Case 3:08-cv-01156-DJS Document 35 Filed 06/04/13 Page 1 of 14
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
CITY OF WATERBURY, TIMOTHY
JACKSON, and MILFORD HAYES,
No. 3:08-cv-01156 (DJS)
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER
The plaintiff, Fernando Pais, brings this action against
the defendants — the City of Waterbury, Timothy Jackson and
Milford Hayes — alleging violations of the Fourth and Fourteenth
Amendments to the United States Constitution, of the Connecticut
Constitution, and of Connecticut common law. Jurisdiction
exists under 28 U.S.C. §§1331 and 1367(a). Now at bar is the
defendants’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. For the
following reasons, the Motion (doc. #33) is granted in part and
denied in part.
Fernando Pais is an individual residing in Waterbury,
Connecticut. Timothy Jackson and Milford Hayes are detectives
of the Waterbury Police Department. Mr. Pais brings this action
Unless otherwise indicated, the following is drawn from filings related
to the motion at bar.
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against Detectives Jackson and Hayes in their individual
Until he was laid off on November 14, 2007, Mr. Pais worked
as a laborer for NJR Construction Company.
On November 30, 2007 — sixteen days after Mr. Pais’
employment was terminated — NJR Construction reported that one
of its trucks was stolen. Four days later, on December 4, 2007,
Officer Daniel Stanton of the Waterbury Police Department found
the missing truck on Griggs Street in Waterbury, Connecticut.
Early the next morning, on December 5, 2007, Nick Mancini —
the owner of NJR Construction — contacted Detective Jackson
about the recovered truck. At that time, Mr. Mancini and
Detective Jackson were already personally acquainted.
Mr. Mancini explained to Detective Jackson that the truck,
at the time of its disappearance, contained $30,000.00 worth of
unspecified tools, and that these tools were missing from the
truck after its recovery. Mr. Mancini further explained that he
suspected Mr. Pais of having stolen the truck and, by
implication, the missing tools.
At approximately 9:00 a.m. that day, Detective Jackson,
accompanied by Detective Hayes, proceeded to Mr. Pais’
residence. There, without specifying the reason for their
visit, they asked Mr. Pais to voluntarily accompany them to the
Waterbury Police Department for questioning. Mr. Pais agreed.
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Upon arrival, the three men proceeded to the Detective
Bureau where Detective Jackson directed Mr. Pais to an interview
room. Detective Jackson then entered that interview room,
closed the door, and engaged Mr. Pais in discussion. Detective
Hayes, in contrast, did not enter the interview room. Rather,
he proceeded to his desk at the far end of the adjacent room and
turned his attention to other matters.
Shortly thereafter, at approximately 9:50 a.m., Detective
Jackson struck Mr. Pais in the face, causing the latter to
suffer pain and significant bleeding from his nose. Detective
Jackson and Mr. Pais offer differing accounts of their
interaction immediately preceding this incident.
After being struck, Mr. Pais was escorted to a nearby
washroom by Detectives Jackson, Hayes, and an unidentified third
Detective. There, Mr. Pais was instructed to remove his blood-
stained clothing and to wash away the blood having accumulated
on his face, chest, and hands. Mr. Pais requested medical
attention to address his injury, but none was provided.
Mr. Pais was then placed in a holding cell for
approximately six hours. Throughout this period, he continued
to bleed and to request medical attention. His requests were
disregarded. Ultimately, at 4:06 p.m., Mr. Pais was arrested by
Detective Jackson and charged with disorderly conduct and
interfering with an officer. Mr. Pais subsequently brought this
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Mr. Pais’ complaint focuses on Detective Jackson’s physical
contact with him in the interview room and on his resulting
injury, on his subsequent detention and denial of medical care,
and on his arrest. Specifically, Mr. Pais alleges that
Detective Jackson’s physical contact with him in the interview
room constitutes an unreasonable use of force in violation of
the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and of the
Connecticut Constitution (included in the First and Third Causes
of Action), and constitutes the common law torts of assault and
battery (included in the Second Cause of Action). Additionally,
he claims that the defendant Hayes, who could have interceded,
failed to do so despite having a duty to do so (included in the
First Cause of Action).
