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Scott v. City of Mount Vernon

United States District Court, S.D. New York

March 30, 2017

VAUGHN SCOTT; NIGERIA SCOTT; PRINCE SCOTT; ANDRE HARRIS; BRENDA SCOTT; KRAIG UTLEY; COREY MARROW; A.S., a minor child; K.M., a minor child; JULIAN RENE, Plaintiffs,
v.
THE CITY OF MOUNT VERNON, a municipal entity; POLICE OFFICER ALLEN, Mt. Vernon; POLICE OFFICER CAMILO ANTONINI, Mt. Vernon; POLICE OFFICER TIMOTHY BRILEY, Mt. Vernon; DET. BRENT GAMBLE, Mt. Vernon Police officer; SGT. STEVEN SEXTON, Mt. Vernon Police officer; CITY OF MT. VERNON POLICE DEPARTMENT; POLICE OFFICERS JOHN DOES, 1-10, Defendants.

          David A. Thompson, Esq. Stecklow Cohen & Thompson New York, NY Counsel for Plaintiffs.

          Paul J. Sweeney, Esq. Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP Binghamton, NY Counsel for Defendants.

          Tichina L. Johnson, Esq. City of Mount Vernon, NY Department of Law Mount Vernon, NY Counsel for Defendants.

          Welton K. Wisham, Esq. New York, NY Counsel for Defendants.

          OPINION & ORDER

          KENNETH M. KARAS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE:

         Plaintiffs Vaughn Scott, Nigeria Scott, Prince Scott, Andre Harris, Brenda Scott, Kraig Utley, Corey Marrow, A.S. (a minor), K.M. (a minor), and Julian Rene (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) filed this suit against Defendants the City of Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon Police Officer Allison Allen, Mount Vernon Police Officer Camilo Antonini, Mount Vernon Police Officer Timothy Briley, Mount Vernon Police Detective Brent Gamble, Mount Vernon Police Sergeant Steven Sexton, the City of Mount Vernon Police Department, and Police Officers John Does 1-10 (collectively, “Defendants”), pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law, alleging violations of their First, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, as well as alleging claims for assault and battery, negligence, and respondeat superior. (See Compl. (Dkt. No. 1).) Before the Court are the Parties' Cross Motions for partial and full summary judgment. For the reasons to follow, the Motions are granted in part and denied in part.

         I. Background

         A. Factual Background

         1. Rule 56.1 Statements

         Before discussing the factual background of these claims, some brief explanation about the documents the Court will consider on these Motions is necessary. On April 8, 2016, Defendants made their first attempt at filing for summary judgment. All but one of these documents, Defendants' declaration in support of their Motion, were rejected as improperly filed. (See Dkt. Nos. 23, 25-28.) On April 11, 2016, Defendants tried once again to file their Motion for summary judgment. This time, Defendants were able to file the motion itself, but the other documents were rejected as improperly filed. (See Dkt. Nos. 29, 31, 32.) On April 14, 2016, Defendants filed what is listed on the docket as a “Rule 56.1 Statement, ” but what was, in reality, an oversized memorandum of law in support of their Motion. (See Dkt. No. 33.) Following some correspondence with the Court, detailed below, Defendants were granted additional time to file their Motion papers. (See Dkt. No. 37.) Finally, on May 12, 2016, Defendants submitted a memorandum of law in support of their Motion that conformed to the Court's individual rules. (See Dkt. No. 40.)

         Buried in the litany of misfiled documents, it turns out, is Defendants' actual Rule 56.1 Statement, which was never properly filed. (See Dkt. No. 31.) In fact, the document is improperly notated in the docket as a memorandum of law in support of Defendants' Motion. It was only through careful parsing of the misfiled documents that the Court was able to determine that Defendants had even attempted to electronically file a Rule 56.1 Statement. Defendants have thus never filed a Rule 56.1 Statement that conforms to the filing and docketing rules of the Court.

