Telzer v. Borough of Englewood Cliffs, 081219 FED3, 18-1976

Docket Nº:18-1976
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM
Party Name:MICHAEL TELZER, Appellant v. BOROUGH OF ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, (Its Directors, Officers, Servants, Agents, Assignees, Delegates, and/or Employees); ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS POLICE DEPARTMENT, (Its Directors, Officers, Servants, Agents, Assignees, Delegates and/or Employees); MICHAEL CIOFFI, Englewood Cliffs Chief of Police; LT. WILLIAM LARAIA; SGT. GERARD M...
Judge Panel:Before: CHAGARES, BIBAS and GREENBERG, Circuit Judges
Case Date:August 12, 2019
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
 
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MICHAEL TELZER, Appellant

v.

BOROUGH OF ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, (Its Directors, Officers, Servants, Agents, Assignees, Delegates, and/or Employees); ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS POLICE DEPARTMENT, (Its Directors, Officers, Servants, Agents, Assignees, Delegates and/or Employees); MICHAEL CIOFFI, Englewood Cliffs Chief of Police; LT. WILLIAM LARAIA; SGT. GERARD MCDERMOTT; SGT. DANIEL MORRISSEY; POLICE OFFICER DAVID HILL; POLICE OFFICER RONALD WALDT; JOHN AND JANE DOES(S) AND XYZ CORPORATIONS(S), fictitious names and parties intending to designee the entity/entities responsible for causing Plaintiff's cause of action and injuries and intending to designate then person/persons responsible for causing Plaintiff's cause of action and injuries

No. 18-1976

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

August 12, 2019

NOT PRECEDENTIAL

Submitted Pursuant to Third Circuit LAR 34.1(a) August 1, 2019

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (D.C. Civil Action No. 2:13-cv-04306) District Judge: Honorable John M. Vazquez

Before: CHAGARES, BIBAS and GREENBERG, Circuit Judges

OPINION [*]

PER CURIAM

Pro se appellant Michael Telzer appeals from the judgment entered against him in his civil rights case. For the following reasons, we will affirm.

In July 2013, Telzer filed a complaint, presenting various claims arising from his arrest, detention, and subsequent prosecution, based on charges of lewdness and endangering the welfare of a child. Telzer later filed an amended complaint.

Telzer's allegation arise from the following undisputed facts. On July 14, 2011, Telzer was walking along the track at Witte Field in Englewood Cliffs. During this time, Nealy Nusbaum Erber ("Erber") placed a 9-1-1 call, reporting that she had seen a man walking the field with "his self exposed," and that she was at the field with her children. Officers McDermott and Waldt responded to the call; Officer McDermott spoke with Erber and Officer Waldt approached Telzer (as he fit the description that Erber provided in her 9-1-1 call). When Officer McDermott approached Erber, she identified Telzer as the party who had exposed himself. Meanwhile, Officer Waldt approached Telzer, informing him of the report that a white man was exposing himself at the field and asking Telzer to lift his shirt. Telzer complied and Officer Waldt verbally indicated that Telzer's belt was completely unbuckled and his zipper was undone (this conversation was captured on Waldt's mobile in-car video system). Erber thereafter provided two written statements to the police (on July 14, 2011 and on July 15, 2011).

Telzer was subsequently arrested and indicted by a grand jury on lewdness and endangering charges, see N.J. Stat. Ann. 2C:14-4 & N.J. Stat. Ann. 2C:24:-4. Telzer was tried before a jury, which found him not guilty on both charges. Telzer presented the following claims in his amended complaint: false arrest, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law; witness and evidence tampering; withholding evidence in violation of Brady v. Maryland; violations of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments; supervisory liability based on the failure to train officers; and supervisory liability against Defendant Cioffi.

After discovery, the District Court granted defendants' motion for summary judgment. On appeal, Telzer argues that the District Court's grant of summary judgment was in error since "all material facts are in dispute." See Pro Se Brief, at 4. More specifically, he argues that there was no probable cause to support his arrest, detention, and prosecution, that the District Court ignored several exculpatory statements made by the witness, and that Officer McDermott "coached" the witness and invented the crime.

I.

We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291. We review the District Court's grant of summary judgment de novo and view all inferences drawn from the underlying facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Montone v. City of Jersey City, 709 F.3d 181, 189 (3d Cir. 2013). Summary judgment is proper only if the record "shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a).

II.

The District Court properly granted summary judgment to the defendants on Claims 1 and 2, in which Telzer brought false arrest, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law. To prevail on § 1983 claims based on false arrest, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the police lacked probable cause to arrest him. See James v. City of Wilkes-Barre, 700 F.3d 675, 680, 682-83 (3d Cir. 2012); Johnson v. Knorr, 477 F.3d 75, 81-82 (3d Cir. 2007). "Probable cause exists whenever reasonably...

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