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.

Emmi v. Deangelo

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

August 21, 2017

JOHN EMMI, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL DEANGELO, et at., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM

          EDUARDO C. ROBRENO, J.

          Plaintiff John Emmi (“Plaintiff”) brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for excessive force and bystander liability against Defendants Michael DeAngelo and Benjamin King, both of whom are Pennsylvania State Police Troopers. During trial, Defendants sought to introduce testimony from Plaintiff's wife, Marianne Emmi (“Mrs. Emmi”). Mrs. Emmi, though present in court, invoked her spousal privilege and refused to testify. For the reasons that follow, the Court upholds Mrs. Emmi's claim to spousal privilege but rules admissible certain portions of the deposition Mrs. Emmi previously provided in this case.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff alleges in his complaint that, on July 21, 2014, he was pulling out of the driveway of his residence at 365C S. Old Middletown Road in Media, Pennsylvania, when he noticed Defendants DeAngelo and King approaching his vehicle. See Compl. ¶¶ 9-10, ECF No. 1. Upon seeing Defendants DeAngelo and King, he turned off the engine of his vehicle, stepped out of the vehicle, and placed his hands in the air. Id. ¶ 10. Defendant DeAngelo then “suddenly and without any reasonable justification” grabbed Plaintiff's arm and “swung him around, forcefully pushed his body up against the rear of his vehicle, then proceeded to pull the Plaintiff's arms around his back and placed him in handcuffs.” Id. ¶ 11. While Plaintiff was being handcuffed, Defendant King “without any reasonable justification, repeatedly kneed Plaintiff in his right leg.” Id. ¶ 12. Plaintiff claims that “he was not resisting arrest and [this] use of force was unreasonable under the circumstances in violation of . . . the Fourth Amendment.” Id. ¶ 14.

         Defendants' version of the story includes the following preamble, the truth of which Plaintiff has not disputed:

On July 21, 2014 at approximately 6pm, Plaintiff and his wife, Marianne Emmi, got into an argument at their home in Middletown Township, Delaware County. Mrs. Emmi eventually called 911. Plaintiff ripped the phone off the wall during the call. Plaintiff also at some point climbed in a window and broke a vase. [Defendants DeAngelo and King] were dispatched to the location. They were informed by dispatch that it was an active domestic dispute, the call had been cutoff and the husband drove a pickup truck.

Defs.' Final Pretrial Mem. at 1, ECF No. 22.

         At trial, Defendants moved to compel Mrs. Emmi's testimony as a witness against Plaintiff. Alternatively, Defendants sought to read into the record the deposition that Mrs. Emmi had previously provided in this case. Plaintiff opposed both requests. For the reasons that follow, the Court finds that Mrs. Emmi has properly invoked her spousal privilege and therefore may not be compelled to testify against Plaintiff, her husband. Relevant portions of her deposition testimony, however, may be read into the record pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 32 and Federal Rule of Evidence 804.

         II. PRIVILEGE

         Federal Rule of Evidence 501 governs the applicability of federal privileges and also delineates when state law privileges apply to federal litigation. This rule provides in full as follows:

         The common law--as interpreted by United States courts in the light of reason and experience--governs a claim of privilege unless any of the following provides otherwise:

• the United States Constitution;
• a federal statute; or
• rules prescribed by the Supreme ...

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.