         Nevertheless, Plaintiffs responded to Defendants' Rule 56.1 Statement. (See Dkt. No. 46.) While the Court appreciates Plaintiffs' diligence in determining that there was even a Rule 56.1 Statement to be responded to, the document filed by Plaintiffs is deficient in many respects. Instead of the “short and concise statements” contemplated by Local Rule 56.1, Plaintiffs have filed what look more like responses to interrogatories or document requests, levying general objections and numerous responses to each statement, many of which merely recite additional facts Plaintiffs find relevant to the Motion, or which add color and argument to the statements offered by Defendants.

         “The purpose of Local Rule 56.1 is to streamline the consideration of summary judgment motions by freeing district courts from the need to hunt through voluminous records without guidance from the parties.” Holtz v. Rockefeller & Co., 258 F.3d 62, 74 (2d Cir. 2001); see also Monahan v. N.Y.C. Dep't of Corr., 214 F.3d 275, 292 (2d Cir. 2000) (“Local Rule 56.1 is designed to place the responsibility on the parties to clarify the elements of the substantive law which remain at issue because they turn on contested facts.”). In this endeavor, the Parties have failed. Many of the statements in Defendants' Rule 56.1 Statement are supported by citations to evidence not appended to the single declaration of Defendants accepted for filing (though included in some of Defendants' rejected filings), and other statements appear to be supported by documents that do not even appear in the record. Plaintiffs' response, on the other hand, does little to “streamline” the voluminous record, and instead exacerbates the process by adding on gratuitous facts, and even case citations, resulting in a document nearly five times the size of Defendants' Rule 56.1 Statement.

         Plaintiffs' Rule 56.1 Statement, by contrast, was properly filed, and follows the guidelines set forth by the Court's individual practices and the local rules. (See Dkt. No. 20.) And while Defendants have improperly responded in their reply brief, instead of in a separate Rule 56.1 response statement, (see Dkt. No. 45), the Court is able to at least discern which statements are undisputed and which statements may give rise to genuine disputes of material fact. For the purpose of setting forth the pertinent facts in this case, accordingly, the Court will cite only to Plaintiffs' Rule 56.1 Statement and Defendants' response thereto. That is not to say, however, that the Court will ignore the factual issues raised by Defendants, or that it has not read and considered the documents submitted by Defendants and cited in their briefs. Nor does this suggest that the Court has not reviewed Defendants' Rule 56.1 Statement and Plaintiffs' response. The Court does not presume that Plaintiffs' Rule 56.1 Statement represents the entire universe of facts in this case; as with every summary judgment motion, the Court must consider the entire record, and must deny summary judgment if, in the Court's judgment, there exist any genuine disputes of material fact.

         2. The Parties and the Apartment

         Plaintiffs are members of a group of family and friends that were, allegedly, the target of constitutional violations in their home on March 20, 2013. (See Compl. ¶ 1.) Plaintiffs describe themselves by reference to their relationship to Plaintiff Vaughn Scott:

• Corey Marrow is Vaughn Scott's son, (see Decl. of David A. Thompson in Opp'n (“Thompson Opp'n Decl.”) Ex. 1 (“Vaughn Tr.”), at 33 (Dkt. No. 48); see also Pls.' Rule 56.1 Statement (“Pls.' 56.1”) ¶ 9 (Dkt. No. 20));[1]
Nigeria Scott is Vaughn Scott's daughter, (see Decl. of David Thompson i[n] Supp. of Pls.' Mot. for Summ. J. (“Thompson Decl.”) Ex. P (“Nigeria Tr”), at 25; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 10);
• Prince Scott is Vaughn Scott's son, (see Thompson Decl. Ex. N (“K.M. Tr.”), at 9 (Dkt. No. 21); see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 11);
• Brenda Scott is Vaughn Scott's mother, (see Vaughn Tr. 16; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 12);
• Andre Harris is Vaughn Scott's brother, (see Vaughn Tr. 16; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 13);
• A.S. is Vaughn Scott's daughter, (see Vaughn Tr. 14-15; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 14);
• K.M. is Vaughn Scott's son, (see KM. Tr. 9; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 15);
• Kraig Utley and Julian Rene are not related to the other Plaintiffs, but are treated like family and are regarded by Vaughn Scott as her godsons, (see Thompson Decl. Ex. D (“Vaughn Aff.”) ¶ 43; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶¶ 16-17).

