United States District Court, D. New Jersey
XAVIER INGRAM and DARREN A. DICKERSON, Plaintiffs,
COUNTY OF CAMDEN, et al., Defendants.
Shelley Lynn Stangler, Esq. Terrence Michael McNamara, Esq.
LAW OFFICES OF SHELLEY L. STANGLER, P.C. Attorneys for
William M. Tambussi, Esq. William F. Cook, Esq. BROWN &
CONNERY, LLP Attorneys for Defendants
HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE, DISTRICT JUDGE
14, 2014, Plaintiff Xavier Ingram was allegedly assaulted by
several Camden County Police Officers resulting in
catastrophic injuries including quadriplegia, in violation of
42 U.S.C. § 1983. As the alleged assault unfolded,
Plaintiff Darren A. Dickerson was a bystander who yelled
curse words at the police officers about their misconduct and
allegedly was also attacked by certain police officers,
causing injury, also in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiffs filed separate suits in this Court which were
consolidated by the Court under this case number on January
15, 2019. (See Order [Docket Item 211].)
Dickerson claims come before the Court by way of motion for
summary judgment filed by Defendants County of Camden, Camden
County Police Department, Chief John Scott Thomson, Orlando
Cuevas, and Nigel Shockley (hereinafter, collectively,
“Defendants”). (See Motion for Summary
Judgment [Docket Item 56].) The present motion is opposed by
Plaintiff Dickerson. (See Plaintiff's Brief in
Opposition to Motion for Summary Judgment (hereinafter
“Pl.'s Opp'n”) [Docket Item 67].)
Thereafter, Defendants filed a reply brief. (See
Reply Brief (hereinafter “Defs.' Reply”)
[Docket Item 68].)
Court has considered the submissions and held oral argument
on March 21, 2019. For the reasons set forth below,
Defendants' motion for summary judgment [Docket Item 56]
will be granted in part and denied in part. The Court finds
Factual and Procedural Background.
factual and procedural background of this case was previously
detailed in the Court's Memorandum Opinion of January 16,
2019, and shall not be repeated herein, except as necessary
for the determination of the present motion. See Ingram
v. Cty. of Camden, No. 14-5519, 2019 WL 231759 (D.N.J.
Jan. 16, 2019). Discovery extending over several years has
been completed and the motion is ripe for decision.
Standard of Review.
summary judgment, the moving party bears the initial burden
of demonstrating that there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); accord Celotex Corp.
v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Once a properly
supported motion for summary judgment is made, the burden
shifts to the non-moving party, who must set forth specific
facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250
(1986). In reviewing a motion for summary judgment, the court
is required to examine the evidence in light most favorable
to the non-moving party and resolve all reasonable inferences
in that party's favor. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S.
372, 378 (2007); Halsey v. Pfeiffer, 750 F.3d 273,
287 (3d Cir. 2014).
factual dispute is material when it “might affect the
outcome of the suit under the governing law, ” and
genuine when “the evidence is such that a reasonable
jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.”
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. The non-moving party
“need not match, item for item, each piece of evidence
proffered by the movant, ” but must present more than a
“mere scintilla” of evidence on which a jury
could reasonably find for the non-moving party. Boyle v.
Cnty. of Allegheny, Pa., 139 F.3d 386, 393 (3d Cir.
1998) (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252).
move for summary judgment as to three separate portions of
Plaintiff Dickerson's Complaint [Docket Item 1].
Defendants allege that Plaintiff Dickerson's false arrest
claim is barred by Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477
(1994), or by the presence of probable cause, or because
Defendant Shockley is protected by the doctrine of qualified
immunity. (Defs.' Br. [Docket Item 56-1], 6-14.)
Defendants further assert that they are entitled to summary
judgment as to Plaintiff Dickerson's claim regarding the
use of excessive force because the force used by Defendant
Shockley against Plaintiff Dickerson was reasonable and
because Defendant Shockley is protected by the doctrine of
qualified immunity. (Id. at 14-21.) Finally,
Defendants assert that they are entitled to summary judgment
as to all claims against Defendants County of Camden, Camden
County Police Department, John Scott Thomson, and Orlando
Cuevas because the County's training, policies, and
discipline meet applicable requirements. (Id. at