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Alexander v. Borough of Pine Hill

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

May 15, 2018

KEIDRON ALEXANDER, Plaintiff,
v.
BOROUGH OF PINE HILL, BOROUGH OF PINE HILL POLICE DEPARTMENT, MARY EVA COLALILLO, DANA R. PERTONE, GRACE MACAULAY, PHILLIP MARINO, DEREK KRAMER, and CAMDEN COUNTY, Defendants.

          TONI L. TELLES LAW OFFICES OF ERIC A. SHORE, P.C. On behalf of Plaintiff

          GRAHAM FAVILLE BAIRD LAW OFFICES OF ERIC A. SHORE, P.C. TWO PENN CENTER On behalf of Plaintiff

          MELIHA ARNAUTOVIC ASHLEY GAGNON OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF N.J. On behalf of Defendants Mary Eva Colalillo, Dana R. Pertone, and Grace Macaulay

          OPINION

          NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.

         This matter concerns various § 1983 and New Jersey Civil Rights Act (NJCRA) claims arising from Plaintiff Keidron Alexander's January 2016 arrest. Before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendants Mary Eva Colalillo, Dana Pertone, and Grace MacAulay. For the reasons that follow, the Court will grant Defendants' motion.

         I.

         The Court takes its facts from Plaintiff's July 7, 2017 Second Amended Complaint. On the morning of January 23, 2016, Plaintiff and Averie Jones, Plaintiff's girlfriend who lived with him at the time, engaged in a physical altercation. At no point during the altercation did Plaintiff touch Jones or physically threaten her. During the altercation, Jones poured a pot of boiling water on Plaintiff, resulting in first- and second-degree burns on Plaintiff's back, head, and ear.

         In response, Plaintiff stated he was going to call the police. However, Jones called the police before Plaintiff could. Defendant Officer Marino arrived on the scene first in response to the 911 call. Marino recognized that Jones displayed no signs of physical injury on his arrival. Marino learned that Plaintiff had been scalded with hot water.

         A Pine Hill Police Officer observed burn injuries to Plaintiff's face and relayed to Marino that Plaintiff's skin turned pink and the condition of his neck, ear, and face. Marino acknowledged Plaintiff's injuries. It was recognized that Plaintiff's injuries were so serious that they warranted calling an ambulance.[1]

         Marino asked Jones several times whether she required medical attention, to which Jones responded she did not. Neither Marino nor any other Pine Hill Police Officer spoke with Plaintiff at the scene to get his version of events. Defendant Officer Kramer escorted Plaintiff to Kennedy Hospital. Marino never appeared at the hospital to take a statement from Plaintiff.

         According to Marino, it was not a rare occurrence to arrive at the scene of a domestic violence incident where both parties claim to be a victim. Despite the fact that Marino was aware that Plaintiff exhibited signs of injury in a domestic setting and that Jones exhibited no signs of physical injury, Marino, Kramer, the Borough of Pine Hill, and the Borough of Pine Hill Police Department issued a Statement of Probable Cause and warrant against Plaintiff, charging him with assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(a)(1), and aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)(7). Plaintiff was placed under arrest by Kramer upon leaving the hospital. Jones was not arrested.

         Plaintiff was detained at the Camden County Correctional Facility until January 25, 2016. The charges against Plaintiff were eventually dismissed, and Plaintiff was granted a final restraining order against Jones.

         Plaintiff's July 7, 2017 Second Amended Complaint asserts nine counts: (1) a Fourth Amendment false arrest claim under § 1983; (2) a Fourth Amendment malicious prosecution claim under § 1983; (3) a Fourteenth Amendment selective enforcement claim under § 1983; (4) a Fourteenth Amendment civil rights violations claim under § 1983; (5) a Monell[2] claim under § 1983; (6) a false arrest claim under the NJCRA; (7) a malicious prosecution claim under the NJCRA; (8) a sex discrimination claim under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. 10:5-1[3]; and (9) a claim for equitable relief. ...


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