         On March 20, 2013, all Plaintiffs, except Utley and Rene, and Rene's mother lived at the apartment in which the facts giving rise to this case took place. (See Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 27.) That apartment (the “Apartment”) is located at 328 South Second Avenue in Mount Vernon, New York. (See Vaughn Aff. ¶ 2; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 30.) The Apartment is part of a three story detached house (the “House”). (See Vaughn Aff. ¶ 3; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 31.) While the precise dimensions of the Apartment and the House are not pertinent here, the Court notes that the House has a porch with a roof, (see Vaughn Aff. ¶ 8; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 36), and a foyer leading to each of the three apartments in the House, (see Vaughn Aff. ¶¶ 15-20; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶¶ 43-48). The Apartment is located on the second floor, (see Vaughn Aff. ¶¶ 17-18; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶¶ 45-46), and is separated from the rest of the House by a door with a doorknob, latch, and lock, (see Vaughn Aff. ¶ 21; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 49). In the Apartment, there is a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom, and several bedrooms. (See Vaughn Aff. ¶¶ 23-40; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶¶ 51-68.)

         3. The Shooting Near West Third Street

         On March 20, 2013, at approximately 6:15 PM, two individuals called 911 to report shots fired near 70 West Third Street in Mount Vernon. (See Thompson Decl. Ex. G (“Aegis Report”), at 4; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 69.) The first caller, who called in at 6:17 PM, reported that she heard two shots and noted that she saw a white minivan with three males in it going down South Ninth Avenue. (See Aegis Report 4; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 74.) The second caller stated that he saw a light-skinned black male wearing a red hoodie running near the site of the shooting. (See Aegis Report 4.) The police dispatcher who notified nearby officers of the shooting stated that witnesses had given “conflicting” information as to who may have been involved. (See Thompson Decl. Ex. U (“Dispatch Recording”); see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 75.) No witness, and no dispatcher or police officer, reported seeing anyone injured by the shots. (See Dispatch Recording.)

         Officers Michael Gregorio and Johanna Santos, neither of whom is named as a defendant in this action, responded together to the area of the shooting. (See Thompson Decl. Ex. H (“Gregorio Report”); see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 81.) Gregorio and Santos first set up a perimeter near South Eighth Avenue in an effort to find the black male wearing a red hoodie. (See Gregorio Report; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 82.) When they were unable to locate that individual, Gregorio and Santos began to canvass the surrounding area for the white van described by one of the witnesses. (See Gregorio Report; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶¶ 83-84.)

         At the time of the shooting, Utley and Rene were together on West Third Street. (See Thompson Decl. Ex. R (“Rene Tr.”), at 7-8; Thompson Decl. Ex. S (“Utley Tr.”), at 25; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 70.) Upon hearing the shots, Utley and Rene started to flee; during their escape, Rene was grazed in the right buttocks by a bullet. (See Thompson Decl. Ex. E; Utley Tr. 26-27; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶¶ 71-72.) As they ran, Utley and Rene happened to see Marrow driving his sister Nigeria's white minivan. (See Utley Tr. 26; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 72.) They got in the minivan, and Marrow drove the group to the Apartment. (See Utley Tr. 29; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 73.)

