Reed v. Sheppard

Decision Date17 August 2018
Docket NumberNo. 6:12-CV-6655-MAT-JWF,6:12-CV-6655-MAT-JWF
Citation321 F.Supp.3d 429
Parties Charles REED, Sr., and Richard Reed, Plaintiffs, v. James M. SHEPPARD, Chief of Police; Powell Tevor, Inv. Roch City Police Department; Officer Minerka, RPD; and "Known and Unknown" Law/Police Agents, State Police, Defendants.
CourtU.S. District Court — Western District of New York

Charles Reed, Sr., Rochester, NY, pro se.

Richard Reed, Rochester, NY, pro se.

Gary M. Levine, New York State Office of the Attorney General, Christopher Noone, City of Rochester Law Department, Rochester, NY, for Defendants.


HON. MICHAEL A. TELESCA, United States District Judge

I. Introduction

This is an action instituted pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983, and 1988, by pro se plaintiffs Charles Reed, Sr. ("Charles") and Richard Reed ("Richard") (collectively, "Plaintiffs"). Charles and Richard are the father and brother, respectively, of Charles Quincy Reed, Jr. ("Quincy"). At the time of the events at issue, Quincy was under parole supervision by the New York State Division of Parole ("Parole Division"). Plaintiffs assert that Quincy's parole officer, Curt Cashman ("Cashman"),1 and various named and unnamed law enforcement officers employed by the City of Rochester Police Department ("the RPD Defendants") and the New York State Police, violated their Fourth Amendment rights when they conducted a warrantless search of a location they believed to be Quincy's residence.

Cashman has filed a renewed motion for summary judgment (ECF # 64). The RPD Defendants also have filed a renewed motion for summary judgment (ECF # 66). Plaintiffs filed a reply in opposition (ECF # 69). The Court subsequently requested (ECF # 71) additional briefing on certain issues as well clarification of the layout of the apartments at 532 Upper Falls Boulevard where Quincy and Plaintiffs resided. These materials were provided by Cashman (ECF # 73) and the RPD Defendants (ECF # 72). For the reasons discussed herein, Cashman's motion for summary judgment is granted; the RPD Defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted; and Plaintiffs' complaint is dismissed in its entirety.

II. Factual Background and Procedural History

The following factual summary is drawn from the pleadings, deposition transcripts, and exhibits on file with the Court. Because this case is at the summary judgment stage, the Court is required to view all facts and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving parties. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586–87, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986). In addition, the Court is asked to resolve issues of qualified immunity; this inquiry again requires taking the facts "in the light most favorable to the party asserting the injury." Saucier v. Katz, 533 U.S. 194, 201, 121 S.Ct. 2151, 150 L.Ed.2d 272 (2001). Unless otherwise indicated, the facts set forth below are undisputed.

A. Quincy's Parole Agreement

Quincy, who has a 2007 New York State court conviction for third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree burglary, was released to the custody of the Parole Division on August 5, 2011. Prior to his release, he signed a "Certificate of Release to Parole Supervision," pursuant to which he agreed to abide by certain conditions, including the following:

4. I will permit my Parole Officer to visit me at my residence and/or place or employment and I will permit the search and inspection of my person, residence and property. I will discuss any proposed changes in my residence, employment or program status with my Parole Officer. I understand that I have an immediate and continuing duty to notify my Parole Officer of any changes in my residence, employment or program status when circumstances beyond my control make prior discussion impossible.
7. I will not be in the company of or fraternize with any person I know to have a criminal record ... without the permission or my Parole Officer.
9. I will not own, possess, or purchase any shotgun, rifle or firearm of any type without the written permission of my Parole Officer ....
13Q. I will reside only in the residence approved by the Division of Parole.

(See Exhibits ("Exs.") A & B to Declaration of Curt Cashman ("Cashman Decl.") (ECF # 16-3); Ex. F to Declaration of Gary Levine, Esq., dated August 8, 2017 ("8/8/17 Levine Decl.") (ECF # 64-3),2 pp. 408-415 of 415).

B. Quincy Moves Into Apartment 2 at 532 Upper Falls Boulevard

In preparation for Quincy's release to parole, his living arrangements were coordinated between the Parole Division and his mother, non-party Lisa Reed ("Lisa"). Lisa proposed to have Quincy reside with her and her husband, Charles, at their residence at 14 Lavender Circle in the Town of Henrietta, New York. Because Charles has a criminal record, including multiple felony convictions, the NYS Parole Division denied that request. As an alternative, Lisa proposed that Quincy reside in a building she owned located at 532 Upper Falls Boulevard in Rochester, New York.3 The building was vacant and the upstairs, which was residential space, had not been renovated. Lisa stated that she was planning to divide the upstairs into two apartments and proposed having Quincy live in the front apartment. This apartment is denominated "Apt. 2" on the diagram marked as Deposition Exhibit ("Dep. Ex.") # 7 (ECF # 64-3, p. 383 of 415). It is on the south-side of the building and is through the door on the left at the top of the stairwell leading from the outside door that opens onto Upper Falls Boulevard. At the time Lisa was negotiating arrangements with the Parole Division, the north-side apartment to the right at the top of the stairwell was uninhabitable. This apartment is denominated "Apt. 1" on the diagram marked as Dep. Ex. # 7 (ECF # 64-3, p. 383 of 415). There was a common bathroom on the second floor of 532 Upper Falls Boulevard, which had doors opening into both Apt. 1 on the north-side and Apt. 2 on the south-side. (See 8/8/17 Levine Decl., Ex. F (ECF # 64-3), pp. 116-19, 197, 343-44, 362, & 383 of 415).

