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Aaron Monroe v. Casey Mullooley

September 14, 2012

AARON MONROE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CASEY MULLOOLEY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Chief Magistrate Judge Lenihan

Re: ECF No. 36

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Presently before the court is the Motion Limine Concerning Plaintiff's Testimony filed by Defendant Casey Mullooley. For the reasons that follow, the Defendant's motion will be granted.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Aaron Monroe's civil action against Defendant Officer Casey Mullooley brings claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress and excessive force in violation of Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983. Monroe's original complaint, arising from alleged mistreatment while incarcerated at Westmoreland County Detention Center, contained seven claims against three defendants, Westmoreland County Detention Center, Warden John Walton and Officer Casey Mullooley. (ECF No. 1-8). Defendants removed the case to the Federal District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (ECF No. 1) and filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). (ECF No. 4). District Judge Ambrose granted this motion in part, dismissing all but the two remaining claims against Officer Mullooley. (ECF No. 13). Defendant Mullooley filed a subsequent motion for summary judgment on the remaining claims. (ECF No. 25). After this motion was denied (ECF No. 32), consent was granted to proceed before a Magistrate Judge (ECF No. 34). The case is currently before the undersigned where Mullooley has filed a motion in limine to exclude certain testimony from Monroe from use at trial (ECF No. 36).

FACTS

On June 27, 2008, Plaintiff Aaron Monroe appeared in the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania before Judge Richard E. McCormick, Jr. for the purpose of entering a guilty plea to various criminal charges unrelated to this case. (ECF No. 26-1). Judge McCormick refused to accept a plea from Monroe because he appeared to be "under the influence [of drugs]." (ECF No. 26-1). Monroe denied this when asked at the hearing, but has admitted to prior use of multiple drugs since. (ECF No. 26-6, ¶ 7-8). Monroe was then taken to Westmoreland County Detention Center to await another plea hearing. Mr. Mullooley and another officer were in charge of booking when Monroe arrived. An altercation occurred during booking, the details of which are disputed between the parties. Following the confrontation, Monroe was charged with one 2nd degree felony count of Aggravated Assault and one 2nd degree misdemeanor count of Simple Assault. Regarding the simple assault charge, the criminal information reads:

The Actor intentionally, knowingly or recklessly caused or attempted to cause bodily injury to Casey Mulooley[sic], Corrections Officer, Westmoreland County Prison, that is to say, the actor did strike the victim in the face with his shoulder or elbow, causing injury to the left side of the victim's face and then fought with the victim and support until subdued. (ECF No. 26-3)

On January 10, 2011, Monroe, voluntarily and while under oath, pleaded guilty to the simple assault charge as stated. (ECF No. 26-5). The Aggravated assault charge was dropped and Monroe was sentenced to 12 months probation. (ECF No. 26-4).

Monroe now alleges in his complaint that he was assaulted by Officer Mullooley and further denies the facts established by his guilty plea. (ECF No. 1-8). He admittedly loses consciousness after the allegedly unprovoked assault, which is his final recollection of the incidents resulting in his assault charge and this civil suit. (ECF No. 1-8, ¶ 20).

ANALYSIS

Guilty Plea

Defendant argues in support of his Motion in Limine that Monroe is collaterally estopped from testifying to any facts that conflict with those established by his guilty plea. The Full Faith and Credit Act states that:

[t]he records and judicial proceedings of any court of any such State, Territory or Possession.shall have the same full faith and credit in every court within the United States and its Territories and Possessions as they have by law or usage in the courts ...


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