Marshall v. Meriden et al
RULING granting in part and denying in part 166 Motion for Summary Judgment; granting 175 Motion for Summary Judgment; denying 183 Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Janet C. Hall on 11/28/2017. (Lewis, D) (Additional attachment(s) added on 11/28/2017: # 1 Corrected PDF) (Lewis, D).
unnecessarily tightly so that Marshall was “experience severe pain.” 2d Am. Compl. at
¶¶ 23–24. However, Marshall does not allege that he was injured, physically or
emotionally, by any of this conduct, except that he sustained quarter-inch sized bruises
on the sides of his wrists that went away without medical treatment within two to three
weeks of the arrest.9 See Marshall Dep. (Doc. No. 166-3) at 150–55.
The court has concluded that Evan Cossette and Pekrul had probable cause to
arrest Marshall, and “some degree of force is necessary when effectuating an arrest.”
Frederique v. Cnty of Nassau, 168 F. Supp. 3d 455, 472 (E.D.N.Y. 2016) (quoting Sash
v. United States, 674 F. Supp. 2d 531, 538 (S.D.N.Y. 2009)). Given that the alleged
conduct took place during an arrest, the court concludes that Marshall has not alleged–
–much less provided evidence to support––sufficiently egregious behavior on the part of
Evan Cossette or Pekrul to state a claim pursuant to article first, sections seven and
nine of the Connecticut Constitution, and the defendants are entitled to summary
judgment on this claim.
Additional Issues Related to Claim One
Before proceeding to Marshall’s additional claims, the court is compelled to
address two additional issues, which are argued at length by Marshall in his CrossMotion for Summary Judgment, and are related to––but not material to the outcome of–
–the false arrest claim.
First, in his Memorandum, Marshall attacks several of the factual assertions of
The court notes that Marshall has also alleged that, in the holding cell, Zakrzewski applied
handcuffs that were too tight. See Pl.’s Statement of Facts at ¶ 17. It is not clear whether Marshall is
alleging that the bruises on his wrists were caused by the handcuffs applied by Evan Cossette, or
Zakrzewski, or both.
53a-180 does not prohibit Slezak’s conduct.13 The court further notes that the
discrepancy––while deeply troubling––does not alter the court’s conclusion with respect
to the false arrest claim against Evan Cossette and Pekrul, which conclusion is based
on the existence of probable cause resulting from the COLLECT query.
As to the hearsay argument, the court notes that the report, which is authored by
a defendant, is not hearsay because it is the statement of an opposing party. See
Federal Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2). Furthermore, even if the author of the report were
not a defendant, it would still be admissible if used to prove something other than the
truth of the matter asserted, such as impeachment of a witness. Id. at 801(c)(2).
In Response B, defendant Evan Cossette asserts that the evidence
demonstrates that Slezak was present, although Evan Cossette is notably silent on the
matter in his sworn Affidavit. See Evan Cossette Aff.; Def.’s Response B (Doc. No.
190) at 4–5. Defendant Evan Cossette also argues that the issue is immaterial in any
event. Def.’s Response B at 5. Although the court is highly skeptical of the first
argument, the court agrees that the issue is immaterial to the resolution of the pending
Motions for Summary Judgment.
Unlawful Seizure (Count Two)
In his Second Amended Complaint, Marshall brings an unlawful seizure claim
against Evan Cossette and Pekrul on the ground that those officers unlawfully seized
his license plate. 2d Am. Compl. at 10–11. The court need not reach the question of
whether a license plate can lawfully be seized as evidence of registration and insurance
In arguing that section 53a-180 does apply, Marshall selectively quotes the provision, leaving
out the language which cabins that section to reports of “a fire, explosion, catastrophe or emergency.”
See Pl.’s Mem. at 12.
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