Upon his release to parole in August 2011, Quincy began residing in Apt. 2, the left-hand or south-side apartment at 532 Upper Falls Boulevard. Quincy resided alone in the building at 532 Upper Falls Boulevard until the end of 2011.

C. Quincy Moves to 14 Lavender Circle and Charles Moves to 532 Upper Falls Boulevard

At the end of 2011, Quincy secured employment at a company in Henrietta, New York. He proposed moving in with his parents at 14 Lavender Circle because Lisa was willing to drive him back and forth to work. Lisa and Charles agreed, and Quincy moved to 14 Lavender Circle at the beginning of 2012.

In the course of a home visit by Quincy's former parole officer to 14 Lavender Circle, Charles was present. This parole officer reminded them that according to the terms of Quincy's parole agreement, Charles and Quincy could not reside there together due to Charles' history of felony convictions.

Charles then moved to 532 Upper Falls Boulevard and took up residence in Apt. 2, the left-hand or south-side apartment that Quincy previously had occupied. Quincy remained at 14 Lavender Circle.

D. Quincy Moves Back to 532 Upper Falls Boulevard

In or about March of 2012, Quincy quarreled with his sister, who also was living at Lavender Circle. Consequently, the Parole Division directed him to move out of that residence.

Quincy decided to return to 532 Upper Falls Boulevard. However, Charles and Richard4 were living in Apt. 2 on the south-side, where Quincy had lived when he first was released on parole. By this time, Apt. 1 on the north-side apartment had been renovated, so Quincy moved into that apartment. The apartments still were connected by the common bathroom which could be accessed from both apartments. (See Dkt # 64-3, pp. 19-21 & 383 of 415). Charles and Richard were both well aware of Quincy's parole status, and the fact that he was subject to a search condition. Quincy admitted that he did not "technically" get permission to live in Apt. 1 while Richard and Charles were living in Apt. 2, but Cashman "never came in the house" to "check it." (Deposition of Charles Quincy Reed ("Quincy Dep.") at 19).

Sometime prior to May 1, 2012, Quincy requested, on behalf of the Parole Division, that Lisa draw up a lease in connection with his residence at 532 Upper Falls Boulevard. (Dkt # 64-3, p. 72 of 415). On May 1, 2012, Quincy executed a lease pertaining to "apartment 1." However, Lisa had not ascribed numbers to the two apartments, and the number itself meant nothing to her. (Dkt # 64-3, p. 73 of 415).

E. Cashman's Conducts a Home Visit in May 2012

Cashman was assigned as Quincy's parole officer in May of 2012. The Parole Division's case management system ("CMS") indicated that, at the time of Quincy's release to parole in August 2011, only one apartment had been remodeled, it was on the front or south end of the building (Apt. 2); the CMS entry, which had been made by former parole officer Maria Rhodes, indicated that "the bedroom" was on the west side of the apartment, and that the remodeled apartment included a living room, a kitchen, an office, and a bathroom, and that Quincy's mother was continuing with the remodeling. (Transcript at 58-59, 77). On May 31, 2012, after reviewing Quincy's parole file which still indicated that Quincy was living in Apt. 2, the south-side apartment at 532 Upper Falls Boulevard, Cashman made a home visit. Cashman and Quincy only met outside, and Cashman did not go into the building. Thus, Cashman did not see the actual arrangement of the apartments.

F. The Decision to Conduct a Parole Search of Quincy's Residence

In late July of 2012, Cashman had received information from a daily email bulletin distributed by the Monroe Crime Analysis Center ("MCAC")5 that an individual named Taiquan Gatson ("Gatson"), a former State parolee, had been shot. The MCAC bulletin indicated that the person believed to have shot Gatson was named "Charles Reed." Cashman deduced that...

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3 cases
  • Barnes v. Fedele
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Western District of New York
    • October 2, 2018
    ...‘existing precedent must have placed the statutory or constitutional question beyond debate.’ " Reed v. Sheppard , 321 F.Supp.3d 429, 444, 2018 WL 3962819, at *10 (W.D.N.Y. 2018) (quoting Mullenix v. Luna , ––– U.S. ––––, 136 S.Ct. 305, 308, 193 L.Ed.2d 255 (2015) (additional internal quote......
  • Ficklin v. Rusinko
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Western District of New York
    • September 14, 2020
    ...on qualified immunity where law was unsettled concerning warrantless search of apartment where parolee resided); Reed v. Sheppard, 321 F. Supp. 3d 429, 449 (W.D.N.Y. 2018), appeal dismissed sub nom. Reed v. Cashman, No. 18-2733, 2019 WL 4527680 (2d Cir. Feb. 26, 2019) (granting summary judg......
  • United States v. Melvin
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Western District of New York
    • October 4, 2023
    ...the California statute at issue in Samson, meaning it is unclear whether Samson applies to cases involving New York parolees. See Reed, 321 F.Supp.3d at 449 (collecting White, 622 F.Supp.2d at 41 (collecting cases). [6] “While the burden [is] on [the defendant] to establish a protected priv......

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