United States District Court, D. Connecticut
CHARLES C. WILLIAMS
CITY OF HARTFORD, et al.
ORDER ON PENDING MOTIONS [DOC. ##196, 211, 213] AND
FINAL SCHEDULING ORDER
SARAH A. L. MERRIAM, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the Court are three motions by pro se plaintiff
Charles C. Williams (“plaintiff”): Request for
Permission to File Partial Summary Judgment [Doc. #211];
Motion to Withdraw Doc. #211 [Doc. #213]; and Motion to Renew
Motion for Appointment of Counsel [Doc. #196]. Judge Alvin W.
Thompson referred these motions to the undersigned on August
8 and 9, 2016. [Doc. ##214, 216]. Defendants have not
responded to the pending motions. Also pending before the
Court are the parties’ proposed scheduling orders,
which were filed at the direction of the Court. See Doc.
##209, 210, 215.
Motions re: Plaintiff’s Request to File Partial Summary
Judgment [Doc. ##211, 213]
Motion to Withdraw Doc. #211 [Doc. #213] is GRANTED, and
plaintiff’s Request for Permission to File
“Partial Summary Judgment” [Doc. 211] is hereby
WITHDRAWN. To the extent plaintiff seeks to file a
cross-motion for summary judgment, the Court will provide
plaintiff an opportunity to do so in the below Scheduling
extent plaintiff represents that he does not have access to
legal materials, including the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, the Court appends hereto Federal Rule and District
of Connecticut Local Rule of Civil Procedure 56, which apply
to motions for summary judgment.
plaintiff seeks guidance as to whether the “court
manages a hearing on its own under
‘Franks’ to determine whether or not the
defendants police incident Report/Affidavit was false, or do
the plaintiff request this hearing from this court?”
[Doc. #211 at 1 (sic)]. Presumably, plaintiff seeks a hearing
pursuant to Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154 (1978),
which “held that the Fourth Amendment entitles a
defendant to a hearing if he or she makes a
‘substantial preliminary showing’ that a
deliberate falsehood or statement made with reckless
disregard for the truth was included in the warrant affidavit
and the statement was necessary to the judge’s finding
of probable cause.” United States v. Falso,
544 F.3d 110, 125 (2d Cir. 2008) (citing Franks, 438
U.S. at 155-56). Franks hearings are typically used
in criminal proceedings in the context of whether certain
evidence should be suppressed. Although “[t]he Second
Circuit has held that Franks applies to civil rights
actions based on Fourth Amendment violations[, ]”
Cherry v. Jorling, 31 F.Supp.2d 258, 269 (W.D.N.Y.
1998) (collecting cases)), plaintiff is not entitled to a
separate Franks hearing where the issue of the
Constitutionality of his arrest “goes to the core of
certain of [his] civil rights claims.” Sostre v.
Cty. of Suffolk, No. 06CV320, 2008 WL 4998394, at *2
(E.D.N.Y. Nov. 21, 2008). Accordingly, any
Franks-related issues are “more properly
decided either in the context of a motion for summary
judgment or, more likely, at trial.” Id.;
see also Chipperini v. Crandall, 253 F.Supp.2d 301,
311 (D. Conn. 2003) (“[A] Franks analysis may
prove useful in later stages of these proceedings in relation
to the merits of [plaintiff’s] other claims[.]”).
extent defendants move for summary judgment on the grounds of
qualified immunity, plaintiff may raise the Franks
standard in response to defendants’ summary judgment
motion. See Velardi v. Walsh, 40 F.3d 569, 574 (2d
Cir. 1994); see also Magnotti v. Kuntz, 918 F.2d
364, 368 (2d Cir. 1990) (applying Franks standard to
issues of qualified immunity in civil rights action).
Therefore, plaintiff’s request for a Franks
hearing is DENIED.
Motion to Renew Motion for Appointment of Counsel [Doc. #196]
next seeks an “order appointing counsel to represent
him in this case on standby to assist” him in this
matter. [Doc. #196 at 1]. Plaintiff bases this request on his
lack of knowledge and access to the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, and asserts that his “case is strong and has
strong merit, and the plaintiff will most likely win at
trial[.]” Id. at 1-2.
previously applied for the appointment of counsel
concurrently with the filing of this action. [Doc. #3]. Judge
Thompson denied this motion as premature, and without
prejudice, in his Initial Review Order. [Doc. #8 at 7]. Judge
Thompson also noted that plaintiff had failed to demonstrate
that he was unable to obtain legal assistance on his own.
Id. Plaintiff now represents that he “has
continually tried to contact different Attorney’s to
see if Any would take this case pro bono, Plaintiff is unable
to afford counsel, and plaintiff was granted to proceed in
pauperis status.” [Doc. #196 at 1 (sic)].
threshold requirement in considering a request for
appointment of counsel [is] the likelihood of success on the
merits of the claim.” Burgos v. Hopkins, 14
F.3d 787, 789 (2d Cir. 1994). Although plaintiff conclusorily
states that he is likely to prevail at trial, the Court
declines to appoint counsel at this stage of the proceedings.
Indeed, the majority of plaintiff’s concerns relate to
his ability to present his case at trial. Dispositive motions
have yet to be filed. Accordingly, if plaintiff’s
claims survive summary judgment, and this matter is scheduled
for trial, he may renew his motion for appointment of counsel
at that time.
Final Scheduling Order
27, 2016, plaintiff filed a motion for clarification, which
the Court construed as a motion seeking the entry of a
scheduling order. [Doc. ##208, 209]. The Court granted this
motion and ordered the parties to file proposed scheduling
orders on or before August 12, 2016. [Doc. #209]. The parties
have complied with this order and have filed their respective
proposed scheduling orders. [Doc. ##210, 215]. After
considering the parties’ ...