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.

PATTERSON v. BOARD OF PROBATION & PAROLE OF PENNSY

May 9, 1994

CHARLES PATTERSON, JR.
v.
BOARD OF PROBATION AND PAROLE OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA and ED J. MCGUIRE



The opinion of the court was delivered by: ANITA B. BRODY

 Anita B. Brody, J.

 I have considered defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, defendants' Supplement to its Motion for Summary Judgment (Supplement), and plaintiff's response, and I will GRANT the Motion in part, and DENY it in part. In doing so I reach the following legal conclusions:

 a. After the Supreme Court's decision in Albright v. Oliver, 127 L. Ed. 2d 114, 114 S. Ct. 807 (1994), plaintiffs may sue law enforcement officers under federal civil rights laws only for pre-trial activities which constitute an initial seizure of their person. The Court has explicitly rejected constitutional liability under the Fourteenth Amendment for malicious prosecution or other prosecution related activities. Therefore, in an action formerly characterized as malicious prosecution, liability of law enforcement officers are limited to violations of the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable seizures, including arrests without probable cause.

 b. When state law authorizes a warrantless search of a parolee's residence by a parole officer, such a search is permissible under federal constitutional law. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has recently held that absent state regulations authorizing warrantless searches by parole officers such searches are unconstitutional. Pennsylvania does not have regulations authorizing such searches. However, at the time of the search at issue in this case, the Third Circuit, relying on Pennsylvania state law, explicitly upheld warrantless searches by parole officers. Therefore, because the law forbidding such searches was not "clearly established" at the time of the incident, the officer in this case is entitled to qualified immunity.

 I have arrived at these rulings for the following reasons:

 2. Plaintiff was issued a warning in April of 1992 because of inadequate compliance with his drug treatment responsibilities. Exhibit B of Supplement.

 3. Plaintiff was sent a letter on October 9, 1992 from individual defendant McGuire regarding plaintiff's failure to attend a meeting with his parole officer scheduled for October 7, 1992. Exhibit D of Supplement. The letter also informed plaintiff of his obligation to attend an October 19, 1992, or be deemed in violation. Id. Plaintiff attended that meeting. Id.

 4. On October 23, 1992, defendant McGuire went by himself to plaintiff's residence. Exhibit B of Motion for Summary Judgment. He was admitted to the residence by plaintiff's father. Id. After being admitted, McGuire went upstairs to plaintiff's bedroom. Id. According to McGuire, plaintiff was hostile to him. Id. According to McGuire, as he attempted to leave plaintiff shoved him against the wall, and then pushed him down the stairs. Id. According to plaintiff, he politely asked McGuire to go down the stairs while he got dressed, and he never touched the defendant. See Com. v. Patterson, M.C. # 93-01-0613 (November 4, 1993) at 46 (Exhibit Attached to Plaintiff's Response to Summary Judgment).

 5. Defendant returned to plaintiff's residence with police officers and arrested the plaintiff. Exhibit B of Motion for Summary Judgment. Defendant filed criminal charges against plaintiff for aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment, and resisting arrest. Exhibit H of Motion for Summary Judgment. A parole revocation hearing was also ordered based on defendant McGuire's evaluation. Exhibit B of Motion for Summary Judgment.

 6. Plaintiff was detained at Grateford Prison, and his parole revocation hearing was postponed pending disposition of the criminal charges. Exhibit J of Supplement.

 7. On March 4, 1993, the Aggravated Assault charge was dismissed in Common Pleas Court, and the remaining charges were remanded to Municipal Court. Plaintiff's Complaint.

 8. On March 31, 1993, the remaining charges were dismissed by the Honorable Felice R. Stack. Plaintiff's Complaint.

 9. On April 9, 1993, Plaintiff was released from Grateford Prison. Plaintiff's Complaint.

 10. Plaintiff brought this action in May of 1993 under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for unreasonable search, false arrest, false testimony, and malicious prosecution, 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and various common law causes of action against the Board of Probation and Parole for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (the "Board") and his parole agent, Ed McGuire. As to all counts, plaintiff seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as compensatory and punitive damages. Defendants move for summary judgment as to all claims.

 11. After the commencement of this lawsuit, plaintiff was re-arrested and recharged on the basis of Defendant McGuire's allegations of assault. Plaintiff was acquitted on all charges. See Com. v. Patterson, M.C. # 93-01-0613 (November 4, 1993) at 46.

 12. Summary judgment is appropriate where "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). Defendants are entitled to summary judgment only if no reasonable resolution of the conflicting evidence and the inference which could be drawn from that evidence could result in a judgment for the plaintiff. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986). Where there is a dispute or disagreement over what inferences reasonably could be drawn from the facts, even if those facts are undisputed, it is improper to grant summary judgment. See Nathanson v. Medical College of Pennsylvania, 926 F.2d 1368, 1380 (3d Cir. 1991). However, "the mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of plaintiffs['] position will be insufficient[;] there must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the plaintiffs." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252.

 The party moving for summary judgment must demonstrate that, under the undisputed facts, the non-movant has failed to introduce evidence supporting necessary elements of their case. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986). If the movant has demonstrated such a failure, the burden then shifts to the non-movant to ...


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.