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Harden v. City of Millville

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

May 8, 2018

KENNETH HARDEN, Plaintiff,
v.
THE CITY OF MILLVILLE, CHIEF JODY FARABELLA, individually and in his official capacity, OFFICER JEFFREY PROFFIT, Defendants.

          MELISSA YVETTE HOFFMAN CONRAD J. BENEDETTO ON BEHALF OF PLAINTIFF

          KEITH ALTMAN (PRO HAC) SOLOMON RADNER (PRO HAC) EXCOLO LAW, PLLC ON BEHALF OF PLAINTIFF

          THOMAS B. REYNOLDS REYNOLDS & HORN, P.C. A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION ON BEHALF OF DEFENDANTS THE CITY OF MILLVILLE AND CHIEF JODY FARABELLA

          PATRICK JOSEPH MADDEN MADDEN & MADDEN, PA ON BEHALF OF DEFENDANT OFFICER JEFFREY PROFFIT

          OPINION

          NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.

         This matter concerns various § 1983 and related state law claims by Plaintiff Kenneth Harden against Defendants the City of Millville, Chief Jody Farabella, and Officer Jeffrey Proffit. Before the Court is a motion to dismiss by the City of Millville and Farabella based on the statute of limitations. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will grant the motion.

         I.

         The Court takes its facts from Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint. In 2015, Plaintiff and a companion were driving in the City of Millville when they were stopped by Officer Proffit of the City of Millville Police Department. After stopping Plaintiff, Proffit “forced Plaintiff out of his vehicle and without provocation punched Plaintiff numerous times in the face and about his body.” Fearing for his safety, Plaintiff attempted to flee. He was chased by Proffit who pulled out his service weapon. In response, Plaintiff stopped running and was apprehended.

         Proffit then “pushed and shoved Plaintiff to the ground, ” where “Officer Proffit attempted unsuccessfully to shove his service gun into Plaintiff's mouth.” He then “pistol-whipped Plaintiff on the back-right side of his head causing Plaintiff's head to split open and begin bleeding.” Plaintiff was taken to the Millville Police Headquarters where he was charged with resisting arrest. After being processed, Plaintiff was transported to Inspira Hospital in Vineland, New Jersey, where he received multiple staples to his head. In addition to the injury to his head, Plaintiff also had other abrasions, scratches, and bruises on his face and torso. He also had a headache and injury to the middle finger on his right hand. As a result of the 2015 incident, Plaintiff has suffered continuously from nightmares and dizziness.

         Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint in this matter on July 18, 2017. Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint asserts eight counts against Defendants: (1) a § 1983 claim appearing to be a Monell[1] claim, (2) what appears to be a § 1983 claim under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, (3) a § 1983 claim for supervisory liability, (4) a claim for violation of the New Jersey Civil Rights Act, N.J.S.A. 10:6-1, (5) battery, (6) negligence, (7) a § 1983 claim under the Fourth Amendment for unlawful arrest, and (8) a § 1983 claim under the Fourth Amendment for excessive force.

         All Defendants answered on August 10, 2017, specifically asserting a statute of limitations defense. On October 12, 2017, Defendants the City of Millville and Farabella filed their motion to dismiss.[2]

         II.

         This Court has federal question jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331, as Plaintiff brings claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court exercises supplemental jurisdiction ...


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