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Bey v. Fava

April 23, 2008

RASHAD KARIM AMEEN BEY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ERIC DEL FAVA, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hillman, District Judge

OPINION

This matter has come before the Court on defendants' motion for summary judgment on all of plaintiff's claims alleging various constitutional violations. For the reasons expressed below, defendants' motion will be granted.

BACKGROUND

On March 28, 2007, defendant Eric Del Fava, a police detective with Winslow Township Police Department, along with the Winslow Township Stakeout Unit, performed a search on 60 Orlando Drive, Sicklerville, New Jersey, which is the residence of plaintiff, Rashad Karim Ameen Bey. The search was performed because the police believed that evidence of burglaries and thefts allegedly committed by plaintiff's step-son, Sadao Scafe, would be found at the residence.

Plaintiff claims that this search was unreasonable and unlawful in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. Plaintiff also claims that his arrest during this search was without probable cause. Plaintiff has asserted these claims against Del Fava, the Honorable Michael Diamond, JMC, Winslow Township, the Camden County Prosecutor's Office, and Camden County. All defendants have moved for summary judgment on plaintiff's claims.

DISCUSSION

A. Jurisdiction

Because plaintiff has brought claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged violations of his constitutional rights, this Court has jurisdiction of this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

B. Summary Judgment Standard

Summary judgment is appropriate where the Court is satisfied that "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 a judgment as a matter of law." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 330 (1986); Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c).

An issue is "genuine" if it is supported by evidence such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict in the nonmoving party's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A fact is "material" if, under the governing substantive law, a dispute about the fact might affect the outcome of the suit. Id. In considering a motion for summary judgment, a district court may not make credibility determinations or engage in any weighing of the evidence; instead, the non-moving party's evidence "is to be believed and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor." Marino v. Industrial Crating Co., 358 F.3d 241, 247 (3d Cir. 2004)(quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255).

Initially, the moving party has the burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Once the moving party has met this burden, the nonmoving party must identify, by affidavits or otherwise, specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Id. Thus, to withstand a properly supported motion for summary judgment, the nonmoving party must identify specific facts and affirmative evidence that contradict those offered by the moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256-57. A party opposing summary judgment must do more than just rest upon mere allegations, general denials, or vague statements. Saldana v. Kmart Corp., 260 F.3d 228, 232 (3d Cir. 2001).

C. Analysis

Plaintiff's complaint can be construed as asserting three claims for violations of his Fourth Amendment rights: 1) search of his home without probable cause; 2) excessive force in the execution of the search; and 3) false arrest. Prior to analyzing these claims substantively, however, these claims against defendants Judge Michael Diamond, Winslow ...


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