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HILD v. BRUNER

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY


July 28, 1980

Richard C. HILD, and George R. Hild, Plaintiffs,
v.
Britton BRUNER, etc. et al., Defendants

The opinion of the court was delivered by: WHIPPLE

This is a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, with a pendent state claim for false arrest. The events giving rise to the complaint took place early in the morning of October 23, 1978 after plaintiffs George and Richard Hild were stopped for traffic violations in front of their home by defendant Britton Bruner, a police officer of Andover Township, New Jersey. Shortly thereafter a struggle ensued involving the two Hilds against Bruner and defendants Morris and Mills, police officers of the Town of Newton who arrived pursuant to an earlier radio request by officer Bruner. The Hilds alleged that they suffered physical and mental injuries as a result of the struggle and arrests.

The Hilds brought this action against Bruner, Mills, Morris, Andover Township and the Town of Newton. Plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction in 1979 in order to enjoin the defendants from harassing and otherwise interfering with their freedom to travel and rights to privacy. This motion was denied.

 The case proceeded to trial before a jury on May 1, 1980. At the close of the case the Court charged the jury on the New Jersey law of false arrest and on federal law in § 1983 actions seeking compensatory and punitive damages. The Court then submitted special interrogatories to the jury in order that it could assess the relative liability of and appropriate kind and measure of damages to be awarded against each of the five defendants. The jury returned verdicts in favor of the Hilds and against all defendants for compensatory and punitive damages as follows: Plaintiff Defendant Claim Kind of Damages Amount George Hild Bruner Civil Rights Compensatory $ 17,000 " " " Punitive 5,000 " Mills " Compensatory 15,000 " " " Punitive 5,000 " Morris " Compensatory 5,000 " " " Punitive 3,000 " Andover " Compensatory 18,000 " " " Punitive 7,500 " Newton " Compensatory 11,000 " " " Punitive 7,500 Richard Hild Bruner Civil Rights Compensatory 5,000 " " " Punitive 5,000 " Mills " Compensatory 2,500 " " " Punitive 5,000 " Morris " Compensatory 2,500 " " " Punitive 3,000 " Andover " Compensatory 7,000 " " " Punitive 7,500 " Newton " Compensatory 4,000 " " " Punitive 7,500 George & Richard Hild Bruner False Arrest Compensatory 10,000 " Mills " " 6,000 " Morris " " 6,000

19800728

© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.



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