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Donald Lee, et al v. Tomas Padilla

August 9, 2011

DONALD LEE, ET AL .,
PLAINTIFFS,
v.
TOMAS PADILLA, ET AL .,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. William J. Martini

OPINION

OPINION

I. INTRODUCTION

On March 15, 2011, Plaintiffs Donald Lee, Patrick O'Connor, Allen DeLeone, and Vincent Riotto, officers of the Hackensack Police Department ("HPD"), filed a ten-count civil rights against Defendant HPD Chief of Police, C. Kenneth Zisa, and others, alleging that the Defendants violated their constitutional rights.*fn1

Presently before the Court is Defendant Zisa's Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss the Complaint. For the reasons elaborated below, the motion will be GRANTED in part, and DENIED in part.

Specifically:

Count I: Lee's First Amendment claim against Zisa will be dismissed.

Count II: Lee's CEPA claim will be dismissed against Defendants Zisa, Padilla, and the City of Hackensack. I.e., Count II will be dismissed.

Count IV: O'Connor's First Amendment claim against Zisa will be dismissed.

Count VI: Riotto's Due Process claim against Zisa will be dismissed.

Count VII: Riotto's federal conspiracy claim will be dismissed.

Count VIII: Riotto's civil conspiracy claim against Zisa will be dismissed.

Count IX: Lee's Free Speech/Freedom of Association-related claim against Zisa will be dismissed. O'Connor's Free Speech/Freedom of Association-related claim against Zisa will be dismissed. Riotto's Due Process-related claim against Zisa will be dismissed.

The following counts will go forward:

Count I: Lee's First Amendment claim against Padilla will proceed.

Count III: O'Connor's CEPA claim will proceed.

Count IV: O'Connor's First Amendment claim will proceed against Defendants Padilla, Molinelli, Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, County of Bergen, and the City of Hackensack, but not against Zisa.

Count V: DeLeone's First Amendment claim will proceed against Zisa and Padilla.

Count VI: Riotto's Due Process claim will proceed against all Defendants except Zisa.

Count VIII: Riotto's civil conspiracy claim will proceed against all Defendants except Zisa.

Count IX: Plaintiffs' claim under NJCRA will go forward except in relation to Lee's Free Speech/Freedom of Association-related claim against Zisa; except in relation to O'Connor's Free Speech/Freedom of Association-related claim against Zisa; and except in relation to Riotto's Due Process-related claim against Zisa.

Count X: Plaintiffs' claim against the City of Hackensack will go forward.

Finally, all conduct by Chief Zisa pre-dating March 15, 2009 or post-dating April 30, 2010 under any remaining count is barred for the purpose ...


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