Glass v. City of Philadelphia, No. CIV.A. 99-6320.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
Writing for the CourtEduardo C. Robreno
PartiesReuben GLASS, et al, Plaintiffs, v. CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, et al, Defendants.
Docket NumberNo. CIV.A. 99-6320.
Decision Date10 October 2006
455 F.Supp.2d 302
Reuben GLASS, et al, Plaintiffs,
v.
CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, et al, Defendants.
No. CIV.A. 99-6320.
United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania.
October 10, 2006.

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David E. Jokelson, Neil E. Jokelson, Neil E. Jokelson & Assoc., PC, Derek Jokelson, Jokelson & Associates, Philadelphia, PA, for Plaintiffs.

Denise S. Wolf, U.S. Attorney's Office, Edward D. Chew, Jr., Robin. B. Arnold,

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City of Philadelphia Law Dept., Philadelphia, PA, for Defendants. EDUARDO C. ROBRENO, District Judge.

OPINION

EDUARDO C. ROBRENO, District Judge.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
 I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY ...................................................................310
                 II. INTRODUCTION .........................................................................311
                III. BACKGROUND ...........................................................................312
                 IV. FINDINGS OF FACT .....................................................................316
                 A. Glass I ...........................................................................316
                 B. Glass II ..........................................................................317
                 1. Activity in the vacant lot across from the Glass house .........................317
                 2. January 1, 1998 arrest of Kareem ...............................................318
                 a. IAD 98-04 ...................................................................318
                 b. Mr. Glass's statements to Lieutenant Lampe and Sergeant
                 Craighead ..................................................................318
                 3. February 10, 1998 arrest of Mr. Glass and Kareem ...............................319
                 a. February 12, 1998 meeting ...................................................322
                 b. IAD 98-132 ..................................................................323
                 4. The Glass I trial begins and Kareem is arrested .......................324
                 a. The Derek Bohannon case and word of Kareem's impending
                 arrest during the trial of Glass I ...............................324
                 i. The Bohannon complaint ..................................................324
                 ii. The arrest warrant ......................................................325
                 b. Settlement and release of Glass I ..................................326
                 5. August 31, 1998 arrest of Kareem ...............................................327
                 6. September 16, 1998 conflict with Officer McKenny and IAD 98-369 ................327
                 7. The FTA bench warrant in the Bohannon case .....................................328
                 a. The warrant system ..........................................................329
                 b. November 22, 1998 arrest and IAD 98-502 .....................................330
                 c. December 22, 1998 arrest and IAD 98-527 .....................................331
                 d. December 30, 1998 arrest and IAD 99-02 ......................................332
                 e. January 13, 1999 arrest and IAD 99-037 ......................................333
                 8. Officers announce Kareem's arrest over the loudspeaker and IAD
                 99-028 .......................................................................333
                 9. Mr. Glass's dealings with the Philadelphia Parking Authority and
                 IAD 99-023 ....................................................................334
                 C. Summary 335
                 V. CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND DISCUSSION ....................................................337
                 A. The Scope of the Release ..........................................................337
                 B. Section 1983 Liability ............................................................340
                 1. Municipal liability under § 1983 ..........................................340
                 a. Municipal liability from the police commissioner ............................342
                 b. Municipal liability from the policy or custom of "investigatory
                 detentions" ................................................................344
                 c. Municipal liability for the inadequate investigation of citizens'
                 complaints .................................................................348
                 2. Liability of the individual officers under § 1983..........................349
                 a. Abuse of process ............................................................349
                 b. Excessive force, warrantless search and arrest without probable
                 cause ......................................................................351
                 i. Excessive force .........................................................351
                

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 ii. Warrantless search .......................................................353
                 iii. Arrest without probable cause ............................................356
                 c. Civil conspiracy ............................................................357
                 d. Supervisory liability .......................................................362
                 C. Section 1985(2) Liability .........................................................364
                 D. Section 1986 Liability ............................................................365
                 E. Plaintiffs' State Law Claims ......................................................365
                 1. False arrest and false imprisonment ............................................365
                 2. Assault and battery ............................................................365
                 F. Ms. Malloy's Claims ...............................................................366
                 VI. CONCLUSION ...........................................................................367
                VII. DAMAGES ..............................................................................367
                