Mr. Pais also alleges that his subsequent prolonged
detention and denial of medical care violated his rights under
the U.S. Constitution and the Connecticut Constitution (included
in the First and Third Causes of Action). He further alleges
that his arrest and prosecution violated his rights under the
U.S. Constitution and Connecticut law. (included in the First,
Second, and Third Causes of Action). He also generally alleges
that Detectives Jackson and Hayes engaged in extreme and
outrageous conduct for the purpose of inflicting emotional
distress upon him in violation of Connecticut common law
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(included in the Second Cause of Action) and conspired with each
other to deprive him of his constitutional rights (included in
the First Cause of Action).
Mr. Pais alleges that the City of Waterbury developed and
maintained policies or customs resulting in the violation of his
constitutional rights (Fourth Cause of Action). Finally, he
alleges that the City is statutorily obliged to indemnify
Detectives Jackson and Hayes for any liability arising from
their conduct (Fifth Cause of Action). Detectives Jackson and
Hayes and the City now move for summary judgment as to some of
II. GOVERNING STANDARD
Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides
that “[t]he court shall grant summary judgment if the movant
shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact
and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). Thus, on a motion for summary judgment,
the Court must “determine whether, as to any material issue, a
genuine factual dispute exists.” Kaytor v. Electric Boat Corp.,
609 F.3d 537, 545 (2d Cir. 2010); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
The motion at bar offers no challenge to the claims against Detective
Jackson related to his physical contact with Mr. Pais in the interview
room, or to the claims against Detectives Jackson and Hayes related to
their subsequent denial of Mr. Pais’ requests for medical attention.
(Doc. #33, p. 1, n.1). The motion also does not address the plaintiff’s
claim that the defendants inflicted emotional distress upon Mr. Pais in
violation of Connecticut common law.
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Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A fact is “material” if it
“might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law,”
and a dispute as to a material fact is “genuine” if “the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict
for the nonmoving party.” Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 248;
Fincher v. Depository Trust and Clearing Corp., 604 F.3d 712,
720 (2d Cir. 2010). The Court must also determine whether the
undisputed material facts, if any, entitle the movant to
judgment as a matter of law under the controlling substantive
standards. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23
(1986); Kaytor, 609 F.3d at 545.
In making these determinations, “the court should review
all of the evidence in the record.” Reeves v. Sanderson
Plumbing Products, Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150 (2000); Kaytor, 609
F.3d at 545. In so doing, “the court must draw all reasonable
inferences in favor of the nonmoving party, and . . . may not
make credibility determinations[,] weigh the evidence,” or
otherwise “resolve disputed questions of fact.” Reeves, 530
U.S. at 150; Kaytor, 609 F.3d at 545.
“[G]rounds alleged in the [plaintiff’s] complaint but not
relied upon in summary judgment are deemed to be abandoned.”
Ferraresso v. Town of Granby, 646 F. Supp. 2d 296, 305 (D. Conn.
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2009); see also Garbinski v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.,
Civil Action No. 3:10cv1191 (VLB), 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102707,
at *46 (D. Conn. July 24, 2012)(where a plaintiff’s response to
a summary judgment motion does not oppose arguments addressing
certain of the plaintiff’s claims, the “court may deem the
claims abandoned and grant summary judgment”).
In his response to the defendants’ motion for partial
summary judgment, Pais expressly states that “[t]he plaintiff
does not contest defendants’ motion with respect to the
[following] claim[s:] . . . the claim against the City of
Waterbury[,] . . . the claim of false arrest, malicious
prosecution and false imprisonment[,] . . . his Fifth Amendment
claim[, and] . . . the claim of unreasonable force or assault
and battery against defendant Hayes.” (Doc. # 34, pp. 1-2). The
plaintiff also did not oppose the defendants’ argument regarding
statutory indemnification pursuant to Connecticut General
Statutes §7-465 and §7-101a.3 The Court deems these claims
abandoned and grants the defendants’ motion with respect to the
claim against the City of Waterbury (Fourth Cause of Action),
the claims of false arrest, malicious prosecution and false
3 The Court notes that “Conn. Gen. Stat. §7-101a does not provide a direct
cause of action against a municipality. Moreover, Conn. Gen. Stat. §7-465
requires an allegation that the employee’s conduct was not wanton or
willful.” Karbowicz v. Borough of Naugatuck, 921 F. Supp. 77, 78 (D. Conn.
