Carmona v. Toledo, No. 99-1246

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore Stahl, Circuit Judge, Campbell, Senior Circuit Judge, and Lynch; Campbell
Citation2000 WL 767873,215 F.3d 124
Docket NumberNo. 99-1246
Decision Date07 January 2000
Parties(1st Cir. 2000) CARMEN CARMONA, ETC., ET AL., PLAINTIFFS, APPELLANTS, V. PEDRO A. TOLEDO, ET AL., DEFENDANTS, APPELLEES. . Heard

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215 F.3d 124 (1st Cir. 2000)
CARMEN CARMONA, ETC., ET AL., PLAINTIFFS, APPELLANTS,
V.
PEDRO A. TOLEDO, ET AL., DEFENDANTS, APPELLEES.
No. 99-1246.
United States Court of Appeals, for the First Circuit.
Heard Jan. 7, 2000.
Decided June 16, 2000.

APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF PUERTO RICO. Hon. Jose Antonio Fuste, U.S. District Judge.

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Copyrighted Material Omitted

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Iris Y. Valentin-Juarbe for appellants.

Leticia Casalduc-Rabell with whom Gustavo A. Gelpi, Solicitor General, Edda Serrano-Blasini, Deputy Solicitor General, and Roxanna Badillo-Rodriguez, Assistant Solicitor General, United States Department of Justice, Federal Litigation Division, were on brief for appellees.

Before Stahl, Circuit Judge, Campbell, Senior Circuit Judge, and Lynch, Circuit Judge.

Campbell, Senior Circuit Judge.

Plaintiff-appellants appeal from the dismissal of their civil rights complaint against two unnamed officers of the Police Department of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and their supervisors. We hold that the district court erred in allowing defendant-appellees' motion for summary judgment before discovery was reasonably complete, as well as in denying plaintiffs' motion to amend the complaint to add the name of a newly identified officer. We remand for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff-appellants Carmen Carmona and several of her family members (collectively, "plaintiffs") filed a complaint for damages against two unnamed police officers and their named supervisors.1 Plaintiffs

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alleged the following: on January 21, 1994, two police officers pursued a robbery suspect into plaintiffs' neighborhood. At the time, Carmona was in the house with her two minor daughters, Enedi and Ileani. The officers entered plaintiffs' home by way of a door accessing the house from the back patio. They did not identify themselves or show a search warrant. Once inside the enclosed back porch, they drew their service guns and pointed them at Carmona and her five-year-old daughter Enedi. The officers detained the two at gunpoint for approximately twenty-five minutes. One of the officers searched the home while the other continued to point his gun at Carmona and Enedi. The officers did not find anyone else in the home. They left without identifying themselves or explaining their actions.

Plaintiffs brought suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988 and Articles 1802 and 1803 of the Puerto Rico Civil Code, P.R. Laws Ann. tit. 31, §§ 5242 and 5243. They alleged that the defendant officers violated their rights under the Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution by performing a warrantless entry of their home, holding them at gunpoint, and searching their home. They further alleged that the officers' supervisors, Pedro A. Toledo, the Superintendent of the Puerto Rico Police Department, and Aida M. Velez, the Director of Human Resources (collectively, "the supervisors"), deprived them of their rights by their deliberate indifference in carrying out supervisory responsibilities, permitting a pattern of illegal searches, arrests, and misuse of firearms, failing to properly investigate such instances, and failing to adequately train and discipline the offending officers.

The supervisors assert the following facts: on January 21, 1994, two armed individuals robbed a bank located near the Rolling Hills Urbanization in Carolina, Puerto Rico. Approximately fifty officers from the Puerto Rico Police Department and the municipal police participated in the resulting search. The police were able to track the suspects, who were fleeing by car, by use of transponders fashioned to look like currency bills. The transponders (known as the "Pronet system") emit an electronic signal received by police cars, helicopters, and computers. Approximately an hour and a quarter after the robbery, the police arrested a suspect in the Rolling Hills Urbanization and recovered most of the stolen money. Another suspect was apprehended shortly thereafter.

According to the supervisors, police investigation procedures require that if the Pronet system locates the bills at a residence, officers must explain the situation and acquire verbal or written authorization from the resident before they may conduct a search. Where the resident does not give permission, police block the area while a search warrant is sought.

Later on January 21, 1994, the supervisors maintain, Carmona filed a complaint with the Puerto Rico Police Precinct, in which she alleged that an officer had entered her home during the search for the bank robbers and held her at gunpoint. She also contended that an interior wooden door was damaged. Carmona was unable to identify the officer.

The supervisors contend that on May 5, 1994, in response to Carmona's complaint, the Deputy Superintendent of Inspection and Disciplinary Affairs of the Puerto Rico Police Department ordered an investigation. A member of the Bank Robbery Division carried out the investigation, which included interviews with several officers involved in the bank robbery investigation, Carmona's account of the events, criminal proceedings reports, and Carmona's neighbors' written permission to search their homes. Following the investigation,

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a written report was rendered on July 12, 1994, concluding that there was no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the police.

According to the supervisors, no other civilian complaints, either formal or informal, arose from the police conduct in the investigation of the bank robbery.2 The police investigation of Carmona's complaint yielded statements from officers indicating that one of the suspects was apprehended approximately two houses away from plaintiffs' home, and that he had hid between plaintiffs' house and a neighbor's house.

