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10.22.2013

HOWD & LUDORF, LLC WINS 2D CIRCUIT APPEAL IN VERNON POLICE CASE

       Howd & Ludorf, LLC Partner, Alan. R. Dembiczak, won summary judgment, which has now been affirmed on appeal by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2d Circuit, in the case of Stanley v. Meier.  On October 15, 2009, the pro se plaintiff, Steven Stanley, brought suit against various Vernon Police Officers, including Officer Meier,  as a result of a September 18, 2009 physical struggle with officers while being booked on  criminal charges, which resulted in Stanley being tased.  He filed suit in the United States District Court pleading claims of excessive force, failure to investigate the crime for which he was arrested and failure to provide medical treatment.

On June 21, 2012, the District Court granted Attorney Dembiczak’s summary judgment motion in it’s entirety.  First, the Court dismissed all claims against officers that were not personally involved.  The Court also dismissed the denial of medical treatment claim, as it found that Stanley did not have a serious medical condition and received medical treatment 24 minutes after he was tased.  It also dismissed the excessive force claim, finding that the officers use of force was objectively reasonable in light of the circumstances.  The Court found that during the booking process, Stanley became combative, lunged at officers multiple times, failed to comply with multiple verbal commands and physically struggled with officers’ attempts to place him in handcuffs.  Finally, the Court dismissed the plaintiff’s allegation of failure to investigate, as there is no right to the investigation of another.

Stanley appealed the Court’s summary judgment ruling to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.  Upon a de novo review, the Second Circuit issued a Summary Order concluding that the defendants were entitled to judgment on all claims, for the reasons set forth by the District Court.

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