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.

Michael Garey v. Borough of Quakertown

August 20, 2012

MICHAEL GAREY,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
BOROUGH OF QUAKERTOWN, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM RE: DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS

Plaintiff Michael Garey commenced this civil rights action by filing a Complaint against Defendants the Borough of Quakertown and Officers Kris Baccari and Christopher Grill, individually and in their capacities as Borough of Quakertown police officers. Presently before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the Complaint (ECF No. 5) pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons that follow, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss is DENIED.

I. Factual and Procedural Background

The following facts are drawn from the Complaint. On or around February 16 or 17, 2010, Plaintiff was arrested by Richland Township police. (Cplt. ¶ 2.) Plaintiff was searched, handcuffed, and placed in the back of a Richland Township patrol vehicle. (Id.) Subsequently, Plaintiff was pulled out of the vehicle and searched again, at which point Officers Baccari and/or Grill stunned him with a Taser,*fn1 allegedly without provocation. (Id.) Plaintiff was tased a second time, again allegedly without provocation. (Id. ¶ 18.) Plaintiff was then placed back in the Richland Township patrol vehicle. (Id. ¶ 19.)

During the course of these events, a Pennsylvania State Police patrol vehicle was parked behind the Richland Township patrol vehicle in which Plaintiff was detained. (Id. ¶ 17.) Officers Baccari and Grill were unaware that the State Police patrol vehicle was equipped with a dash camera and that it recorded the events which took place. (Id.)

Defendants claim that Plaintiff was tased because he attempted to smash the windows of the Richland Township patrol vehicle with his feet and head and open the car door and the plastic partition inside the vehicle. (Id. ¶ 16.) Defendants further claim that Plaintiff was belligerent and kicked an officer. (Id.)

According to the Complaint, the video captured by the State Police patrol vehicle shows that Plaintiff's first tasing was unprovoked and that Defendants fabricated their version of events to justify tasing Plaintiff. (Id. ¶ 18.) Plaintiff was in custody of the Richland Township police, handcuffed, and in the back of a police vehicle immediately prior to being tased. (Id. ¶ 21.) At the time, Plaintiff allegedly posed no threat to the police and did not attempt to fight or injure the officers or anyone else. (Id. ¶ 22.) The video did not capture the second tasing. (Id. ¶ 18.)

The Complaint alleges that the Borough of Quakertown failed to properly train Officers Baccari and Grill in how to properly place a prisoner in custody in a police car without resorting to use of a Taser when that suspect is already handcuffed, in a police car, and poses no physical threat. (Id. ¶ 26.) The Complaint further alleges that officers in the Borough of Quakertown have a history of verbal and physical abuse and police brutality toward citizens in circumstances similar to those here. (Id. ¶ 27.) Additionally, the Complaint alleges that the Borough of Quakertown had, prior to the date of the incident involving Plaintiff, permitted, tolerated, and negligently overlooked the inappropriate use of Tasers by its officers and failed to train them in the proper use of Tasers on arrestees. (Id. ¶ 29.)

On February 14, 2012, Plaintiff commenced the instant action. In his Complaint, Plaintiff asserts a federal civil rights claim for excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Count I), as well as state law claims for assault and battery (Count II) and intentional infliction of emotional distress (Count III), against Officers Baccari and Grill. Plaintiff also asserts a civil rights claim pursuant to Monell v. New York City Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978) (Count IV), against the Borough of Quakertown. Plaintiff seeks the following relief: compensatory and punitive damages against Officers Baccari and Grill; compensatory damages against the Borough of Quakertown; reasonable attorney's fees and costs; and any other relief that the Court deems appropriate.

On April 16, 2012, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint (ECF No. 5) pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. On May 8, 2012, Plaintiff filed a Response in Opposition thereto (ECF No. 6). Defendants did not file a Reply.

II. Legal Standards

A. Jurisdiction

This Court has original jurisdiction over Plaintiff's federal law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยงยง 1331 and 1343. This Court has supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff's ...


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.