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Ramos v. Poore

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

March 31, 2017

JOSE ERIC RAMOS, Plaintiff,
v.
COREY POORE, ET AL., Defendants.

          RULING ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          VICTOR A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff, Jose Eric Ramos, is currently confined at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, Connecticut (“MacDougall-Walker”). Mr. Ramos initially filed this action in the Connecticut Superior Court for the Judicial District of New London, asserting claims of excessive force, lack of speedy arraignment, and violations of the right to counsel and the right to remain silent against Defendants, Sergeant Corey Poore, Detectives James Curtis and H. Reams, Supervisor John Doe on Shift 9-16-12, and the Norwich Police Department.

         On April 9, 2015, Defendants removed the action from state court to this Court under 28 U.S.C. § 1446. See Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1. On April 20, 2016, Defendants moved for summary judgment. The Court denied the motion without prejudice because counsel had neglected to file and serve a Notice to Pro Se Litigant on Mr. Ramos as required by D. Conn. L. Civ. R. 56(b). See Order, ECF No. 11. Defendants subsequently moved to renew their motion for summary judgment, see Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 13, and Mr. Ramos filed a memorandum and a Local Rule 56(a)(2) Statement in opposition to the motion for summary judgment, see Mem. Opp'n Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 18 and Local Rule 56(a)(2) Statement, ECF No. 19. For the reasons set forth below, the motion for summary judgment is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.

         I. Standard of Review

         In a motion for summary judgment, the burden is on the moving party to establish that there are no genuine issues of material fact in dispute and that it is “entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Rule 56(a), Fed.R.Civ.P. A fact is “material” if it “might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law, ” and it is “genuine” if “a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party” based on it. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).

         When a motion for summary judgment is supported by documentary evidence and sworn affidavits and “demonstrates the absence of a genuine issue of material fact, ” the nonmoving party must do more than vaguely assert the existence of some unspecified disputed material facts or “rely on conclusory allegations or unsubstantiated speculation.” Robinson v. Concentra Health Servs., Inc., 781 F.3d 42, 44 (2d Cir. 2015) (citation omitted). Thus, the party opposing the motion for summary judgment “must come forward with specific evidence demonstrating the existence of a genuine dispute of material fact.” Id.

         In reviewing the record, the Court must “construe the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and to draw all reasonable inferences in its favor.” Gary Friedrich Enters., L.L.C. v. Marvel Characters, Inc., 716 F.3d 302, 312 (2d Cir. 2013) (citation omitted). If there is any evidence in the record from which a reasonable factual inference could be drawn in favor of the opposing party for the issue on which summary judgment is sought, however, summary judgment is improper. See Security Ins. Co. of Hartford v. Old Dominion Freight Line Inc., 391 F.3d 77, 83 (2d Cir. 2004).

         Where one party is proceeding pro se, the Court reads the pro se party's papers liberally and interprets them “to raise the strongest arguments that they suggest.” Willey v. Kirkpatrick, 801 F.3d 51, 62 (2d Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Despite this liberal interpretation, however, “[u]nsupported allegations do not create a material issue of fact” and cannot overcome a properly supported motion for summary judgment. See Weinstock v. Columbia Univ., 224 F.3d 33, 41 (2d Cir. 2000), cert. denied, 540 U.S. 811 (2003).

         II. Factual Allegations[1]

         Corey Poore, James Curtis and H. Reams were Detectives with the Norwich Police Department as of September 25, 2012. Based on an investigation by the Norwich Police Department and the State of Connecticut Office of the Chief State's Attorney's Southeastern Connecticut Cold Case Unit into the shooting of Tynell Hardwick in October 2008 in Norwich, Connecticut, Detective Poore obtained a warrant for the arrest of Mr. Jose Ramos for the murder of Mr. Hardwick. Detective Poore subsequently obtained information that Mr. Ramos was living in New York.

         On September 25, 2012, New York Police officers and detectives arrested Mr. Ramos at 69-42 Decoste Avenue, Queens, New York pursuant to the warrant for his arrest. Following Mr. Ramos's custodial arrest arrest, New York Police officers transferred custody of Mr. Ramos to Detective Poore, who transported Mr. Ramos to the 90th Precinct of the New York Police Department, located in Brooklyn, New York.

         At the police precinct, Mr. Ramos signed a Norwich Police Department Advisement of Rights form. Later that day, a New York Assistant District Attorney presented Mr. Ramos to a judge in the Criminal Court of the City of New York, County of Kings in a waiver of extradition proceeding. During that proceeding, Mr. Ramos acknowledged that he was a fugitive from the State of Connecticut who had been charged in the County of New London with the crime of murder, waived his right to the issuance and service of a warrant of extradition, and consented to his return to the State of Connecticut.

         That evening, Detectives Poore, Curtis and Reams transported Mr. Ramos from New York to the Norwich Police Department. At approximately 12:02 a.m. on September 26, 2012, Mr. Ramos signed a State of Connecticut Notice of Rights - Bail. Mr. Ramos spent the night in a holding cell at the Norwich Police Department.

         At approximately 8:00 a.m. on September 26, 2012, Detective Poore brought Mr. Ramos into an interview room at the Norwich Police Department and Mr. Ramos signed another Advisement of Rights and a Waiver of Rights. Detective Poore interviewed Mr. Ramos for approximately three hours. During this time, Mr. Ramos confessed to the murder of Mr. Hardwick in October 2008, wrote a letter of apology to Mr. Hardwick's mother, wrote and signed a confession statement, and signed a waiver consenting to a DNA swab.

         At approximately, 11:00 a.m., Detective Poore transported Mr. Ramos to the Norwich Superior Court. Upon arrival at the courthouse, Detective Poore turned Mr. Ramos over to judicial marshals. A judge arraigned Mr. Ramos on the charge of murder that afternoon. On January 5, 2016, the judge denied Mr. Ramos's motion to suppress his statements and admissions to the murder of Mr. Hardwick.

         On April 29, 2016, a jury in the Connecticut Superior Court for the Judicial District of New London found Mr. Ramos guilty of murder.[2] The judge sentenced Mr. Ramos to sixty years of ...


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