         4. Arrival at the Property

         Gregorio and Santos arrived at a location near the House at 6:37 PM, approximately 20 minutes after the initial 911 call, seeing that a white minivan matching the description offered by the witness was parked in a driveway by the House. (See Aegis Report 1; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 85.) The Parties dispute, however, whether Gregorio and Santos reported that they found the white minivan parked at 328 South Second Avenue (where the House is located), or at 324 South Second Avenue. (See Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 85; Defs.' Reply Mem. of Law in Further Supp. of Their Mot. for Summ. J. (“Defs.' Reply”) ¶ 85 (Dkt. No. 45).) The dispute arises from the fact that the audio file indicates that Gregorio reported over the dispatch that the white minivan was parked at 324 South Second Avenue, (see Dispatch Recording), whereas the report he filed indicates that the white minivan was parked at 328 South Second Avenue (the Home), (see Gregorio Report). When Gregorio and Santos arrived, the minivan was “unoccupied.” (See Dispatch Recording; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 89.) Gregorio called the dispatcher to check the license plate of the minivan, (see Dispatch Recording; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 86), and the dispatcher reported that the registration was valid, the minivan was registered to Nigeria Scott, and the address for Nigeria was a P.O. box, (see Dispatch Recording; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 93).

         Gregorio and Santos waited approximately five minutes for Sergeant Steven Sexton (a Defendant in this case) to arrive. (See Aegis Report 2; Thompson Decl. Ex. J (“Sexton Tr.”), at 16; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 95.) When Sexton arrived, he took command and remained in command for the remainder of the time period in question. (See Sexton Tr. 20-21, 52; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶¶ 96-97.) Sexton was aware that shots had been fired in the area near West Third Street, (see Sexton Tr. 14), and knew that shell casings had been recovered from the area of the shooting, (see Id. at 15). Gregorio informed Sexton that he believed the white minivan parked in the driveway at 328 (or 324) South Second Avenue was the same one reported on the dispatch, and noted that the windshield was broken (consistent with the description offered by one witness) and that the minivan's engine was still warm. (See Id. at 17). At Sexton's command, he, Gregorio, and Santos entered the House, although they did not know which of the three apartments might contain a person associated with the white minivan or the shooting. (See Sexton Tr. 17-18, 20; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶¶ 102-04.)

         5. Entry to the Apartment

         When officers first entered the House, the front door was closed. (See Vaughn Aff ¶ 46; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 105.) Upon entering the House, officers began knocking on every door, including the door to the Apartment. (See Sexton Tr. 17, 19-20; Thompson Decl. Ex. M (“Brenda Tr.”), at 9; Thompson Decl. Ex. O (“Marrow Tr.”), at 10-11; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 113.) When the officers arrived, the following people were present in the Apartment:

• Vaughn Scott,
• Prince Scott,
• Andre Harris,
• Brenda Scott,
• Kraig Utley,
• Corey Marrow,
• AS.,
• KM.,
• Julian Rene,
• Demetrius King,
• James Batson,
• Martha Rene,

(see Vaughn Tr. 13-17; Marrow Tr. 7-8; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 114).

         Brenda Scott answered the door. (See Sexton Tr. 21; Brenda Tr. 9; K.M. Tr. 11; Marrow Tr. 9-10; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 115.) Sexton testified that he told Brenda that he was looking for the registered owner of the white minivan, that is, Nigeria Scott, (see Sexton Tr. 21-22; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 117), although he testified also that he did not know at the time whether the registered owner was driving the minivan when it had been seen near the shooting, (see Sexton Tr. 22-23; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 118). Sexton told Brenda that he and the other officers wanted to enter the Apartment. (See Sexton Tr. 25; Brenda Tr. 9; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 119.) The Parties dispute what happened next. Brenda testified that she told Sexton to wait while she asked her daughter, Vaughn, whether it was okay for police to enter. (See Brenda Tr. 9; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 122.) Brenda and K.M. both testified that Brenda told Sexton not to come in. (See Brenda Tr. 9; K.M. Tr. 11-12; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 124.) Defendants disagree, however: Sexton testified that Brenda was cooperative and gave him consent to enter the apartment. (See Sexton Tr. 24-25.) There is no dispute, however, that Sexton did not have a warrant to enter, that Brenda asked him whether he had a warrant, and that Sexton responded that he did not need one. (See Sexton Tr. 82; Brenda Tr. 9; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶¶ 125-27.)

