United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING AND ORDER ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case, removed from Connecticut Superior Court on March 30,
2017, involves allegations that a zoning official in
Plainfield, Connecticut, Ryan Brais
(“Defendant”), violated the Fourth Amendment
rights of Alice Melillo and Allen Norden (together,
“Plaintiffs”) by performing unnecessary
inspections in their garage, photographing their belongings,
and taking several objects from a closet, in violation of
Section 1983. See Am. Compl., ECF No. 64.
August 3, 2018, Mr. Brais moved for summary judgment. ECF No.
following reasons, the motion for summary judgment is
DENIED. This case, however, will proceed to
trial only if Plaintiffs have admissible evidence that
demonstrates a genuine issue of material fact as to whether
Mr. Brais is entitled to qualified immunity, as addressed
further below. Plaintiffs' response is due on or before
September 7, 2018.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Court assumes the parties' familiarity with the factual
and procedural background in this case. See Order
granting Motion to Dismiss at 2-4, ECF No. 53; Order granting
in part and denying in part Motion to Dismiss Amended
Complaint at 2-5, ECF No. 89.
December 21, 2016, Plaintiffs filed this case in small claims
court. Defendant transferred the case to the regular civil
docket of the Connecticut Superior Court. Notice of Removal
at 1, ECF No. 1; Melillo v. Brais, No.
KNL-CV175015354-S (Conn. Super. Ct. 2017). Defendant then
removed the case to this Court. Notice of Removal at 2.
Plaintiffs moved to remand, and this Court denied the motion,
finding that it had federal question jurisdiction over the
case. Ruling on Motion to Remand Case at 4-7, ECF No. 26.
14, 2017, Defendant moved to dismiss the original Complaint,
and on December 21, 2017, the Court granted the motion to
dismiss. ECF Nos. 40, 53. On January 19, 2018, Plaintiffs
filed an Amended Complaint, asserting that Defendant had
violated their Fourth Amendment rights to privacy in
violation of Section 1983. Am. Compl., ECF No. 64. Plaintiffs
also brought a claim of intentional infliction of emotional
distress. Id. Defendant moved to dismiss the Amended
Complaint, and the Court granted the motion to the extent
that the Amended Complaint asserted claims against Mr. Brais
in his official capacity, but denied that motion on all other
claims. ECF No. 89.
August 3, 2018, Defendant filed a motion for summary
judgment, asserting: (1) Mr. Brais is entitled to qualified
immunity with regard to Plaintiffs' constitutional claims
under Counts One and Two; (2) Mr. Brais, by commencing and
prosecuting a zoning enforcement action, did not violate
Plaintiffs' constitutional rights; (3) Mr. Brais did not
deprive Plaintiffs of a right to appeal a 2015 cease and
desist order; (4) the submission of a proposed stipulated
judgment to Plaintiffs did not violate their constitutional
rights; (5) Mr. Brais did not seize or take Plaintiffs'
personal belongings and is therefore not liable to compensate
Plaintiffs; and (6) Plaintiffs' state-law claim for
intentional infliction of emotional distress fails as a
matter of law. Mot. for Summ. J., ECF No. 105. Along with his
motion for summary judgment, Mr. Brais also filed a sixty-six
page statement of material facts. ECF No. 105-2.
August 8, 2018, Plaintiffs filed an emergency motion for
clarification, arguing that Mr. Brais's sixty-six page
statement of material facts violated this Court's Local
Rules, which require that a Local Rule 56(a)(1) statement
“shall be no longer than twelve (12) double-spaced
pages, absent leave of the Court granted for good cause
shown.” Mot. for Clarification at 1, ECF No. 106-1.
August 8, 2018, Mr. Brais filed a response to Plaintiffs'
motion, admitting that the original Local 56(a)(1) Statement
violated the page limit of the Local Rule. ECF No. 108. Mr.
Brais filed a proposed amended Local 56(a)(1) Statement,
which is 41 pages, and requests that the Court grant,
nunc pro tunc, leave to file excess pages.
Id. at 1-2. Plaintiffs objected to the request to
file excess pages. ECF No. 109.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
will grant a motion for summary judgment if the record shows
no genuine issue as to any material fact, and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a).
The moving party bears the initial burden of establishing the
absence of a genuine dispute of material fact. Celotex
Corp. v. Cartrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The
non-moving party may defeat the motion by producing
sufficient specific facts to establish that there is a
genuine issue of material fact for trial. Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986).
“[T]he mere existence of some alleged factual
dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise
properly supported motion for summary judgment; the
requirement is that there be no genuine issue of
material fact.” Id. at 247-48.
must view any inferences drawn from the facts in the light
most favorable to the party opposing the summary judgment
motion. Dufort v. City of New York, 874 F.3d 338,
343 (2d Cir. 2017). A court will not draw an inference of a
genuine dispute of material fact from conclusory allegations
or denials, Brown v. Eli Lilly & Co., 654 F.3d
347, 358 (2d Cir. 2011), and will grant summary judgment only
“if, under ...