Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

UNITED STATES EX REL. HOUGHTON v. SCRANTON

August 2, 1966

UNITED STATES of America ex rel. Joseph M. HOUGHTON
v.
Hon. William SCRANTON, Gov., Hon. Walter Alessandroni, Arthur T. Prasse, Com. State Corr., David N. Myers, Supt. State Corr. Institution, Graterford, Pa. and Clarence R. Wolfe, Dept. Supt., et al. Joseph Michael HOUGHTON v. Col. Eugene B. ELLIS, Supt. of the Delaware State Police, John J. Smith, Chief of Police, City of Wilmington, Delaware, Lt. Thomas F. Buckmaster, Trooper A. T. Citro, Delaware State Police, Lt. Delloso, Sgt. Watson, Sgt. Turner, Officer James E. McNair, Bureau of Police, City of Wilmington, Delaware



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WOOD

 WOOD, District Judge.

 The plaintiff, Joseph M. Houghton, brought suit under 42 U.S.C.A. § 1983. The defendants include Delaware State police officers and their superiors. Jurisdiction lies in the court under 28 U.S.C.A. § 1343.

 Houghton alleges in his complaint that he was illegally stopped while proceeding along a highway in the State of Delaware, was taken to the troop barracks and compelled to submit to extensive questioning by Lieutenant Buckmaster. He was then formally arrested for violation of the local Criminal Registration Act. He was denied the right to obtain counsel or to contact his family.

 At some point either before he was taken to the barracks or thereafter, his car was searched and certain items were found therein which were introduced into evidence against him at trial.

 Plaintiff is presently confined in the State Correctional Institution at Graterford, Pennsylvania and is not represented by counsel in these proceedings.

 Four different motions have been filed by the parties and include:

 
1. Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment for failure to answer the complaint.
 
2. Plaintiff's motion for a temporary restraining order.
 
3. Certain defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint.
 
4. Plaintiff's motion for a three-judge court under 28 U.S.C.A. § 2284 to have certain orders of the prison wherein he is confined enjoined.

 I. MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

 This should properly have been termed a motion for judgment by default. Plaintiff filed his complaint on March 10, 1966. Defendants Ellis, Smith, Buckmaster and Citro did not answer until April 28, 1966. Houghton, probably unaware of the answer, filed his motion for summary judgment on April 29, 1966.

 The grant or denial of a motion for the entry of a default judgment lies largely within the discretion of the trial court. 6 Moore, Federal Practice, § 55.05(2), p. 1814. Plaintiff's motion herein must be denied on that basis. The failure to plead in time was largely technical. Houghton does not and most likely cannot allege that he was prejudiced in any fashion. Moreover, it seems that any entry of appearance on the part of defendants was a ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.