United States District Court, D. Maine
RECOMMENDED DECISION ON PORTLAND DEFENDANTS'
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
C. NIVISON, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
action, Plaintiff Dale Maddocks alleges Defendants, including
Defendants Portland Police Department and certain of its
command staff and officers (“Portland
Defendants”), violated his constitutional rights in
connection with an arrest and detention in May 2013.
matter is before the Court on the motion for summary judgment
of the Portland Defendants. (Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF
No. 50.) Through the motion, the Portland Defendants seek
summary judgment on all of the claims (counts I, II, III, IV,
V, IX, X, XI, and XV of the amended complaint) asserted
a review of the summary judgment record, I recommend the
Court grant the motion for summary judgment.
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).
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.”
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.”
case, the summary judgment record consists of the Local Rule
56 record filed by the Portland Defendants. 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.
amended complaint, Plaintiff alleges that members of the
Portland, Maine, police force falsely arrested him on May 8,
2013. (Complaint ¶¶ 10 -15, 91 - 92.) Plaintiff further
asserts that following his arrest, certain county employees
used excessive force against him and subjected him to
unconstitutional conditions of confinement during his
overnight detention at the Cumberland County Jail.
(Id. ¶¶ 16 - 23.)
also maintains the Portland Police Chief (Defendant Michael
Sauschuck), who is responsible for establishing the policies
and procedures for the training of Portland police officers,
inadequately trained, supervised and/or disciplined on the
issue of probable cause with respect to a person's right
to carry a firearm and thus Plaintiff's claims are in
part based on an unconstitutional policy, custom, or practice
of the City of Portland. (Id. ¶¶ 52 - 54,
58 - 59, 79 - 81.) Plaintiff asserts his claims pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Maine Civil Rights Act, 5
M.R.S. § 4682.
uncontroverted record evidence establishes the following:
the evening of May 8, 2013, Portland Police Officers Brown
and Johnson, and Sergeant Gorham, responded to a report that
a female was on the ground, screaming, and throwing items
arrival at the scene, Sgt. Gorham and Officers Brown and
Johnson found the woman sitting on the sidewalk with no shoes
on, visibly upset.
woman appeared to be intoxicated, as she slurred her words
and kept repeating that she was from Ellsworth and wanted to
go home to Ellsworth.
Portland officers decided that they needed to bring the woman
to a safe location for the evening and she accepted their
offer to transport her to a shelter.
Officer Brown was about to provide a ride to the shelter, a
male, later identified as Plaintiff, suddenly approached Sgt.
Gorham and Officers Brown and Johnson.
Plaintiff stated that the woman was his girlfriend and that
he would take care of her.
After speaking with the Portland officers for over a minute,
Plaintiff moved in a way that caused his leather bomber
jacket to move up slightly and expose the bottom inch or two
of what appeared to Sgt. Gorham to be the barrel of a
Sgt. Gorham looked closer, he could see a large bulge under
Plaintiff's jacket at waist level and, believing that
Plaintiff may be concealing a firearm under his jacket, asked
him what was on his hip.
Plaintiff responded to Sgt. Gorham that it was a Colt
Commander, Sgt. Gorham took hold of Plaintiff's arm to
keep it away from his hip and moved Plaintiff's jacket
back to expose a handgun in a holster.
Sgt. Gorham removed the handgun from the holster and, as
Plaintiff became angry and uncooperative, Officer Brown
handcuffed Plaintiff and searched him for additional weapons.
Sgt. Gorham and Officer Johnson did not observe anything in
the way Plaintiff was handcuffed that conflicted with the
procedure taught at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, that
was unnecessarily forceful, or that represented anything but
a routine handcuffing.
Other than in the course of handcuffing Plaintiff, the
Portland officers did not use any physical force against
Officer Brown located two loaded magazines that contained
hollow point ammunition in Plaintiff's left rear pocket
of his pants and a folding knife in a small case on his left
Plaintiff became combative and more uncooperative. He
insisted that his firearm was not concealed, that the
officers should take him ...