         In any event, Sexton and the other officers made their way into the Apartment. Plaintiffs contend that Sexton pushed the door open and struck Brenda's foot with the door, (see Brenda Tr. 10-12; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶¶ 149-50), though Defendant Officer Timothy Briley testified that there was no force used “within [his] sight, ” (see Thompson Decl. Ex. K (“Briley Tr.”), at 46). The Court notes, however, that Briley did not arrive at the scene until after Sexton and the other officers had entered the Apartment, (see Briley Tr. 11, 17-18), so the Court cannot discern how Briley's testimony on this point is helpful. Upon entry, Prince told Sexton and the officers to leave, telling them to “[g]et out of here” and to “get off his property.” (See Sexton Tr. 25, 27; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶¶ 128-30.) Sexton testified that Prince began yelling at him and threatening him, (see Sexton Tr. 25-26), although he admitted that he felt threatened only because Prince was “really passionate and animated” and made “a lot of physical movements, ” (see Id. at 27). All of the occupants of the Apartment told Sexton and the other police officers to leave. (See Sexton Tr. 41; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 141.) Indeed, it is undisputed that Defendants knew that the occupants of the Apartment did not want them inside the Apartment, and did not give them permission to remain in the Apartment once they entered. (See Sexton Tr. 25, 27, 41, 54; Briley Tr. 19-20, 23-24; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶¶ 146-47.)

         Sexton testified that he recognized Marrow, stating that he had had “numerous interactions him” and that the “whole crew [was] actually one of the local gangs who [were] responsible for a lot of violence in the community.” (Sexton Tr. 29.) Sexton also stated that he recognized Prince, Rene, Utley, and Demetrius King as members of the same gang Marrow belonged to. (See Sexton Tr. 30-31.)

         Shortly after Defendants entered the Apartment, Prince called the Mount Vernon Police Station and told them that plainclothes officers were forcing their way into the Apartment. (See Thompson Decl. Ex. Q (“Prince Tr.”), at 25-26; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 152.) Although uniformed officers responded to the call, these officers spoke to Sexton and Officer Antonini (who by that point had arrived at the scene) and thereafter did nothing to stop the other officers from occupying the Apartment. (See Prince Tr. 26-27; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶¶ 153-54.)

         6. Occupation and Search of the Apartment

         Once the officers entered the Apartment, all of the occupants were told they were not free to leave. (See Briley Tr. 47; Marrow Tr. 5-7; Thompson Decl. Ex. T (“A.S. Tr.”), at 12-13; Vaughn Tr. 7-8; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶¶ 155-56.) The police officers conducted a search for weapons and victims of the shooting. (See Sexton Tr. 46-48.) The Parties dispute how extensive the search was, with Plaintiffs alleging that the officers searched the entire Apartment, broke the bathroom door, and took everything out of the medicine cabinet and put it in the sink. (See Brenda Tr. 13-14; K.M. Tr. 14-15; Marrow Tr. 6; Prince Tr. 29; Utley Tr. 19; A.S. Tr. 14- 15; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶¶ 157-60; Defs.' Reply ¶¶ 157-59.) Defendants admit that they removed the contents of the medicine cabinet and placed them in the sink, but dispute that they searched the entire Apartment or broke any fixtures during their limited search. (See Sexton Tr. 53; see also Defs.' Reply ¶¶ 157-59.) The Parties agree, however, that the officers searched Marrow, Prince, Rene, and Utley, (see K.M. Tr. 15; Marrow Tr. 15-17; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶¶ 161-62), that they searched the back bedroom, (see Sexton Tr. 46-47; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 164), and that they found no weapons or contraband, (see Marrow Tr. 17-18; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 166). While searching the Apartment, Sexton discovered some individuals in the back bedroom and ordered them into the living room with the others. (See Sexton Tr. 46-49.)

