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.

Edwards v. Newton

United States District Court, Third Circuit

June 25, 2013

EMILY EDWARDS, et al.
v.
OFFICER CHERYL NEWTON, et al.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

L. FELIPE RESTREPO, District Judge.

On December 22, 2011, Plaintiff Emily Edwards filed a complaint on behalf of herself and her minor child, Bobby Edwards, against a number of individual City of Philadelphia police officers, alleging civil rights violations, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and a number of pendent state law claims. Plaintiff also asserted a claim against the City of Philadelphia, by and through its executive officers, Charles H. Ramsey and Michael Nutter, contending that the City had a policy, practice or custom of allowing officers to violate citizens' constitutional rights. Presently before the Court is Defendants City of Philadelphia, Mayor Michael Nutter, Charles Ramsey, Thomas Howe, Thomas Lauf, Marc Moreau, and Joseph McGarry's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 22) (hereinafter cited as "Def.'s Memo"), and Plaintiff's response thereto (Doc.23) (hereinafter cited as "Pl.'s Resp.").[1] For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' Motion will be granted in part and denied in part.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Emily Edwards alleges that at approximately 9:45 p.m., on June 21, 2010, Officers Cheryl Newton, Thomas Howe, and Marc Moreau, arrived at Plaintiff's home, 1628 N. 55th Street in response to a 9-1-1 call, and ordered Plaintiff out of her apartment and into the hallway, while removing by force from her arms her then two-year-old son, Bobby Edwards. Plaintiff contends that the arresting officers then proceeded to assault her by punching and striking her repeatedly, kneeing her in the back, and slamming her ankle in the door of a police automobile, causing extensive bruising to her foot, face, arms, and legs. The arresting officers then transported Plaintiff to the Nineteenth District Precinct, where Defendant Reyes allegedly assaulted Plaintiff by striking and choking her and Defendant Westbrook threatened to kill her. Plaintiff further alleges that Officers Newton and Moreau lifted her dress above her head and forced her to remain in a state of undress through the cell area of the building in front of other officers and individuals who were in custody. As a result of the said acts of the Defendant officers, Plaintiff alleges that she suffered physical pain and suffering and emotional trauma and suffering.

Plaintiff's Complaint, filed on December 22, 2011, names as individual defendants Officers Cheryl Newton, Marc Moreau, Thomas Howe, Thomas Lauf, Joseph McGarry, Vivianna Reyes, and Andrea Westbrook. Plaintiff also names the City of Philadelphia, by and through its executive officers, Mayor Michael Nutter and Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey, as a defendant in this matter and asserts a claim of municipal liability, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Pls.' Compl. 5-7). Defendants City of Philadelphia, Moreau, Howe, Lauf, McGarry, Nutter and Ramsey now move for summary judgment on all of Plaintiff's claims.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriately granted only where the moving party establishes that "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Levy v. Sterling Holding Co. , 544 F.3d 493, 501 (3d Cir. 2008). When the movant does not bear the burden of persuasion at trial, it may meet its burden on summary judgment by showing that the nonmoving party's evidence is insufficient to carry its burden of persuasion. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett , 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986). Only a factual dispute that is both genuine and material will defeat a motion for summary judgment. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc. , 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986). A factual dispute can be considered "genuine" if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could possibly return a verdict for the non-moving party. See id. A dispute can be considered "material" if it would affect the outcome of the matter under governing substantive law. Id.

In reviewing the record, a court "must view the facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and draw all inferences in that party's favor." Prowel v. Wise Bus. Forms , 32 F.3d768, 777 (3d Cir. 2009). The court may not, however, make credibility determinations or weigh the evidence in considering motions for summary judgment. See Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods. , 530 U.S. 133, 150 (2000); see also Goodman v. Pa. Tpk. Comm'n , 293 F.3d 655, 665 (3d Cir. 2002).

III. DISCUSSION

A. Counts One and Two - 42 U.S.C. § 1983 Against Individual Defendants

Defendants first argue that they are entitled to summary judgment on Plaintiffs' § 1983 claims because the record shows they did not violate Plaintiffs' constitutional rights as a matter of law. Plaintiff asserts in Counts One and Two of her Complaint that her rights under the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments were violated by the named defendants.

1. Officers Howe, Lauf, and McGarry

With respect to Officers Howe, Lauf, and McGarry, Plaintiff has presented no evidence that these defendants had any physical contact with Plaintiff or Plaintiff's son. Plaintiff testified that officer Cheryl Newton and two other female officers were the only officers who made physical contact with her. See Plaintiff's Deposition Transcript pp. 45-46 (Doc. 22 Ex. A). Officers Howe, Lauf, and McGarry are male officers. Moreover, it is undisputed that these Defendants were not involved in Plaintiff's arrest and that the only officer to have contact with Bobby Edwards was Officer Moreau. Because Plaintiff has presented no evidence that Defendants Howe, Lauf, and ...


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.