1995)(citations omitted). Here, the plaintiff has alleged that “Defendants
Jackson and Hayes acted intentionally, wantonly, and/or unlawfully . . . .”
(Doc. # 1, p. 5, ¶26).
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imprisonment (included in the Second and Third Causes of
Action), the claim of unreasonable force or assault and battery
against the defendant Hayes (included in the First, Second, and
Third Causes of Action), the claim seeking statutory
indemnification pursuant to General Statutes §7-465 and §7-101a
(Fifth Cause of Action), and the Fifth Amendment claim.4
Failure to Intercede
Detective Hayes seeks summary judgment with respect to the
allegation that he personally failed to intercede on behalf of
Mr. Pais as to Detective Jackson’s excessive use of force. In
response, Mr. Pais confines his failure to intervene claims to
the constitutional violations arising from his “subsequent
detention, denial of medical treatment, [and] denial of access
to an attorney[.]” (Doc. #34-3, p. 5). Mr. Pais concedes,
however, that Detective Hayes “was not in the room when the
assault happened,” and that he “may not have been able to
intervene in the initial attack[.]” (Id. at pp. 5, 8).
Accordingly, the motion at bar, to the extent it seeks summary
judgment with respect to the allegation that Detective Hayes
personally failed to intercede on behalf of Mr. Pais as to
Detective Jackson’s excessive use of force, is granted.
4 Although the plaintiff’s complaint does not expressly raise a Fifth Amendment
claim, the defendants address a Fifth Amendment claim in their motion for
summary judgment based on a factual allegation in the complaint.
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Detectives Jackson and Hayes seek summary judgment with
respect to the allegation that they conspired to violate Mr.
Pais’ constitutional rights. Although the plaintiff’s complaint
does not specify a basis for the claim of a conspiracy, for
purposes of the summary judgment motion both the defendants and
the plaintiff address the conspiracy claim in terms of 42 U.S.C.
§ 1985(3)5(“§ 1985(3)”) (Doc. # 33-3, p. 22; Doc. # 34-3, p. 8).
In order to make out a claim under § 1985(3), a plaintiff must
allege and prove that “the conspiracy [was] motivated by some
discriminatory animus behind the conspirators’ action.” Robinson
v. Allstate Insurance Co., 11-4348-cv, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS
1412, at *5 (2d Cir. Jan. 22, 2013)(internal quotation marks
omitted). Here the plaintiff has provided no evidence, nor has
he alleged, that the purported conspiracy was motived by racial
or otherwise class-based animus. For that reason, his conspiracy
claim fails and the motion is granted as to that claim.
The Court further notes that a plaintiff pursuing a claim
that defendants conspired to deprive him of his constitutional
rights “must provide some factual basis supporting a meeting of
the minds, such that defendants entered into an agreement,
5 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3)prohibits “two or more persons [from] . . . conspir[ing]
. . . for the purpose of depriving . . . any person or class of persons of
the equal protection of the laws, or of equal privileges and immunities under
the laws . . . .”
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express or tacit, to achieve the unlawful end.” Id. The Court
finds that the plaintiff has not provided a factual basis
supporting a meeting of the minds, which is an additional reason
why his conspiracy claim cannot succeed.
Finally, Detectives Jackson and Hayes seek summary judgment
with respect to Mr. Pais’ constitutional claims on qualified
immunity grounds. Specifically, they argue that their actions
towards Mr. Pais were objectively reasonable.
Qualified immunity “protects government officials from
liability for civil damages insofar as their conduct does not
violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights
of which a reasonable person would have known.” Pearson v.
Callahan, 555 U.S. 223, 231 (2009) (internal quotation marks
omitted). As such, “[q]ualified immunity balances two important
interests — the need to hold public officials accountable when
they exercise power irresponsibly and the need to shield
officials from harassment, distraction, and liability when they
perform their duties reasonably.” Id.
