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Maddocks v. Portland Police Department

United States District Court, D. Maine

December 29, 2016

DALE MADDOCKS, Plaintiff
v.
PORTLAND POLICE DEPARTMENT, et al ., Defendants

          RECOMMENDED DECISION ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OF DEFENDANTS CUMBERLAND COUNTY AND JOYCE

          John C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge

         In this action, Plaintiff Dale Maddocks alleges Defendants, including Defendants Cumberland County and Sheriff Kevin Joyce, violated his constitutional rights in connection with an arrest and detention in May, 2013.

         The matter is before the Court on the motion for summary judgment of Defendant Cumberland County and Defendant Joyce. (Motion, ECF No. 57.) Through the motion, the County and Sheriff Joyce seek summary judgment on all of the claims (counts VII, VIII, XIII, and XIV of the amended complaint) asserted against them.

         Following a review of the summary judgment record, I recommend the Court grant the motion.

         Summary Judgment Record

         At summary judgment, the Court ordinarily considers only the facts included in the parties' statements of material facts, which statements must be supported by citations to evidence of record. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) and District of Maine Local Rule 56(b) - (d) require the specific citation to record evidence. In addition, Local Rule 56 establishes the manner by which parties must present their factual statements and the evidence on which the statements depend. A party seeking summary judgment thus must file a supporting statement of material facts setting forth each fact in a separately numbered paragraph, with each factual statement followed by a citation to evidence of record that supports the factual statement. D. Me. Loc. R. 56(b), (f).

         A party seeking to oppose a properly filed and supported motion for summary judgment must file an opposing statement of material facts that admits, denies, or qualifies the factual statements made by the moving party. D. Me. Loc. R. 56(c). Unless a statement is admitted, the opposing party must provide a citation to evidence of record that supports the opposing statement. Id. If a party fails to do so, the moving party's factual statements “shall be deemed admitted.” D. Me. Loc. R. 56(f). Moreover, pursuant to Local Rule 7(b), parties are expected to file an objection to a motion if they contest the motion, and unless they do so are “deemed to have waived objection.”

         A court, however, “may not automatically grant a motion for summary judgment simply because the opposing party failed to comply with a local rule requiring a response within a certain number of days.” NEPSK, Inc. v. Town of Houlton, 283 F.3d 1, 7-8 (1st Cir. 2002). Instead, courts must assess whether the movant has shown “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).

         In this case, the summary judgment record consists of the Local Rule 56 record filed by Defendants Cumberland County and Joyce. Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint (Complaint, ECF No. 19) is unsworn and Plaintiff did not file an opposing statement of material facts or any record material.

         Background Facts

         In his amended complaint, Plaintiff alleges that members of the Portland, Maine, police force falsely arrested him on May 8, 2013. (Complaint ¶¶ 10 -15.) Plaintiff further asserts that following his arrest, a certain deputy and “corrections officers Moody and McCarty, ” all employed by Cumberland County, used excessive force against him while he was detained at the Cumberland County Jail, left him overnight with inadequate clothing in an air conditioned room, taunted him periodically through the night, and ignored his complaints of severe pain as a result of their use of force. (Id. ¶¶ 16 - 23.)

         Plaintiff also maintains the sheriff's deputy and corrections officers were inadequately trained and supervised. Plaintiff contends that because Defendant Joyce is responsible for establishing policies and procedures for the Cumberland County Jail, and for training jail staff, he can recover against Defendant Joyce for the violation of his rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Maine Civil Rights Act, 5 M.R.S. § 4682. (Id., Count VII, ¶¶ 67 - 72, Count XIII, ¶¶ 99 - 104.) Relatedly, Plaintiff asserts a claim against Defendant Cumberland County because Defendant Joyce has final policy-making authority for the County regarding the operation of the Cumberland County Jail. (Id., Count VIII, ¶¶ 73 - 77, Count XIV, ¶¶ 105 - 109.)

         The uncontroverted record evidence establishes the following:

1. Defendant Moody has been a corrections officer at the Cumberland County Jail since 2003. (Erik Moody Aff., ...

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