United States District Court, D. New Jersey
CORNELIUS J. KILGARRIFF, IV, Plaintiff,
THOMAS I. STRUNK, MATEUSZ RYBA, COLBY MELOY, ROBERT PATANELLA, TIM SHARPE, STEPHEN SCHAFFER, CHAD CALLAHAN, OCEAN CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT, CITY OF OCEAN CITY, NJ, JOHN DOES 1-5, Defendants.
Salvatore P. Difazio 84 Park Avenue Gavel Hall On behalf of
Michael Barker Barker, Gelfand & James Linwood Greene On
behalf of Defendants
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
matter concerns claims by Plaintiff that an Ocean City, New
Jersey police officer used excessive force when he arrested
Plaintiff at a party where there was underage drinking.
Presently before the Court is the motion of Defendants to
dismiss Plaintiff's claims against them on various
bases. For the reasons expressed below,
Defendants' motion will be granted.
21, 2016, Plaintiff, Cornelius J. Kilgarriff, IV, who was 18
years old at the time, was a guest at a party in a home in
Ocean City, New Jersey. Plaintiff claims that several
officers entered the home because they suspected that
underage drinking was occurring. According to Plaintiff,
Defendant Thomas I. Strunk, an Ocean City police officer,
opened the door to the room where Plaintiff was located and
pointed his gun in Plaintiff's face. Plaintiff questioned
why it was necessary for Strunk to act in that manner.
Ultimately, Strunk arrested Plaintiff and placed him in
claims that after he was handcuffed, Strunk violently
assaulted him on the front porch with his fists, arms and
knees. Plaintiff claims that Strunk then violently threw
Plaintiff's head against a pole on the porch. As Strunk
walked Plaintiff to the patrol car, Plaintiff claims that he
protested that Strunk's actions constituted police
brutality, and in response, Strunk slammed Plaintiff's
head and body into the patrol car before forcing him into the
back seat. Plaintiff claims that during this entire encounter
he was handcuffed and did not resist. Plaintiff also claims
that other Ocean City police officers, Defendants Mateusz
Ryba, Colby Meloy, Robert Patanella, and Tim Sharpe, should
have known that Strunk's use of force was excessive and
intervened to stop him.
was taken to the police station, processed, and then released
in the middle of the night. Plaintiff claims that no one
asked him about his injuries. He obtained medical treatment
the next day.
alleges that his constitutional rights were violated by
Strunk's use of excessive force and the other
officers' failure to intervene. Plaintiff also alleges
that Ocean City and the Ocean City Police Chief, Defendant
Chad Callahan, as well as Sergeant Stephen Schaffer, violated
his constitutional rights by failing to train and supervise
Ocean City officers in the proper use of force, and by
fostering a policy and custom of using unlawful force.
Monell v. Dept. of Social Services of City of New
York, 436 U.S. 658, 694 (1978).
has moved do dismiss Plaintiff's Monell claim as
boilerplate pleading lacking any factual
underpinning. For the same reason, the Defendant
officers, except for Strunk, have moved to dismiss
Plaintiff's failure to intervene claims, and Callahan and
Schaffer have moved to dismiss Plaintiff's supervisory
liability claims. Plaintiff has opposed Defendants'
motion, arguing that Defendants are sufficiently on notice of
his claims and that he is entitled to discovery to flush out
the facts to support his claims.
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
has brought claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This
Court has jurisdiction over Plaintiff's claims under 28
U.S.C. § 1331.
Standard for ...