United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER GRANTING DISMISSAL
Jeffrey Alker Meyer United States District Judge.
has filed this civil rights suit against a police department,
police officers, and prosecutors arising from events that led
to his conviction in Connecticut state court. Three of the
five defendants have moved to dismiss, and plaintiff has
failed to file a response. Because I conclude that plaintiff
has failed to state a claim against any of the defendants, I
will dismiss this action.
to his complaint, plaintiff Dean Fragola responded to an
advertisement on the internet placed by a woman that was
trying to “break into the porn business.” Doc. #1
at ¶ 5. Plaintiff offered to assist the woman in her
pursuit of an adult film career, reaching out to her by text,
e-mail, and a voice message, and creating posters of her
photographs and posting her pictures on his twitter account.
Id. at ¶¶ 5-7. The woman then
“decided to lie to police and tell them that he had
hacked into her accounts.” Id. at ¶ 9.
Police conducted a search of plaintiff's residence,
id. at ¶13, and seized items of his personal
property. Id. at ¶19. Plaintiff was charged in
Connecticut state court and ultimately pled guilty to
misdemeanor charges of second-degree harassment, criminal
impersonation, and second-degree stalking. He was sentenced
to up to one year of incarceration, execution suspended, and
a conditional discharge for 2 years. Id. at
¶¶ 14, 18; see also Doc. #40-3 at 2
(conviction case detail from judicial branch website,
indicating suspension of jail time and 2 years of conditional
now brings this civil rights action against defendants
Plainville Police Department, Sergeant (now Lieutenant)
Nicholas Mullins, Detective David Posadas, and prosecuting
attorneys David Lee and Paul Rotiroti pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. His complaint alleges three claims: (1) false
arrest and false imprisonment in violation of the Fourth
Amendment; (2) a “takings” of his property under
the Fifth Amendment; and (3) a civil conspiracy to violate
his civil rights.
November 4, 2016, defendants Mullins, Posadas, and the
Plainville Police Department (the “Plainville
defendants”) filed a motion to dismiss plaintiff's
claims for failure to state a claim. Plaintiff never filed a
response to the motion to dismiss or any motion for extension
of time. For this reason and because, as discussed
below, the pleadings do not provide sufficient grounds to
deny the motion, the motion to dismiss is granted pursuant to
D. Conn. L. Civ. R. 7(a)(2).
addition, I have also considered the merits of
defendants' motion to dismiss and conclude that the
complaint fails to state a claim for substantially the
reasons set forth in their supporting memorandum of law.
First, as to plaintiff's claim under the Fourth
Amendment, plaintiff's claim necessarily calls into
question the validity of his convictions, and therefore his
claim is foreclosed by the Supreme Court's decision in
Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994).
Moreover, the fact of his convictions negates his ability to
make the requisite showing that there was no probable cause
for his arrest and imprisonment. See Davis v.
Rodriguez, 364 F.3d 424, 433 (2d Cir. 2004). Second, as
to plaintiff's takings claim, plaintiff has not exhausted
state remedies. See Williamson Cnty. Reg'l Planning
Comm'n v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City, 473 U.S.
172, 194-95 (1985); Komondy v. Gioco, 59 F.Supp.3d
469, 476-78 (D. Conn. 2014). Lastly, plaintiff's
conspiracy claim fails for lack of an actionable
constitutional claim of misconduct.
claims against the defendant prosecutors are also subject to
sua sponte dismissal on the same grounds pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). In addition, prosecutors have
absolute immunity from suits for money damages arising from
the exercise of their traditional prosecution functions.
See Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 429, 430-31 (1976);
Giraldo v. Kessler, 694 F.3d 161, 165-67 (2d Cir.
foregoing reasons, the Plainville defendants' motion to
dismiss (Doc. #40) is GRANTED. This case is otherwise
dismissed as to the prosecutor defendants pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). This dismissal is with prejudice
for lack of any indication that the deficiencies in the
complaint could be cured by amendment. The Clerk of Court
shall close this case.