United States District Court, D. New Jersey
H. RODRIGUEZ U.S.D.J.
matter is before the Court on Defendants' motion for
summary judgment  pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 56. The Court has reviewed the submissions and
decides the matter based on the briefs pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 78(b). For the reasons stated here, the motion
will be granted.
a civil action over which the district court has original
jurisdiction based on a question “arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.”
See 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Plaintiff asserts a
violation of his civil rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
18, 2014 at the Berlin Farmers Market in Berlin, New Jersey,
Plaintiff James DiTullio interjected himself into a situation
where police officers were questioning another patron
attempting to sell puppies at the market without a permit. An
altercation between the police officers and Plaintiff ensued,
resulting in Plaintiff's arrest.
case, Plaintiff has asserted claims against Defendant Heron
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for false arrest/imprisonment,
excessive force, conspiracy, and bystander liability as well
as a Monell claim against the municipality. In
briefing the opposition to the motion before the Court,
Plaintiff has conceded the Monell claim.
judgment is proper if there is no genuine issue of material
fact and if, viewing the facts in the light most favorable to
the non-moving party, the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Pearson v. Component
Tech. Corp., 247 F.3d 471, 482 n.1 (3d Cir. 2001)
(citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322
(1986)); accord Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 (a). Thus, the Court
will enter summary judgment in favor of a movant who shows
that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, and
supports the showing that there is no genuine dispute as to
any material fact by “citing to particular parts of
materials in the record, including depositions, documents,
electronically stored information, affidavits or
declarations, stipulations . . . admissions, interrogatory
answers, or other materials.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56
issue is “genuine” if supported by evidence such
that a reasonable jury could return a verdict in the
nonmoving party's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A fact is
“material” if, under the governing substantive
law, a dispute about the fact might affect the outcome of the
suit. Id. In determining whether a genuine issue of
material fact exists, the court must view the facts and all
reasonable inferences drawn from those facts in the light
most favorable to the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec.
Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587
the moving party has the burden of demonstrating the absence
of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Once the moving party
has met this burden, the nonmoving party must identify, by
affidavits or otherwise, specific facts showing that there is
a genuine issue for trial. Id.; Maidenbaum v.
Bally's Park Place, Inc., 870 F.Supp. 1254, 1258
(D.N.J. 1994). Thus, to withstand a properly supported motion
for summary judgment, the nonmoving party must identify
specific facts and affirmative evidence that contradict those
offered by the moving party. Andersen, 477 U.S. at
256-57. “A nonmoving party may not ‘rest upon
mere allegations, general denials or . . . vague statements .
. . .'” Trap Rock Indus., Inc. v. Local 825,
Int'l Union of Operating Eng'rs, 982 F.2d 884,
890 (3d Cir. 1992) (quoting Quiroga v. Hasbro, Inc.,
934 F.2d 497, 500 (3d Cir. 1991)). Indeed,
the plain language of Rule 56(c) mandates the entry of
summary judgment, after adequate time for discovery and upon
motion, against a party who fails to make a showing
sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential
to that party's case, and on which that party will bear
the burden of proof at trial.
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322. That is, the movant can
support the assertion that a fact cannot be genuinely
disputed by showing that “an adverse party cannot
produce admissible evidence to support the [alleged dispute
of] fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(B); accord
deciding the merits of a party's motion for summary
judgment, the court's role is not to evaluate the
evidence and decide the truth of the matter, but to determine
whether there is a genuine issue for trial. Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986).
Credibility determinations are the province of the