United States District Court, D. New Jersey
P. CATALA On behalf of Plaintiff
TIMOTHY R. BIEG, MADDEN & MADDEN, On behalf of Defendants
Borough of Barrington and Chief David Roberts
A. GALELLA, PARKER MCCAY P.A. On behalf of Defendants
Sergeant Michael Minardi and Patrolman Patrick D'Ascenzo
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
case involves claims of Fourth Amendment violations by two
Borough of Barrington police officers, and claims of
municipal liability against Barrington and its police chief
for having a policy and custom of condoning such violations,
particularly where the individual is of Hispanic descent.
Presently before the Court are the motions of all the
Defendants for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c) for Plaintiff's claims of false
arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, and
conspiracy. For the reasons expressed below,
Defendants' motions will be granted in part and denied in
to his complaint, on October 1, 2014, Plaintiff, Arsenio
Torres, who is of Hispanic descent, was sitting in a car with
his girlfriend, Tiffany Vitale, in the parking lot of his
apartment complex in Barrington, New Jersey. Defendants,
Barrington police sergeant Michael Minardi and patrolman
Patrick D'Ascenzo, approached Plaintiff's car.
Plaintiff claims that even though they had no reason to
suspect him of engaging in any illegal activity, the officers
ordered him out of the car. Plaintiff claims that the
officers used excessive force to seize him and lacked
probable cause to arrest him for aggravated assault,
resisting arrest, obstruction of law, violent behavior, and
offensive language. Plaintiff claims that he was transported
to the hospital for treatment of his injuries prior to being
remanded to the Camden County Correctional Facility.
Plaintiff claims that all the criminal charges against him
were ultimately dismissed except for one of the
on those events, Plaintiff claims that Minardi and
D'Ascenzo violated his Fourth Amendment rights and his
rights under the New Jersey Civil Rights Act
(“NJCRA”) by stopping and arresting him without
probable cause, by using excessive force to effect his
arrest, and for malicious prosecution. He also claims that
the two officers were negligence, committed assault and
battery, and conspired in violation of New Jersey state law.
Plaintiff further claims that the Borough of Barrington, and
the Chief of Police, David Roberts, are liable for
constitutional and NJCRA violations because they had a policy
and custom of failing to investigate police misconduct and
failed to train its officers on the proper use of force and
the concept of probable cause, particularly with regard to
defendants filed answers to Plaintiff's complaint, and
they now move for judgment in their favor, pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c), on all of his claims except those
relating to his claims of excessive force. Plaintiff has
opposed Defendants' motions.
Subject matter jurisdiction
has brought his claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and
New Jersey state law. This Court has jurisdiction over
Plaintiff's federal claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1331,
and supplemental jurisdiction of Plaintiff's state law
claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1367.
Standard for Judgment on the Pleadings
12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings may be filed after
the pleadings are closed. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c); Turbe v.
Gov't of V.I., 938 F.2d 427, 428 (3d Cir. 1991). In
analyzing a Rule 12(c) motion, a court applies the same legal
standards as applicable to a motion filed pursuant to Rule
12(b)(6). Turbe, 938 F.2d at 428. Thus, a court must
accept all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as ...