On January 11, 1995, plaintiffs filed their complaint against the police officers and supervisors in the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, seeking damages in the amount of $2,050,000.00. The supervisors moved to dismiss the complaint and to stay discovery on July 26, 1995, asserting that (1) plaintiffs had failed to state a claim under the heightened pleading requirements for civil rights claims; (2) the supervisors could not be liable in the absence of their direct involvement, deliberate indifference, or intentional failure to act; (3) plaintiffs failed to properly plead a Fourth Amendment claim under an objective reasonableness standard; and (4) plaintiffs Marcos, Omar and Javier Figueroa lacked standing to sue under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiffs opposed the motion, arguing that it should be denied or at least deferred until plaintiffs had the opportunity to conduct meaningful discovery, including identifying the unnamed police officers. On September 12, 1995, plaintiffs served interrogatories and document requests aimed at identifying the unnamed officers and determining the circumstances of the incident. The interrogatories included several categories of requested information: (1) the identities of each person who participated in the search, had a supervisory role in the events, or who was in the chain of command of those identified; (2) the production of film, tapes or photographs of any part of the search or anyone who participated in the search; (3) the search participants' previous incidents of excessive force or illegal detention, search, seizure or arrest, and investigations or lawsuits resulting therefrom; (4) police regulations or guidelines governing officers' warrantless entry and searches of private residences and their use of service revolvers; and (5) allegations of misuse of firearms, excessive force or illegal search or arrest by any officer in the previous five years, and any investigation, formal action or discipline resulting therefrom.

The supervisors filed a motion for summary judgment on February 6, 1996, asserting defenses already set forth in their motion to dismiss as well as a defense of qualified immunity. The motion was accompanied by an unsworn statement of uncontested facts and an unsworn exhibit comprising the police department's file concerning the investigation of Carmona's complaint of January 21, 1994 ("the investigation file"). Based upon their qualified immunity defense, the supervisors also moved for a stay of discovery.

One day later, plaintiffs moved to compel discovery, seeking the supervisors' response to their interrogatories. Defendants opposed that motion on February 16. No ruling on this motion appears in the record before us.

On March 12, 1996, plaintiffs moved to strike the exhibit comprising the investigation file on the ground that it was inadmissible under Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e) because it had not been properly authenticated.3 On March 18, 1996, plaintiffs opposed the motion

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for stay of discovery and requested, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(f), that the summary judgment motion be held in abeyance until discovery was completed. This filing was accompanied by an affidavit by Carmona stating that plaintiffs needed discovery in order to oppose the supervisors' pending motions. The supervisors opposed these motions.

On May 7, 1996, plaintiffs moved for leave to serve additional interrogatories, noting that the supervisors had not yet responded to their first set of interrogatories. The new interrogatories included requests for information about, inter alia, the Pronet system, the internal investigation of Carmona's complaint, and the procedures followed in entering residences during the search. Plaintiffs also sought additional personnel information about the officers who had participated in the search, including promotions, demotions or firings, and complaints about conduct similar to that alleged in this case. The district court allowed plaintiffs' motion for leave on May 10, 1996, and plaintiffs served their...

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    ...undisputed facts demonstrate that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a) ; Carmona v. Toledo , 215 F.3d 124, 132 (1st Cir.2000). Cross-motions for summary judgment "do not alter the basic Rule 56 standard." Adria Int'l Grp., Inc v. Ferre Dev., Inc......
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    ...227 (1st Cir. 1996) ). The movant "bears the burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Carmona v. Toledo, 215 F.3d 124, 132 (1st Cir. 2000) ; see Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). If the movant meets its burde......
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    ...the record in the light most favorable to the nonmovant and resolving all reasonable inferences in that party's favor.” Carmona v. Toledo, 215 F.3d 124, 131 (1st Cir.2000). To establish copyright infringement, a plaintiff must concurrently proceed down two roads and “prove two elements: ‘(1......
  • Cruz-Claudio v. Garcia Trucking Service, Inc., Civil No. 06-1863 (ADC)(JA).
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    ...in evidence, and show affirmatively that the affiant is Page 208 competent to testify to the matters stated therein.") Carmona v. Toledo, 215 F.3d 124, 131 (1st Cir.2000); Hoffman v. Applicators Sales & Serv., Inc., 439 F.3d 9, 14 (1st Cir.2006); and furthermore that statements must be "sup......
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484 cases
  • McLaughlin v. City of Lowell, CIVIL ACTION NO. 14-10270-DPW
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Massachusetts
    • October 23, 2015
    ...undisputed facts demonstrate that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a) ; Carmona v. Toledo , 215 F.3d 124, 132 (1st Cir.2000). Cross-motions for summary judgment "do not alter the basic Rule 56 standard." Adria Int'l Grp., Inc v. Ferre Dev., Inc......
  • Soc'y of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Inc. v. Denver, No. 11–1262.
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    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • August 2, 2012
    ...the record in the light most favorable to the nonmovant and resolving all reasonable inferences in that party's favor.” Carmona v. Toledo, 215 F.3d 124, 131 (1st Cir.2000). To establish copyright infringement, a plaintiff must concurrently proceed down two roads and “prove two elements: ‘(1......
  • Rivera Abella v. Puerto Rico Telephone Co., Civil No. 02-2417 (RLA).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Puerto Rico
    • January 10, 2007
    ...to testify to the matters stated therein." Hoffman v. Applicators Sales and Serv., Inc., 439 F.3d 9, 16 (1st Cir.2006); Carmona v. Toledo, 215 F.3d 124, 131 (1st Cir.2000). See also, Quinones v. Buick, 436 F.3d 284, 290 (1st Cir.2006) (affidavit inadmissible given plaintiffs failure to cite......
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