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On December 10, 1999, plaintiffs Reuben Glass, his son Kareem Glass,1 and their family friend Jane Malloy filed this action against the City of Philadelphia and nineteen individual police officers2 alleging violations of their civil rights and the commission of sundry state-based torts.3

Plaintiffs allege that on July 10, 1995, Kareem, then a minor, was beaten by Philadelphia police officers while playing at a construction site at the corner of Uber and Parrish Streets. Based on this incident, Mr. Glass, Kareem's father, filed a lawsuit on April 4, 1996, on behalf of Kareem, against the City of Philadelphia and police

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officers in the Ninth District of the Philadelphia Police Department. Glass v. City of Philadelphia, 96-2752 [hereinafter "Glass I".] That lawsuit eventually settled on May 8, 1998.

On December 10, 1999, plaintiffs Mr. Glass, Kareem and Ms. Malloy, a family friend, brought the instant action, Glass v. City of Philadelphia, 99-6320 [hereinafter "Glass II"]. Plaintiffs contend that, beginning in August 1997 and continuing through 1999, members of the Philadelphia Police Department's Ninth District harassed and intimidated the Glasses in retaliation for filing the lawsuit in Glass I against the City of Philadelphia and certain police officers. Allegedly, members of the Ninth District, at various times, stalked, harassed, falsely incriminated and threatened to kill plaintiffs in retaliation for the Glasses' exercising their civil rights.4

The instant action, Glass. II, was tried non-jury in a trial that began on January 18, 2006 and lasted six weeks.5 This memorandum contains the Court's findings of fact and conclusions of law.

II. INTRODUCTION

In reaching its findings of fact and conclusions of law, in addition to hearing live testimony from 49 witnesses at trial, the Court also waded through the testimony of the inchoate Glass I trial, the deposition testimony of several witnesses and hundred of exhibits. In addition to trial, much like counsel in the case, the Court has "lived" through numerous hearings and arguments, and reviewed hundreds of pages of legal arguments over the past ten years.6

Ultimately, what emerges are sharply contrasting versions of events which are, on all material points, largely irreconcilable. Each plaintiff and each defendant viewed his or her conduct as wholly justified and entirely free of fault. Concomitantly, all involved attributed to those on the other side wrongful intent and malice. All involved had a strong motive to fabricate. Plaintiffs wanted vindication and a financial recovery. Defendants wanted to preserve their professional reputations and avoid a financial judgment. In their testimony, the party witnesses stuck closely to their stories and yielded no quarter. Each act or event was viewed, by each party, through a prism of suspicion and mistrust. Under these circumstances, the testimony of fact witnesses presented at trial is highly questionable.

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To compound matters, at closing argument and in their voluminous proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law submitted at the end of trial, counsel pressed upon the Court a lengthy deconstructed version of the record. Under this approach, counsel scoured the voluminous record for citations to disparate and isolated pieces of evidence, as if each fact stood separate from the others. The result is that, by emphasizing the "trees," the parties ultimately lost sight of the "forest."

Under these circumstances, in determining credibility, the Court's task is twofold. One, to search the record for objective evidence, which confirms or corroborates testimony. Two, to avoid extreme deconstruction of the record, i.e. viewing pieces of evidence or an answer during lengthy testimony in isolation or apart from the other evidence. Rather, the Court's task is to view the evidence as a whole in light of common sense and human experience. It is not the Court's role to disprove every assertion made by the parties or negate every piece of evidence offered in support. Rather, the Court's role is to search for unity from the entire body of evidence which, as a whole, points to what is more likely than not to have occurred in this case.7

III. BACKGROUND

The plaintiffs' complaints against the City of...

