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Keith M. Porter v. Dean Dooley

September 6, 2011

KEITH M. PORTER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DEAN DOOLEY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert B. Kugler United States District Judge

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

KUGLER, District Judge

This matter arises out of Plaintiff's March 4, 2008 arrest for robbery, assault, and resisting arrest. Plaintiff brought this § 1983 suit alleging that Defendants Dooley, Paredes, and Clayton violated his Fourth Amendment rights by using excessive force to arrest him. Defendants moved for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 (docket entry 21). Defendants claim that: (1) because Plaintiff plead guilty to second-degree robbery and third-degree resisting arrest, Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), precludes Plaintiff's subsequent Fourth Amendment excessive force claim; (2) Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity; and (3) Plaintiff's complaint should be dismissed for failure to comply with discovery. Plaintiff filed opposition to the motion (docket entry 38), in which he argues that summary judgment should be denied because discovery is not yet complete. For the following reasons, Defendants' motion for summary judgment is DENIED.

I. BACKGROUND

This Court notes the following undisputed facts.

On November 6, 2009, Plaintiff was sentenced to five and one-half years incarceration after pleading guilty to second-degree robbery and third-degree resisting arrest.

The conviction stemmed from a robbery which occurred on March 4, 2008 on Atlantic Avenue in Atlantic City near the Irish Pub. After the incident, the victim relayed to police dispatch that a male in a black hooded sweatshirt and dark pants was the culprit. Police searched the area and identified Plaintiff as the suspect. Plaintiff admitted, in the factual basis for his plea, that in the course of his apprehension following the robbery, Plaintiff ran from the defendant police officers initially, then struggled with officers. A K-9 dog was released and bit Plaintiff in the left calf. Plaintiff spent at least one night in a local hospital for treatment for injuries resulting from his arrest.

Plaintiff filed a section 1983 complaint against the arresting officers in this Court on December 1, 2009. In his complaint, Plaintiff alleges:

After a chase on foot, I gave up[,] got on my hands & knees[,] put my hands behind my head & officer Frankley Parredes [sic] grab[b]ed my left arm & said I told you that you're not gonna get away. Unknown police officer said you like to steal old ladies pocket books & kicked me in the face two times. Officer Clayton & Parredes [sic] & other unknown officers com[m]enced to stomp & kick me. Officer Dean Dooley came with the dog & the dog bit me & then I was escorted by police to the hospital March 4, 2008 on Martin Luther King Blvd. (Complt., ¶ IV).

Defendants answered the complaint on May 25, 2010. Scheduling Orders were entered for discovery, but it appears that no discovery took place prior to the filing of Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment on February 10,2011. Discovery motions remain outstanding on the docket.

II. STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate where the Court is satisfied that "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 330 (1986). A genuine issue of material fact exists only if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could find for the nonmoving party. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). When the Court weighs the evidence presented by ...


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