         During the search and occupation of the Apartment, Sexton required all occupants of the Apartment to come into the living room-none of the occupants was free to leave the living room or move around the apartment. (See Sexton Tr. 48-49; K.M. Tr. 14; Marrow Tr. 6; Vaughn Tr. 7-8; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 168.) The occupants were required to ask permission to use the bathroom and had to be accompanied by an officer when doing so. (See Marrow Tr. 18; Vaughn Tr. 28; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 169.) Brenda, who at the time the officers entered was cooking dinner, was not allowed to finish cooking. (See A.S. Tr. 9, 14; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 170.) The officers turned off the television and informed the occupants that if they talked, they would be arrested. (See A.S. Tr. 13-14; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶¶ 171-72.)

         The officers remained inside the Apartment for several hours. (See Aegis Report 2-3; Brenda Tr. 20-21; K.M. Tr. 13; Marrow Tr. 6-7; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 173.) It was not until 8:30 PM, approximately two hours after the officers arrived, that the officers learned the Rene had been grazed by a bullet. (See Aegis Report 4; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 174.) This was the first time Sexton learned that any of the occupants had been in the area of the shooting. (See Sexton Tr. 34-35; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 177.) Rene informed Sexton that someone had opened fire and that a bullet had grazed him. (See Sexton Tr. 35; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 178.) The officers ordered Rene to pull his pants down to show his injury, (see Rene Tr. 27-29; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 223), and Rene did so because he did not believe he had a choice, (see Rene Tr. 28; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 224). Sexton did not look closely at the injury, and Rene told the officers that he did not need medical assistance. (See Sexton Tr. 35, 85; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶¶ 179-80.)

         Sometime during their occupation of the Apartment, the officers compelled Vaughn to leave the Apartment and stand on the porch. (See Vaughn Tr. 7-8, 17; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 208.) Vaughn was required to stand on the porch for approximately two hours and was not allowed to leave the porch. (See Vaughn Aff. ¶¶ 54-55; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶¶ 209-10.) Two officers, one of whom was Defendant Brent Gamble, guarded Vaughn and prevented her from leaving the porch. (See Vaughn Aff. ¶ 56; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 212.) After approximately two hours, the officers took Vaughn back inside and made her sit on the couch for another two to three hours. (See Vaughn Aff. ¶ 59; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶¶ 214-15.)

         When the occupation of the Apartment began, Nigeria, the registered owner of the minivan and a resident of the Apartment, was not at home. (See Nigeria Tr. 16-19; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 201.) When Nigeria arrived, officers prevented her from entering the House and made her stand on the porch for a period of time. (See Nigeria Tr. 17-18; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶¶ 202-03.) At some point, Nigeria was asked to sign a form consenting to the search of her vehicle. (See Nigeria Tr. 7; Decl. of Welton K. Wisham (“Wisham Decl.”) Ex. C (Dkt. No. 24); see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 197.) Nigeria did so under duress, believing the officers would remain at the Apartment indefinitely and would confiscate her vehicle, and indeed, officers told Nigeria that the vehicle would be confiscated if she did not sign the consent form. (See Nigeria Tr. 28-29; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶¶ 196-98.) The Parties dispute whether the vehicle was ever actually searched, with Plaintiffs, somewhat counterintuitively, asserting that the minivan was never searched, (see Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 199; see also Sexton Tr. 85), and Defendants contending that a search was conducted, (see Defs.' Reply ¶ 199; see also Thompson Decl. Ex. E). Eventually, the officers told Nigeria to get off the porch and leave the property. (See Nigeria Tr. 17-18; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 204.) Nigeria complied and waited on the sidewalk for some period of time. (See Nigeria Tr. 18-19; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶¶ 205-06.)

