks standing to bring an action challenging the search of 532 Upper Falls Boulevard because he is not a resident of 532 Upper Falls Boulevard, and therefore has no expectation of privacy in being free from a search of that residence. Cashman further seeks summary judgment on grounds that the search of 532 Upper Falls Boulevard was lawful because the search was conducted pursuant to his supervisory responsibilities as the parole officer of Charles Reed, Jr. Finally, Cashman contends that he is entitled to ...