Figueroa v. Mazza et al., No. 14-4116 (2d Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and state law for false arrest, excessive force, assault, failure to intervene, and unlawful entry. The district court granted summary judgment as to the claims of unlawful entry and the other claims were tried to a jury. After a verdict in favor of plaintiff on the remaining counts, the district court granted judgment for defendants under Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 50(b). The court agreed with the district court's disposition of plaintiff’s false arrest claims. Because the trial record establishes that a reasonable law enforcement officer could have concluded that there existed probable cause to arrest plaintiff, defendants can claim the protection of qualified immunity. The court concluded that the force used in effecting plaintiff’s arrest was reasonable as a matter of law, and found no error in the district court’s dismissal of unnamed defendants or discovery rulings. Therefore, the court affirmed the judgment insofar as it disposed of plaintiff’s claims for false arrest, excessive force, and assault, dismissed unnamed defendants, and refused to permit further discovery. However, the district court erred in concluding, as a matter of law, that defendants had no realistic opportunity to intervene in an alleged assault on plaintiff by an unidentified police officer and that plaintiff lacked a legitimate expectation of privacy in his mother’s apartment. Accordingly, the court vacated the judgment in regard to the failure-to-intervene and unlawful-entry claims and remanded for further proceedings.