         Though the record is unclear on the number of officers who occupied the Apartment, the order in which they came, and the duration for which each officer remained, it is undisputed that Defendant Officer Camilo Antonini arrived at the Apartment shortly after Sexton. (See Prince Tr. 28; Utley Tr. 11-13; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 151.) Antonini testified that he stayed at the Apartment for only about 10 minutes and did not interact directly with any of Plaintiffs, (see Thompson Decl. Ex. L (“Antonini Tr.”), at 22-24), although Marrow testified that Antonini bent Marrow's hand back and confiscated his cell phone in order to prevent Marrow from filming the officers, (see Marrow Tr. 30), and Defendants have not disputed this fact, (see Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 218; Defs.' Reply). Utley also claimed that he told Antonini he had no right to be inside the Apartment without a warrant and that he should get out, (see Utley Tr. 14-18), which Antonini responded to by threatening to “choke” Utley, (see Id. at 15-16). Utley responded that he did not think Antonini was going to do that, and Antonini thereafter handcuffed Utley. (See id.) Defendants, again, do not dispute these facts. (See Pls.' 56.1 ¶¶ 227-33; Defs.' Reply.)

         Defendant Officer Allison Allen was also, at one point, at the Apartment. Allen responded to a radio transmission calling for assistance at the Apartment and arrived at the Apartment sometime after 6:00 PM. (See Dep. of Officer Allison Allen (“Allen Tr.”) 10-11.)[2]Officers were on the scene when Allen arrived and some had already entered the Apartment. (See Id. at 11-12.) When she stepped inside the Apartment, Allen observed Prince and Marrow cursing at the various officers in the Apartment. (See Id. at 15-16.) Allen remained in the Apartment for only about 10 minutes, (see Id. at 16), and while there, she did not observe any physical contact between any of the officers and the occupants, (see Id. at 21).[3]

         Defendant Officer Timothy Briley also responded to the scene. Briley testified that when he was called to the scene, dispatch informed him that an injured party had been placed inside the white minivan before it left the scene of the shooting, (see Briley Tr. 9), although Plaintiffs point out that this contention is belied by both the audio recordings and the police reports produced in this litigation, (see Aegis Report; Gregorio Report; Dispatch Recording). Officers were already at the Apartment when Briley arrived, (see Briley Tr. 11), and he remained at the Apartment for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, (see Id. at 25). Briley testified that while at the Apartment, he saw Sexton and Brenda laughing with one another, (see Id. at 46), and testified also that he did not witness any use of force while he was at the Apartment, (see Id. at 46-47).

         7. Departure and Aftermath

         Although the officers did not find anything during their initial sweep of the Apartment, they remained inside the Apartment because they were waiting to see if they could obtain a search warrant. (See Sexton Tr. 35, 48-49; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 181.) Sexton specifically wanted to search for a firearm, and he testified that his reason for believing a firearm might have been in the Apartment was that the occupants of the Apartment were “known for weapons possession . . . or violent acts.” (Sexton Tr. 36; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 183.) Ultimately, however, Sexton was told that the district attorney would not try to obtain a search warrant because there was no probable cause. (See Sexton Tr. 52; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 187.) Soon after, the officers left the Apartment, vacating completely by around 10:30 PM, (see Vaughn Aff. ¶ 61; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 188), though some officers remained on the porch of the House until approximately 11:57 PM, (see Vaughn Aff. ¶ 62; Aegis Report 1; see also Pls.' 56.1 ¶ 189). Nobody was formally arrested on March 20, 2013. (See Sexton Tr. 52.)

         Two days later, on March 22, 2013, Prince and Marrow were arrested for “obstructing governmental administration.” (See Marrow Tr. 39; Wisham Decl. Ex. Q.) On April 8, 2015, the charge against Prince was reduced to one for disorderly conduct in exchange for pleading guilty. (See Defs.' Ex. R.)[4] Marrow pled guilty to two apparently unrelated drug charges and the obstruction of governmental administration was dropped in exchange for that plea. (See id.)

