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7.31.2014

Howd & Ludorf, LLC Wins Summary Judgment For Wallingford Police Department In Wrongful Arrest

        Howd & Ludorf, LLC partners Thomas R. Gerarde and Kristan M. Maccini have secured summary judgment for the Wallingford Police Department in a case by a man who believed he had a right to openly carry a handgun, even though he was causing fear annoyance and alarm to the patrons of a local pool hall.  In Burgess v. Town of Wallingford  ______ Fed. Appx. _____ (2014) Plaintiff was arrested for disorderly conduct after patrons of a pool hall became alarmed at the sight of his exposed handgun and extra clips of ammunition.  Plaintiff had a valid permit for his handgun, however,  Wallingford Police officers determined he had caused annoyance and alarm sufficient to support arrest for disorderly conduct.  Plaintiff sued for civil rights violation based on a false arrest and violation of his Second Amendment right to bear arms.  The District Court granted summary judgment based on Qualified Immunity, given that there was at least arguable probable cause for a disorderly conduct arrest and there was no clearly established right under the Second Amendment to openly carry a handgun outside the home.  On appeal, the 2d Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the entry of summary judgment for the officers, noting that Connecticut Appellate has warned all permit holders that even though they carry a lawful permit to possess the handgun, they still can be arrested for breach of peace or disorderly conduct if they cause annoyance or alarm in public.

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