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Akinleye v. Westchester County Department of Correction

United States District Court, S.D. New York

September 6, 2017

AKINTUNDE AKINLEYE, Plaintiff,
v.
WESTCHESTER COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION and CORRECTION OFFICER MARCUCEILLI, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          Vincent L. Briccetti United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Akintunde Akinleye, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging defendants violated his constitutional rights while he was incarcerated at Westchester County Jail.

         Currently pending before the Court is defendants' motion for summary judgment. (Doc. #48).

         For the following reasons, the motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.

         The Court has subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

         BACKGROUND

         Defendants have submitted briefs, a statement of facts (“SOF”), and affidavits with supporting exhibits, including video footage, and plaintiff has submitted an opposition, which together reflect the following background.

         Because of an incident on January 2, 2014, plaintiff was held in “keep lock” for some period of time at the Westchester County Jail. By January 20, 2014, plaintiff was no longer in “keep lock.”

         On January 20, 2014, Officer Marcuceilli released other inmates from their cells, but did not release plaintiff. Plaintiff banged on the door of his cell and demanded to be let out. When Officer Marcuceilli eventually released plaintiff from his cell, the two men had an altercation.

         Plaintiff testified Officer Marcuceilli became “irate” and “pushed” plaintiff. (Hogan Felix Decl. Ex. A at 24).

         Defendants contend plaintiff approached Officer Marcuceilli “in an aggressive manner with fists clenched and using profanity, ” that plaintiff “came within inches” of Officer Marcuceilli, and that plaintiff “was given a direct order to step back.” (SOF ¶ 4). According to defendants, when Officer Marcuceilli “placed his left hand on the center of plaintiff's chest to push him away, ” plaintiff responded by “rais[ing] both of his fists in front of him as if he was going to fight.” (Id.).

         Officer Marcuceilli and another officer then brought plaintiff to the ground and placed him in handcuffs.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Summary Judgment Legal Standard

         The Court must grant a motion for summary judgment if the pleadings, discovery materials before the Court, and any affidavits show there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and it is clear the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).

         A fact is material when it “might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law. . . . Factual disputes that are irrelevant or unnecessary” are not material and thus cannot preclude summary ...


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