         B. Procedural History

         Plaintiffs filed their Complaint on June 19, 2014. (See Dkt. No. 1.) Defendants answered on November 17, 2014. (See Dkt. No. 3.) A case management order was entered shortly thereafter, (see Dkt. No. 5), and the discovery deadlines were twice extended, (see Dkt. Nos. 8, 12). The Court then set a briefing schedule for the Parties' Cross Motions for summary judgment. (See Dkt. No. 18.) Plaintiffs filed their Motion on April 8, 2016. (See Dkt. Nos. 19- 22.) As discussed in more detail below, Defendants required an extension, and eventually completed their filing (somewhat) successfully on May 12, 2016. (See Dkt. No. 40.) The Motions were fully briefed on June 10, 2016. On March 15, 2017, the Court requested supplemental letter briefing regarding whether Plaintiffs' state law claims were timely filed. (See Dkt. No. 51.) The Parties submitted their supplemental briefing on March 20, 2017. (See Dkt. Nos. 52-53.)

         Before turning to the merits, some discussion of the conduct of Defendants' counsel is in order. Reprimand for failure to follow the individual filing and procedural rules of this Court and of the Southern District of New York is ordinarily confined to footnotes, but counsel for Defendants is in need of special attention. Some of the missteps of counsel have already been detailed above, namely, his numerous failed attempts to file the motion papers on time. The deficiencies of Defendants' counsel's filings included splitting up exhibits to a declaration among several entries, (see Dkt. Nos. 24-26), selecting the wrong event or document name for an entry, (see Dkt. Nos. 23, 28-29, 31, 33), and failing to file at all some documents cited by Defendants in support of their Motion, see supra note 4. When Defendants finally did sort out their ECF filing, they submitted an oversized brief in violation of the Court's individual practices, (see Dkt. No. 33), and Plaintiffs moved to strike the papers of Defendants as violating the Court's individual rules and for untimeliness, (see Dkt. No. 34). Defendants' counsel, Mr. Wisham, apologized for the mistake, stating that “[t]o be quite honest with [the Court], [he] was unaware of the page limitation, ” (Letter from Welton K. Wisham, Esq., to Court (May 2, 2016) (Dkt. No. 35)), and sought leave to file an amended brief, (see id.). The Court granted the request, although it noted that the individual practices are clear on the page limits and that the scheduling order specifically reminded counsel that there were strict page limits. (See Dkt. No. 37.) Plaintiffs shortly thereafter sought an extension to allow them time to respond to Defendants' new brief, as under the original scheduling order, Plaintiffs' opposition brief was due the same day as Defendants' amended brief. (See Dkt. No. 38.) The exact language of the request was as follows: “Accordingly, the plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court grant the plaintiffs until May 30, 2016 to respond to the defendants' motion once it is finally fully submitted.” (See Letter from David Thompson, Esq., to Court (Dkt. No. 38).) The Court granted the extension. (See Dkt. No. 39.)

         A few days later, Defendants finally filed their amended brief, now in compliance with the Court's rules, but more problems arose. Defendants did not file an opposition to Plaintiffs' original Motion and accompanying papers (which had been timely filed). Plaintiffs pointed this out in a letter to the Court, asking that the Court deem Defendants' filings complete and bar any further submissions by Defendants. (See Dkt. No. 41.) Defendants' counsel's response, styled as an “Opposition to Plaintiff's [sic] request denying Defendants' Right to File Reply Opposition to Plaintiff's [sic] Partial Summary Judgment, ” was nothing short of incredible. (See Letter from Welton K. Wisham, Esq., to Court (May 23, 2016) (“Wisham Letter”) (Dkt. No. 43).) Defendants' counsel, ostensibly quoting from the Court's endorsement on Plaintiffs' letter granting them additional time to respond to Defendants' belated brief, insisted that “reply motion for Summary Judgment ‘Responses were due by May 30, 2016. The order is clear that responses are due on May 30, 2016, as opposed to May 13, 2016, thus extending the time for both parties, including the defendants, to file responses by May 30, 2016.” (See Id. at 1.) Defendants' counsel again referenced in the letter the use of the word “responses, ” and claimed that he relied “in good faith” on the plain meaning of the word “responses.” But if Defendants' counsel was quoting from an order of the Court extending the time for “responses, ” the ...


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