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.

Ribaudo v. Desimone

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

April 5, 2019

CHRIS ALBERT RIBAUDO, Plaintiff,
v.
OFFICER SAMUEL DESIMONE, Defendant

          Mariani Judge

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          SUSAN E. SCHWAB CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. Introduction.

         The plaintiff Chris Albert Ribaudo claims that the defendant, a police officer with the Pittston City Police Department, violated his Fourth Amendment rights in in retaliation for Ribaudo being a witness in another pending civil case involving the defendant and in retaliation for Ribaudo refusing to plead guilty. The defendant has filed a motion seeking to dismiss the complaint or, in the alternative, to stay the case until the pending criminal charges against Ribaudo are resolved in state court. For the reasons that follow, we recommend that the complaint not be dismissed, but we recommend that the case be stayed until the criminal charges against Ribaudo are resolved in state court.

         II. Background and Procedural History.

         Ribaudo began this action by filing a complaint naming Pittston City Police Officer Samuel Desimone as the defendant. Ribaudo claims that Desimone retaliated against him because he was a witness in Mawson v. Desimone, 3:16-CV-00400 (M.D. Pa.), where he submitted an affidavit, and because he refused to plead guilty. He also claims that Desimone violated the Fourth Amendment by entering his home and arresting him without a warrant. Ribaudo further claims that Desimone falsified a criminal complaint against him.

         Ribaudo alleges that Officer Desimone and Officer Ferandez learned his address from the affidavit that he submitted in the Mawson case, and on November 22, 2016, they broke into his home. Although they found no drugs, they took Ribaudo and his fiancé Tammy Brown to the police station and held them for approximately four hours. The officers then came to Ribaudo's holding cell, and showing him a small box with bagged up drugs, said look what we found. The officers claimed that they went back to Ribaudo's apartment and found the drugs, even though they had not found any drugs during their search in Ribaudo and Brown's presence. Ribaudo requested a DNA test of the plastic bags containing the drugs, which test came back negative. Ribaudo claims that Desimone's actions were in retaliation for Ribaudo's affidavit in the Mawson case.

         Ribaudo also claims that Desimone retaliated against him when Desimone and his lawyer advised a federal judge that he would be going to plea court in Luzerne County. According to Ribaudo, this was false since he did not plead guilty. After Ribaudo refused to plead guilty, Desimone then retaliated against him by trumping up new charges against Ribaudo based on the original arrest on November 22, 2016. Ribaudo alleges that Desimone used the same police affidavit, etc., and just changed the dates and time to cause Ribaudo difficulty.

         According to Ribaudo, in the early morning hours of February 14, 2018, Desimone and two other officers banged on his front door, and Tammy Brown partially opened the door. When the officers said they were there for Ribaudo, Brown asked to see a warrant and said the officers could not just enter. Desimone responded that they do not need a warrant and pushed the door open forcing Brown out of the way. Ribaudo was not shown a warrant for his arrest. Ribaudo, nevertheless, said ok, let me get my shoes on. Desimone, however, said no, and Ribaudo had to walk on snow and ice without shoes from his residence to the police car. As a result, Ribaudo injured his feet.

         During the ride to the Luzerne County Prison, Desimone told Ribaudo that the charges were from a year and half ago. Ribaudo responded that the drugs were not in his home, and he had been set up because he was a witness in the Mawson case. Desimone told Ribaudo that he should plead guilty to conspiracy. Ribaudo refused, and he reiterated that the drugs were not his and that he had been set up. Ribaudo was booked at the jail and released in the morning on “BAIL/R.O.R.” Doc. 1 at 4.

         According to Ribaudo, Desimone charged him with the same charges that were already pending so he could contact him and encourage him to plead guilty to conspiracy. Ribaudo also alleges that Desimone's confidential informant said he sold drugs, but Desimone refused to disclose the confidential informant's identity. Ribaudo views the new charges against him as Desimone's way of saying “Happy Valentines Day” to a witness in a federal lawsuit.

         Ribaudo also alleges that Desimone falsified his police report by including statements that Desimone says Ribaudo and Brown made when, in fact, they did not make those statements. According to Ribaudo, Desimone is known for this type of conduct. Ribaudo also suggests that Desimone had a conflict of interest in bringing the charges given that he knew Ribaudo was a witness in the Mawson case.

         In addition to attaching numerous affidavits to his complaint, Ribaudo attached to his complaint an affidavit of probable cause from the criminal complaint against Ribaudo dated January 10, 2018, and another affidavit of probable cause dated November 21, 2016.

         Desimone filed a motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) or, in the alternative, for a more definite statement pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e). The motion has been briefed.

         III. ...


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.