In Saucier v. Katz, 533 U.S. 194 (2001), the U.S. Supreme
Court set forth a mandatory two-step inquiry to ascertain the
availability of the qualified immunity defense. First, the
Court must decide whether “the facts alleged show the officer’s
conduct violated a constitutional right[.]” Id. at 201. Where
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the plaintiff satisfies this first step, the court must decide
“whether the right was clearly established” at the time of the
defendant’s alleged misconduct. Id. This two-step process is
still considered “beneficial,” but is no longer mandatory.
Pearson, 555 U.S. at 236; Hilton v. Wright, 673 F.3d 120, 126-27
(2d Cir. 2012).
At the summary judgment stage, defendants will only be
entitled to qualified immunity where “no reasonable jury,
looking at the evidence in the light most favorable to, and
drawing all inferences most favorable to, the plaintiff[ ],
could conclude that it was objectively unreasonable for the
defendant[s] to believe that [they were] acting in a fashion
that did not clearly violate an established federally protected
right.” Farid v. Ellen, 593 F.3d 233, 244 (2d Cir. 2010)
(internal quotation marks omitted).
Here, a reasonable jury could conclude, based on record
evidence interpreted in the light most favorable to Mr. Pais,
that Detective Jackson unexpectedly punched him in the face
without provocation and fabricated a pretext to justify his act.
A reasonable jury could further conclude, based on record
evidence interpreted in the light most favorable to Mr. Pais,
that Detectives Jackson and Hayes subsequently concealed his
resulting injury, needlessly prolonged his detention, and denied
him access to necessary medical attention. Given these
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circumstances, a reasonable jury could conclude that it was
objectively unreasonable for Detectives Jackson and Hayes to
believe that their conduct did not clearly violate Mr. Pais’
Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. See Mickle v. Morin, 297
F.3d 114, 122 (2d Cir. 2002) (explaining that a reasonable jury
could credit the plaintiff’s version of the pertinent facts and
conclude that a police officer’s use of force “without warning
or provocation” was excessive in violation of the Fourth
Amendment and that “no reasonable police officer could
objectively have believed otherwise”); Weyant v. Okst, 101 F.3d
845, 856 (2d Cir. 1996) (recognizing that the denial of a
pretrial detainee’s needs for medical care can constitute a
Fourteenth Amendment violation). Accordingly, the motion at
bar, to the extent it seeks summary judgment on qualified
immunity grounds, is denied.
For the foregoing reasons, the defendants’ Motion for
Partial Summary Judgment (doc. #33) is GRANTED IN PART and
DENIED IN PART. Specifically, the motion is granted insofar as
it seeks summary judgment with respect to: (1) the Section 1983
claim against the City of Waterbury (Fourth Cause of Action);
(2) the claims of false arrest, malicious prosecution and false
imprisonment against the defendants Hayes and Jackson (included
in the Second and Third Causes of Action); (3) the Fifth
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Amendment claim against the defendants Hayes and Jackson; (4)
the unreasonable use of force and assault and battery claims
against the defendant Hayes (included in the First, Second, and
Third Causes of Action); (5) the claim seeking statutory
indemnification pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes § 7-465
and § 7-101a (Fifth Cause of Action); (6) the failure to
intercede claim against the defendant Hayes relating to the
defendant Jackson’s alleged use of excessive force (included in
the First Cause of Action); and (7) the conspiracy claims
against the defendants Hayes and Jackson (included in the First
Cause of Action).
This case will proceed as to the following claims:
(1) the unreasonable use of force and assault and battery
claims against the defendant Jackson (included in the
First, Second, and Third Causes of Action);
(2) the claims against the defendants Hayes and Jackson
that the plaintiff’s prolonged detention and denial of
medical care violated his rights under the U.S.
Constitution and the Connecticut Constitution
(included in the First and Third Causes of Action);
(3) the intentional infliction of emotional distress
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claims against the defendants Hayes and Jackson
(included in the Second Cause of Action).
SO ORDERED this 4th day of June, 2013.
DOMINIC J. SQUATRITO
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE