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Lincoln v. Hanshaw

May 6, 2009

JENNIFER LINCOLN, ET AL.
v.
DETECTIVE LEO HANSHAW, ET AL.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dalzell, J.

MEMORANDUM

Plaintiffs Jennifer Lincoln, Daniel Zimmerman, and Gregory Zimmerman sued Detectives Leo Hanshaw and Arthur Erle of the Upper Darby Police Department, their supervisor, Superintendent Michael Chitwood, and Upper Darby Township for allegedly violating plaintiffs' Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights and for state law false arrest and malicious prosecution claims.*fn1 The defendants have moved for summary judgment.

I. Factual Background

On April 11, 2006, Brownwell Berry, the manager of the Dollar Den, 600 South Avenue in Secane, Pennsylvania, called the Upper Darby Township Police to report that someone had broken into the store the previous night and had stolen a plexiglass case containing scratch-off lottery tickets. Def.'s Mem. Ex. A*fn2 , Ex. V [Det. Hanshaw Dep.] at 31, 35-37; ; Pl.'s Ex. E [Lincoln Dep.] at 85. Brownwell Berry then called the owner of the Dollar Den, Jennifer Lincoln, and she arrived shortly thereafter.

Def.'s Mem. Ex. A; Lincoln Dep. at 85-86.

Detective Leo Hanshaw was assigned the case, went to the Dollar Den, and spoke with Lincoln, who he met for the first time that day. Hanshaw Dep. at 32-33. Hanshaw requested and received a list of current and former employees from Lincoln. Def.'s Mem. Ex. A, Det. Hanshaw Dep. at 34-35. He suspected that someone who knew about the store's operation had burglarized it. Id.

Over the next several days, Hanshaw contacted the Pennsylvania Lottery Commission to find out if any of the stolen tickets had been cashed in. Def.'s Mem. Ex. A; Det. Hanshaw Dep. at 38. The Lottery Commission faxed Hanshaw a list of the lottery ticket numbers assigned to the Dollar Den and the locations where they were cashed. Def.'s Mem. Ex. A; Det. Hanshaw Dep. at 38-39. Hanshaw determined that someone had cashed several lottery tickets from the Dollar Den at the Pantry One located at 1023 South Avenue on April 11, 2006. Def.'s Mem. Ex. A; Det. Hanshaw Dep. at 39. Hanshaw went to the Pantry One to view surveillance video, which showed a man cashing in the tickets. Def.'s Mem. Ex. A; Det. Hanshaw Dep. at 39-40. Upper Darby Police later identified the man as Barry Mapp*fn3 , and determined that the tickets he had cashed were stolen from the Dollar Den. Def.'s Mem. Ex. A; Det. Hanshaw Dep. at 40.

On April 26, 2006, Upper Darby Police arrested Mapp at his home. Def.'s Mem. Ex. A; Det. Hanshaw Dep. at 53. Mapp admitted he burglarized the Dollar Den, and signed a statement to that effect. Def.'s Mem. Ex. A, Ex. C. But that was not the only thing Mapp told the police.

Detectives Arthur Erle and Hanshaw interviewed Mapp at the police station. Def.'s Mem. Ex. E, S [Erle Dep.] at 18, 27-28, 34-36, 41-44; Hanshaw Dep. at 49-52, 70-71. Mapp stated that he had gone back to burglarize the Dollar Den again on April 16, 2006, but after he got inside he was apprehended by two men, who Mapp referred to as "her [Lincoln's] boyfriend and his brother." Def.'s Mem. Ex. C. He described the "boyfriend" as a "white male, 34-35 [years old], big stomach, about 6'3" - 6'4", brown/black hair, has a goatte [sic], and tattoos." Id. Mapp described the "boyfriend's brother" as a "white male, 27-28 [years old], with tattoos, blonde short hair." Id.

According to Mapp, these two men proceeded to beat him up, detain him, and then placed a call to Lincoln who then arrived at the Dollar Den and offered Mapp a deal: she could call the police and have him arrested, or he could let her cut him with a box-cutter. Id. Mapp stated that he opted for the latter, and she thereupon cut his face and his clothes. Id. After the cutting, they released Mapp, and he fled. Id. After some of Mapp's neighbors called the Upper Darby Police and neighboring Ridley Township Police found him in the parking lot of the apartment complex where he lived, his face bleeding and clothing slashed. Id; Pl.'s Mem. Ex. M [Mapp Dep.] at 82. In accordance with his agreement with Lincoln, Mapp told the police that his face had been cut during a drug deal gone wrong in the parking lot of the Pantry One in Upper Darby. Def.'s Mem. Ex. E; Pl.'s Mem. Ex. M [Mapp Dep.] at 82. Paramedics then took him to a local hospital.*fn4 Id.

