United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR SUMMARY
W. Eginton Senior U.S. District Judge
Santos Morales asserts this civil rights action against
defendants City of Stamford Police Officers Richard Phelan,
and Andrew Czubatyi; and Connecticut State prosecutors Steven
Weiss and Mitchell Rubin.
Weiss and Rubin have filed a motion for summary judgment on
the basis of prosecutorial immunity.
Weiss and Rubin have submitted a statement of material facts
in compliance with the Local Rules of Civil Procedure.
Plaintiff Morales, who is represented by counsel, has filed
an affidavit signed by his counsel. The Court has culled the
following factual background from the allegations of the
complaint and the parties’ evidentiary submissions on
this motion for summary judgment.
is a citizen of Guatemala who, at the time relevant to this
action, was residing as an undocumented alien in the City of
Stamford, Connecticut. According to the allegations of the
complaint, on the evening of August 31, 2008, plaintiff was
in a restaurant when someone he knew pulled out a gun and
confronted another patron. Plaintiff allegedly wrested the
gun from the individual and exited the restaurant. The
Stamford Police, including defendants Phelan and Czubatyi,
allegedly tasered, and kicked plaintiff while he was on the
ground. Plaintiff was later charged with unlawful possession
of a firearm and taken into state custody.
Weiss is a Supervisory State’s Attorney and Rubin is a
Deputy State’s Attorney in Stamford. Weiss avers that,
as a law enforcement official, it was within the scope of his
duties to contact Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(“ICE”) with regard to a criminal defendant whose
immigration status may warrant investigation. He states that
he had an inspector of the State’s Attorney’s
Office contact ICE to check on the plaintiff’s
immigration status because the plaintiff had no
identification, no social security number and no alien
attorney, Richard Cunningham, asked Weiss about interviewing
certain witnesses. Weiss asserts that Cunningham did not
provide him with specific identities or addresses of
witnesses; and that he told Cunningham to contact the police.
alleges that on February 13, 2009, Attorney Cunningham
renewed a motion to eliminate bond and hand delivered a copy
to defendant Weiss.
Cunningham avers that he reviewed the State’s Attorney
file, where he found a yellow note signed by defendant Weiss
that directed an Assistant State’s Attorney to contact
ICE to place a detainer on plaintiff Morales “as a
favor.” Cunningham asserts that the file indicated that
this request occurred after ICE had already expressed that it
was not interested in placing a detainer on plaintiff but
prior to a March 26, 2009 hearing, at which time bond was
reduced from $50, 000 to $1, 000.
February 19, 2009, an ICE detainer was placed on Morales and
his deportation was ordered. Plaintiff was placed in the
custody of ICE from June 19, 2009 through September 8, 2009.
Thereafter, plaintiff was held in the custody of the
Department of Correction until April 5, 2011.
April 1, 2011, defendant Rubin nolled all charges against
plaintiff. By affidavit, Rubin avers that the charges were
nolled because plaintiff had been in custody for more than
two years, and plaintiff would likely have received no more
than a one-year sentence of incarceration had the case gone
Court dismissed the Section 1983 claims against defendants
Weiss and Rubin on the grounds of prosecutorial immunity. On
appeal, the Second Circuit concluded “that the district
court erred in dismissing Morales’s claims against
prosecutors Weiss and Rubin without affording plaintiff the
opportunity to amend his pro se complaint to allege
sufficient facts that those defendants acted outside the
scope of their roles as prosecutors and, thus, were not
shielded by absolute immunity.” Plaintiff was, in fact,
represented by counsel during the proceedings before the
district court, although he appeared pro se in
proceedings before the Court of Appeals.
remand to this Court, plaintiff amended his complaint. The
discovery deadline has passed. Plaintiff is represented by
the same counsel who ...