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UNITED STATES v. PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE

March 4, 1982

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and DAVID F. PATERSON
v.
PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE, et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: GILES

 GILES, J.

 Before me is defendants' joint Motion for Summary Judgment. Plaintiff, who is currently incarcerated at Delaware County Prison, brought the underlying pro se complaint against the Pennsylvania State Police and Trooper Joseph Price seeking compensatory and punitive damages for violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He alleges defendants violated his civil rights under the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act (hereinafter "UCEA") and the Fourth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution by transporting him from Delaware to Pennsylvania without written consent and without waiver of his right to contest extradition. In addition, he alleges that his right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment was violated when he was transported while injured and under sedation.

 In support of their motion for summary judgment, defendants assert that: the Eleventh Amendment bars claims against the State Police; the Extradition Clause of the Constitution and the Uniform Extradition Act are factually and legally inapplicable to plaintiff's case; plaintiff's action is barred by collateral estoppel or res judicata; and, in any event, defendant Trooper is immune from liability for money damages. Plaintiff has responded to defendants' motion by claiming that the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act (UCEA) creates federal rights protected by section 1983, and that plaintiff's action is not barred by either estoppel doctrine.

 Under Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 56(c), summary judgment is appropriate where no genuine issue of material fact exists and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Applying these standards to the undisputed facts as set forth below, the motion for summary judgment as to the Pennsylvania State Police must be granted, but denied as to Trooper Price.

 It is agreed that on March 2, 1979, plaintiff was involved in a shooting incident in Bethel Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, as the result of which he sustained various personal injuries. Plaintiff was taken by ambulance to Wilmington Medical Center in Wilmington, Delaware for treatment. He was then transported to Pennsylvania State Police Headquarters in a state police car driven by Trooper Price.

 However, the parties disagree on the events surrounding plaintiff's transportation across state lines. Plaintiff claims Trooper Price and other unidentified Pennsylvania State Troopers entered the hospital, arrested him while he was heavily sedated, and transported him against his will by squad car back into Pennsylvania.

 Defendants contend that plaintiff was not arrested at the Wilmington Medical Center. Rather, they assert that plaintiff voluntarily accompanied Trooper Price for purposes of pressing charges against the persons who caused his injuries. Allegedly, plaintiff was advised of his right to extradition proceedings, voluntarily waived those rights, and accompanied Trooper Price of his own free will to press criminal charges against his assailant.

 It is agreed that subsequent to plaintiff's arrival at Pennsylvania State Police Headquarters, he was arraigned, and later tried and convicted of robbery and several related offenses surrounding the Pennsylvania shooting incident in proceedings before the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas. A suppression hearing was conducted before Senior Judge Louis A. Bloom and plaintiff's trial was conducted before Judge Robert F. Kelly.

 Plaintiff does not challenge the validity of his conviction. He alleges only that the conduct of the officers in transporting him across state lines violated his rights under the UCEA and the United States Constitution, entitling him to recover damages under section 1983. *fn1"

 Plaintiff's claim against the State Police can be briefly treated. By virtue of the Eleventh Amendment federal courts are barred from entertaining suits by private parties against states and their agencies, unless the state has consented to the filing of such a suit. Alabama v. Pugh, 438 U.S. 781, 782, 57 L. Ed. 2d 1114, 98 S. Ct. 3057 (1978). Since the State Police are clearly a state agency, and there is no contention that it consented to this suit, there is no subject matter jurisdiction. Consequently, this claim must be dismissed.

 Trooper Price, in his individual capacity, argues that summary judgment is appropriate as to him because the principles of res judicata and collateral estoppel bar relitigation of the issue of improper extradition, which he contends was decided against plaintiff in the state criminal proceedings. Although res judicata and collateral estoppel are applicable to section 1983 actions, Allen v. McCurry, 445 U.S. 958, 64 L. Ed. 2d 233, 100 S. Ct. 1643 (1980), Trooper Price has failed to establish the existence of the conditions required for the application of either doctrine.

 Res judicata may not be applied unless, inter alia, there is identity of the cause of action and identity of persons and parties to the action. Kelly v. Warminster Township Board of Supervisors, 512 F. Supp. 658, 662 (E.D. Pa. 1981), aff'd mem., No. 81-1660 (3d Cir. Feb. 25, 1982). These requirements are not satisfied in the instant case because "a criminal prosecution necessarily involves a different cause of action and different parties than any subsequent civil suit, even though both proceedings may [be] based on the same underlying incidents." Murphy v. Andrews, 465 F. Supp. 511, 512 (E.D. Pa. 1979). Thus, res judicata principles cannot bar litigation of the issue of improper extradition in this case.

 The broader doctrine of collateral estoppel can be applied to prevent the litigation in a civil suit of questions distinctly put in issue and directly decided in a prior criminal ...


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