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LUCINDA HAMMOND v. RUSSELL T. THOMPSON AND LOIS L. THOMPSON (12/19/88)

decided: December 19, 1988.

LUCINDA HAMMOND, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS A PENNSYLVANIA STATE TROOPER; CORPORAL RONALD PROUGH, SUPERVISING OFFICER OF THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AND COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE, APPELLANTS
v.
RUSSELL T. THOMPSON AND LOIS L. THOMPSON, HIS WIFE, APPELLEES



Appeal from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, in the case of Russell T. Thompson and Lois L. Thompson, his wife v. Lucinda Hammond, Individually and in her official capacity as a Pennsylvania State Trooper; Corporal Ronald Prough, Supervising Officer of the Pennsylvania State Police, Individually and in his official capacity; and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State Police, No. 3950 S 1985.

COUNSEL

John G. Knorr, III, Chief Deputy Attorney General, Chief, Litigation Section, with him, LeRoy S. Zimmerman, Attorney General, for appellants.

Joseph M. Melillo, Angino & Rovner, P.C., for appellees.

Judges Barry, Colins and McGinley, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Colins.

Author: Colins

[ 122 Pa. Commw. Page 224]

Trooper Lucinda Hammond and Corporal Ronald Prough of the Pennsylvania State Police (appellants) appeal an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County which, on a nine-Count complaint against the appellants and the Pennsylvania State Police (State Police), granted the State Police's motion for judgment on the pleadings and granted partial summary judgment in favor of the appellants with respect to Counts 1, 2, and

[ 122 Pa. Commw. Page 2258]

of the complaint. The Court of Common Pleas denied the appellants' motion for summary judgment on the remaining Counts. Appellees' motion to quash the subsequent appeal is now before the Court.

This suit alleging civil rights violations and various intentional torts was instituted by Russell T. and Lois L. Thompson (appellees) in November of 1985. In 1980, Russell Thompson was employed as a police officer for the Borough of Carlisle. At the request of the Carlisle Chief of Police, the State Police began an undercover investigation of appellee. Appellant Hammond was assigned to work the case and become acquainted with Thompson. The two met about ten times between 1980 and 1981. The topic of their discussions was usually drug-related and appellee Thompson's purported ability to obtain the same. After 10 months of the investigation with Trooper Hammond constantly requesting that Thompson provide her with drugs, Thompson provided Hammond with 4.5 grams of marijuana.

Appellant Prough recommended that drug charges not be filed against Thompson. However, the District Attorney for Dauphin County disagreed and appellee Thompson was arrested on May 1, 1981, and charged with unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and conspiracy. Appellee Thompson raised the defense of entrapment in his pretrial motions and at trial, but was convicted by a jury. His post-trial motions were denied. However, on appeal to the Superior Court, a 2-to-1 majority held that there had been entrapment as a matter of law. Commonwealth v. Thompson, 335 Pa. Superior Ct. 332, 484 A.2d 159 (1984).

As a result of the drug arrest, the Borough of Carlisle terminated appellee as a police officer. In October of 1981, Thompson was rehired by the Borough of Carlisle in a non-police capacity. In 1982, he was arrested and convicted in Dauphin County on the charge of soliciting

[ 122 Pa. Commw. Page 226]

    a prostitute. As a result of this conviction, appellee Thompson did not seek reinstatement to the Borough of Carlisle Police Department, but only sought back-pay from the period of May to October, 1981. After the disposition of the appellee's criminal charges, the Civil Service Commission held a hearing in which it denied Thompson's appeal, finding ...


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