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7.31.2014

Howd & Ludorf, LLC Wins Reversal At 2d Circuit In Enfield Police Civil Rights Case

        Howd & Ludorf, LLC Partners Thomas R. Gerarde and Beatrice S. Jordan have won reversal of a District Court decision denying summary judgment to Enfield police detective Michael Bailey, in a recently released decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals in Pines v. Bailey  ______Fed. Appx.  ____ (2d Cir. 2014)..  Pines was arrested by warrant after Enfield Police officers, while responding to a domestic call,  found a loaded gun in an area accessible to Pines’  children.  Pines sued for civil rights violation, claiming his arrest was unlawful because the Defendant filed an improper affidavit in support of the arrest warrant by (1) leaving out the fact that Pines told the officers that he planned to remove the gun from the home but the domestic dispute with his wife ensued, and he was unable to do so;  and (2) by including a statement attributable to Pines that the gun was loaded.  The District Court denied the defendant’s Summary Judgment motion, finding that it was up to the jury to determine whether the omitted information would have made a difference in the ultimate decision to issue the warrant.  On appeal the 2d Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the District court  and ordered that judgment enter for the Defendant on the wrongful arrest claim.  The Court of Appeals noted,  noted, “Contrary to the district court's finding, including in the affidavit Pines’ statement that he intended to retrieve his pistol and omitting the erroneous assertion that Pines stated that the pistol was loaded would not have altered this analysis. At a minimum, the corrected affidavit would still support the reasonable inference that Pines left a loaded pistol accessible to his children before he purportedly attempted to retrieve it, permitting Bailey and a reasonable magistrate to conclude that probable cause existed to initiate a prosecution for reckless endangerment.”

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