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  • Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Lewis (In re Lewis), Bankruptcy No. 10–12633 JKF.
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Third Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    • July 19, 2012
    ...tort has occurred will support a claim for civil conspiracy.”) (quotation marks and citation omitted); Glass v. City of Philadelphia, 455 F.Supp.2d 302, 359 (E.D.Pa.2006) (“Unlike in the criminal conspiracy context, where the crime lies in the agreement itself, a cause of action for civil c......
  • McNeil v. City of Easton, Civil Action No. 08-cv-01075.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • March 10, 2010
    ...v. City of Philadelphia, 2009 WL 2152280, *3 (E.D.Pa. July 15, 2009) (Robert F. Kelly, S.J.) (quoting Glass v. City of Philadelphia, 455 F.Supp.2d 302, 367 (E.D.Pa.2006) (Robreno, In Sharrar v. Felsing, supra, plaintiffs brought a Section 1983 civil rights action against four police officer......
  • Klein v. Madison, CIVIL ACTION NO. 17-4507
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • April 10, 2019
    ...plaintiff also must establish the "predicate" constitutional tort to succeed on a claim for civil conspiracy. Glass v. City of Phila. , 455 F.Supp.2d 302, 359–60 (E.D. Pa. 2006) ; see also Rink v. Ne. Educ. Intermediate Unit 19 , 717 F. App'x 126, 141 (3d Cir. 2017) ("There can be no civil ......
  • Yoast v. Pottstown Borough, CIVIL ACTION NO. 19-720
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • January 31, 2020
    ...387, 402 (M.D. Pa. 2003) ); see also Klein v. Madison , 374 F. Supp. 3d 389, 421 (E.D. Pa. 2019) (citing Glass v. City of Phila. , 455 F. Supp. 2d 302, 359–60 (E.D. Pa. 2006) ; Rink v. Ne. Educ. Intermediate Unit 19 , 717 F. App'x 126, 141 (3d Cir. 2017) ("There can be no civil conspiracy t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
70 cases
  • Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Lewis (In re Lewis), Bankruptcy No. 10–12633 JKF.
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Third Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    • July 19, 2012
    ...tort has occurred will support a claim for civil conspiracy.”) (quotation marks and citation omitted); Glass v. City of Philadelphia, 455 F.Supp.2d 302, 359 (E.D.Pa.2006) (“Unlike in the criminal conspiracy context, where the crime lies in the agreement itself, a cause of action for civil c......
  • McNeil v. City of Easton, Civil Action No. 08-cv-01075.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • March 10, 2010
    ...v. City of Philadelphia, 2009 WL 2152280, *3 (E.D.Pa. July 15, 2009) (Robert F. Kelly, S.J.) (quoting Glass v. City of Philadelphia, 455 F.Supp.2d 302, 367 (E.D.Pa.2006) (Robreno, In Sharrar v. Felsing, supra, plaintiffs brought a Section 1983 civil rights action against four police officer......
  • Klein v. Madison, CIVIL ACTION NO. 17-4507
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • April 10, 2019
    ...plaintiff also must establish the "predicate" constitutional tort to succeed on a claim for civil conspiracy. Glass v. City of Phila. , 455 F.Supp.2d 302, 359–60 (E.D. Pa. 2006) ; see also Rink v. Ne. Educ. Intermediate Unit 19 , 717 F. App'x 126, 141 (3d Cir. 2017) ("There can be no civil ......
  • Yoast v. Pottstown Borough, CIVIL ACTION NO. 19-720
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • January 31, 2020
    ...387, 402 (M.D. Pa. 2003) ); see also Klein v. Madison , 374 F. Supp. 3d 389, 421 (E.D. Pa. 2019) (citing Glass v. City of Phila. , 455 F. Supp. 2d 302, 359–60 (E.D. Pa. 2006) ; Rink v. Ne. Educ. Intermediate Unit 19 , 717 F. App'x 126, 141 (3d Cir. 2017) ("There can be no civil conspiracy t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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