About a week after April 26, 2006, Hanshaw called Lincoln into the police station to question her about Mapp's story. Det. Hanshaw Dep. at 63-64; Lincoln Dep. at 154-55. Lincoln denied Mapp's version of events. Lincoln Dep. at 155-56; Det. Hanshaw Dep. at 64. According to Lincoln, Hanshaw became angry at her denials.*fn5 Lincoln Dep. at 158.

Lincoln had come to the police station with her boyfriend, Daniel Zimmerman. Lincoln Dep. at 152. Hanshaw and Daniel Zimmerman had a connection: Zimmerman had fathered a child with Hanshaw's wife, Shannon, before Hanshaw had married her. Def.'s Mem. Ex. Z [D. Zimmerman Dep.] at 17, 20; Det. Hanshaw Dep. at 18; Def.'s Mem. Ex. Q [S. Hanshaw Dep.] at 8. Shannon Hanshaw and Zimmerman were involved in a child support dispute, and he owed her several thousand dollars. D. Zimmerman Dep. at 35-36, 96; S. Hanshaw Dep. at 25-26, 37. Hanshaw testified that it was only after this interview that he learned that Daniel Zimmerman was Lincoln's boyfriend. Det. Hanshaw Dep. at 83; Erle Dep. at 57.

Hanshaw testified that about a day or two after meeting with Lincoln he realized that the "her boyfriend" in Mapp's statement might be Daniel Zimmerman. Det. Hanshaw Dep. at 86. Hanshaw then notified his supervisor, Captain David Madonna, about the potential conflict of interest. Det. Hanshaw Dep. at 87; Def.'s Mem. Ex. T [Madonna Dep.] at 47-49; Erle Dep. at 55-57. Captain Madonna reassigned the Mapp assault case to Detective Erle.*fn6 Det. Hanshaw Dep. at 76, 90; Erle Dep. at 55- 57; Madonna Dep. at 50.

On October 5, 2006, Detectives Hanshaw and Erle*fn7 interviewed Mapp in prison and in the presence of his attorney. Def.'s Mem. Ex. D; Erle Dep. at 85, 103-05; Det. Hanshaw Dep. at 110-112. Mapp gave another statement, which was much the same as what he gave on April 26, 2006. Def.'s Mem. Exs. D. He picked out Jennifer Lincoln and Daniel Zimmerman from photo arrays.

Def.'s Mem. Ex. D; Erle Dep. at 103-05. He described the second male assailant as a "short white male[,] blonde, dirty blonde hair, stocky for his size. He looked like he hadn't shaved in a little while. He was mid to late 20's. Younger than the male #1." Def.'s Mem. Ex. D.

Five days later, Detective Erle reviewed an April 16, 2006 Ridley Township Police Report authored by Officer Lockhart of that Department. Def.'s Mem. Ex. F, X. According to that document, Officer Lockhart responded to a report of a stabbing at 333 North Avenue in Upper Darby. Def.'s Mem. Ex. F, X; Pl.'s Ex. C. When he arrived, he found Barry Mapp in an ambulance, bleeding from the face. Id. Mapp told Lockhart that he had been robbed at the Pantry One store at 624 South Avenue in Ridley Township by two males in a dark Buick Lesabre. Id. Lockhart went to the Pantry One to review the surveillance video of the parking lot. Id. He found no evidence of a Black Lesabre or men matching the description Mapp had given him. Id. The store manager apparently told Lockhart that a customer had come in and told the manager that a fight had occurred in the parking lot of the Dollar Den in Upper Darby. Id.

On October 12, 2006, Detective Erle completed an application for arrest warrants for Jennifer Lincoln and Daniel Zimmerman, which a judge signed that same day. Def.'s Mem. Ex. E, H. The probable cause affidavit, signed by Detective Erle, consisted only of information gleaned from Mapp's statement and photo array identifications. Id.

Detectives Hanshaw and Erle on October 24 went to Jennifer Lincoln's home, arrested her, and brought her to the Upper Darby Police Department for processing. Def.'s Mem. Ex. I. Daniel Zimmerman surrendered to police on November 2, 2006. Id.

Detective Jeffery Thrash sent an email on October 26, 2006 to Detective Erle about a tip concerning the investigation.

Def.'s Mem. Ex. J; Erle Dep. at 109. Thrash told Erle that a Diane Murphy had called and said that Gregory Zimmerman*fn8 was the third person involved in the Mapp assault.*fn9 Id. Based on Diane Murphy's tip, Erle had Hanshaw put together a photo array that included Gregory Zimmerman. Erle Dep. at 116-118.

The next day, Detective Hanshaw went to the prison where Mapp was held and presented him with a photo array. Pl.'s Mem. Ex. B at 135, 137. Mapp identified Gregory Zimmerman as the second man who assaulted him. Id. at 138. Based on Mapp's identification, Erle completed an affidavit of probable cause for a warrant to arrest Gregory Zimmerman, which a judge signed on October 28. Def.'s Mem. Ex. K. Detectives Hanshaw and Erle arrested Gregory Zimmerman at his mother's house on November 13, 2006.*fn10 Def.'s ...


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