United States District Court, D. Connecticut
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR
W. EGINTON SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
an equal protection action by plaintiff Delia Sienna against
defendant Sarah Alicea. Plaintiff is a female who resides in
Rocky Hill, Connecticut. Defendant is a police officer with
the Cromwell Police Department who responded to a domestic
disturbance call at plaintiff's residence. Plaintiff
alleges that although both she and her husband had
participated in the verbal and physical altercation that
precipitated defendant's arrival, defendant arrested only
plaintiff. Plaintiff contends that she was deprived of her
right to equal protection because of her gender.
has moved for summary judgment. For the following reasons,
defendant's motion will be granted.
motion for summary judgment will be granted where there is no
genuine issue as to any material fact and it is clear that
the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
"Only when reasonable minds could not differ as to the
import of the evidence is summary judgment proper."
Bryant v. Maffucci, 923 F.2d 979, 982 (2d Cir.),
cert. denied, 502 U.S. 849 (1991).
burden is on the moving party to demonstrate the absence of
any material factual issue genuinely in dispute. American
International Group, Inc. v. London American International
Corp., 664 F.2d 348, 351 (2d Cir. 1981). In determining
whether a genuine factual issue exists, the court must
resolve all ambiguities and draw all reasonable inferences
against the moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986).
nonmoving party has failed to make a sufficient showing on an
essential element of his case with respect to which he has
the burden of proof, then summary judgment is appropriate.
Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 323. If the nonmoving
party submits evidence which is "merely colorable,
" legally sufficient opposition to the motion for
summary judgment is not met. Anderson, 477 U.S. at
Equal Protection Claim
Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment commands
that no State shall ‘deny to any person within its
jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, ' which is
essentially a direction that all persons similarly situated
should be treated alike.” City of Cleburne, Tex. v.
Cleburne Living Center, 473 U.S. 432, 439 (1985). To
establish a gender-based equal protection claim under the
Fourteenth Amendment, plaintiff must show intentional
discrimination on the basis of gender. See Dutko v.
Lofthouse, 549 F.Supp.2d 187, 191 (D. Conn. 2008).
argues that plaintiff's equal protection claim should
fail as a matter of law because plaintiff has not
demonstrated that gender played a role in her arrest. Indeed,
plaintiff's own responses to defendant's
interrogatories indicate that her husband's friendship
with defendant was the underlying reason for any perceived
mistreatment. When asked to state the facts upon which she
based her contention that Officer Alicea had discriminated
against her because of her gender, plaintiff responded:
Officer Alicea had and has an implied and pledged loyalty and
friendship to my husband Nicholas Sienna as well as his close
friends and relatives of the Cromwell Police Department.
deposition, plaintiff recalled her husband telling her:
[Y]ou don't even know; I'm friends with all the cops;
no one's ever gonna get me; they're all my friends,
my dad's friends; you'll never win.
affirmed that her husband had repeatedly made statements
about his friendship with ...