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YOUNG v. CITY OF HACKENSACK

August 11, 2005.

BRYANT YOUNG, Plaintiff,
v.
THE CITY OF HACKENSACK, HACKENSACK POLICE OFFICERS or SUPERVISORY POLICE OFFICERS, and DOES 1-5, Inclusive, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WILLIAM J. MARTINI, District Judge

OPINION

This matter comes before the Court on defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment seeking to dismiss plaintiff's complaint and to impose sanctions on plaintiff. There was no oral argument. Fed.R.Civ.P. 78. After full consideration, defendants' motion is GRANTED, plaintiff's complaint is DISMISSED in its entirety, and defendants' request for sanctions is DENIED. BACKGROUND

  This is a civil rights action arising out of the arrest of Bryant Young, pro se plaintiff, by members of the Hackensack and New York State police departments. On May 3, 2002, Detective Sergeant Stephen Moger of the Hackensack Police Department learned from his Captain that officers from New York had requested the department's assistance in making an arrest later that evening. At approximately 9:30 p.m., New York State police officers Sergeant Michael Enright, Detective Terry Leto, and Detective Joseph Calabrese appeared in the Hackensack Police Department to effectuate the arrest. Sergeant Enright informed officer Moger that plaintiff was charged with Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree and that this was a felony offense because the alleged victim was a police officer. Sergeant Enright presented officer Moger with a New York warrant issued by Magistrate Judge James D. Gibbons that ordered plaintiff's arrest. He also provided officer Moger with a mugshot pedigree of plaintiff along with his Hacksensack address.

  Hackensack police officers then accompanied the New York officers to plaintiff's residence and arrested plaintiff. Subsequently, plaintiff was detained in the Bergen County Justice Center, Hackensack, New Jersey, on the charge of being a fugitive from justice until he posted bail on May 9, 2002. On April 29, 2004 plaintiff filed a complaint against the defendants predicated on alleged violations of his civil rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

  Plaintiff's § 1983 claims allege violations of his First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. In essence, plaintiff alleges that Hackensack police officers arrested him without a valid New York arrest warrant, and that he could not be lawfully arrested without the issuance of a New Jersey arrest warrant. All of plaintiff's claims arise out of the arrest on May 3, 2002. Because plaintiff introduces no evidence to support his claims that his arrest and detainment violated his constitutional rights, the Court grants defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment and plaintiff's complaint is dismissed.

  ANALYSIS

  I. Summary Judgment Standard

  Summary judgment eliminates unfounded claims without resorting to a costly and lengthy trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 327 (1986). However, a court should grant summary judgment only "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show 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). The burden of showing that no genuine issue of material fact exists rests initially on the moving party. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. A litigant may discharge this burden by exposing "the absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case." Id. at 325. In evaluating a summary judgment motion, a court must view all evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986); Goodman v. Mead Johnson & Co., 534 F.2d 566, 573 (3d Cir. 1976).

  Once the moving party has made a properly supported motion for summary judgment, the burden shifts to the nonmoving party to "set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986). The substantive law determines which facts are material. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. "Only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment." Id. No issue for trial exists unless the nonmoving party can demonstrate sufficient evidence favoring it such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict in that party's favor. Id. at 249.

  II. Plaintiff's § 1983 Claims Alleging Violations Of His Constitutional Rights Are Unsubstantiated

  For a § 1983 claim to survive summary judgment, there must be some evidence that: (1) the conduct complained of was committed by a person acting under color of law; and (2) this conduct deprived plaintiff of rights, privileges or immunities secured by the U.S. Constitution or laws of the United States. See Shaw by Strain v. Strackhouse, 920 F.2d 1135, 1142 (3d Cir. 1990).

  Plaintiff's § 1983 claims are predicated on alleged violations of his First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. (See Compl. ¶¶ 29, 33). There is, however, no evidence to support plaintiff's § 1983 claims that his federal constitutional rights were violated.

  A. The First, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments Are Not Implicated by Plaintiff's Allegations

  Plaintiff alleges that his § 1983 claims are based in part on violations of his First, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment rights. (See Compl. ¶¶ 29, 33). The First Amendment serves to protect the free exercise of religion and the freedom of speech and assembly. See U.S. CONST. amend. I. However, plaintiff produces no evidence that his First Amendment rights were infringed upon, and his deposition acknowledges the groundlessness of this claim. (See Pl.'s Dep. at 131:11-13). The Sixth Amendment involves the right to a speedy trial and to counsel. See U.S. CONST. amend. VI. "[T]he Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial attaches at the time of arrest or indictment, whichever comes first, and continues until the trial commences." United States v. Sprouts, 282 F.3d 1037, 1042 (8th Cir. 2002) (citation omitted). Generally speaking, a defendant's trial must occur within seventy days of his indictment or first appearance, whichever occurs later. See 18 U.S.C. § 3161(c)(1). Because plaintiff's ...


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