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Hopkins v. Gladys

United States District Court, N.D. New York

March 4, 2014

SARAH HOPKINS, Plaintiff,
v.
WILLIAM GLADYS, in his official and individual capacities, TROY CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT, and DAWN DAUNBROPHY, in her official and individual capacities, ROSA, ROBERT THAYER, MUIBAH COLEMAN, in their official and individual capacities, N.Y.S. DIVISION OF PAROLE, Defendants.

Sarah Hopkins, Plaintiff Pro Se, Valatie, New York.

Donald J. Shanley, Esq., of Counsel, Pattison, Sampson, Ginsberg & Griffin, P.C., Troy, New York, for Defendants William Gladysz and Troy City Police Department

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

NORMAN A. MORDUE, Senior District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff pro se Sarah Hopkins filed a complaint (Dkt. No. 1) alleging that William Gladysz, [1] Troy City Police Department, Dawn Daunbrophy, [2] Rosa, Robert Thayer, Muibah Coleman and the New York State Division of Parole, defendants, violated her constitutional rights. Previously, the Court dismissed defendants New York State Division of Parole, Rosa, Robert Thayer and Muibah Coleman from this action. Dkt. No. 42. The Court also dismissed plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment and pendent state claims but found plaintiff sufficiently stated Fourth Amendment false arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution claims against the Troy City Police Department and Officer William Gladysz. Dkt. No. 28. These defendants move for summary judgment on the remaining Fourth Amendment claims. Dkt. No. 41.

II. COMPLAINT

According to the complaint:

At about 3 or 4 p.m., on June 8th, 2011, plaintiff... was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana by Officer Gladys of the Troy City Police Department, and Parole Officer Thayer of the N.Y.S. Division of Parole, apparently there was "never" any physical evidence of marijuana.
The plaintiff was discharged from the program, for marijuana allegations, without any proof of marijuana, which led to parole violation....
The plaintiff was transported to the Rensselaer County Jail, with a parole violation, stemming from her arrest, although there were no grounds for her arrest.
The aforesaid charges of possession of marijuana, was a falsified police report against the plaintiff. There was, and is, no trace, whatsoever, of marijuana.
As a result of the misconduct... plaintiff... experienced humiliation, emotional distress, pain and suffering, in connection with the charges which were lodged against her, and was otherwise damaged.

Complaint ¶¶ 10-14 (emphasis in original) (paragraph numbers and internal citations omitted).

The complaint further alleges that defendants conspired to deny plaintiff's constitutional rights and that the City of Troy Police Department and N.Y.S. Division of Parole are responsible because of their "authorization, condonation, and ratification" of the individual defendants' alleged conduct. The complaint contains allegations of failure to discipline, failure "to take adequate precautions in the hiring, promotion, and retention" of defendants, failure "to forward to the office of the N.Y.S. Division of Parole of Rensselaer, and Columbia County, evidence of criminal acts committed by police personnel", and failure to establish a "meaningful departmental system for dealing with unethical, or unlawful acts toward citizens of the community". Complaint ¶ 17.

Under the heading "Federal Causes of Action" plaintiff alleges that defendants violated, inter alia, her "first amendment right to freedom of expression" and "eighth amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment." Complaint ¶ 20.

Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages, attorney's fees, dismissal of her parole violation, and immediate release from custody.

Attached to the complaint are three exhibits. Exhibit A is an "Arrest Report" by Officer Gladysz which indicates that on June 8, 2011, at 3:46 p.m., he arrested plaintiff for the offenses of "Poss Marijuana - Knowingly" and "Violation of Parole". The arrest report contains plaintiff's address, lists her age as "20 yrs", and identifies her sex as "M". The arrest report indicates that plaintiff's "Condition... at Arrest" was both "Impaired Drugs" and "App Norm". The arrest report indicates "No" in the section titled "Evidence". The "Narrative" states: "At the above date, time and location, the above named defendant was arrested during a parole check with Parole Officer Thayer. Defendant was found to be in possession of marijuana in her bedroom. Defendant was taken into custody without incident, transported to CS and processed."

Exhibit B is a "Community Supervision Case Summary Report", which states:

Subject's current violation involves the subject using illicit drugs in the bedroom of the supportive living house and refusing to open the door while she was using the drugs. Upon entering the residence subject was taken out of her room, search was conducted, and numerous half smoked marijuana cigarettes were found throughout the apartment, including two glass baby jars filled with marijuana roaches.

Under "Present Status" the report states: "A case conference was held with SPO Coleman and A/S Rosa at which time a parole violation warrant was authorized and subject was subsequently arrested for the possession of controlled substance and a new arrest occurred. Subject is currently housed in Rensselaer County Jail."

Exhibit C is a "Parole Violation Report" which charges plaintiff with violating four conditions of release. Each charge stems from plaintiff's alleged possession of marijuana on June 8, 2011.

III. EVIDENCE

In support of their motion for summary judgment, defendants submitted a declaration by Parole Officer Thayer with a number of exhibits and an affidavit by Officer Gladysz. Plaintiff has not responded to their motion.[3] In his declaration, Officer Thayer states:

1. I am employed by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), Division of ...

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