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Onofrio v. Savoy

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

September 24, 2018

CLIFFORD ONOFRIO, Plaintiff,
v.
RAYMOND SAVOY and STEPHANIE SAVOY, Defendants.

          RULING ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          WILLIAM I. GARFINKEL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Clifford Onofrio (“Onofrio”) brings this diversity action against Raymond Savoy and Stephanie Savoy (“Savoys”) alleging various state law claims. This case is - in essence - a dispute between neighbors. Onofrio's claims arise from police responding to a noise complaint made by the Savoys on December 12, 2012. Now before the Court are the Savoys' Motions for Summary Judgment. [Doc. ## 36, 37]. For the reasons that follow, the Court grants the motions and dismisses Plaintiff's complaint it its entirety.

         Background

         Onofrio commenced this action on November 25, 2015. He filed an Amended Complaint on December 20, 2016, seeking to assert the following claims against the Savoys: intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy, slander, and malicious prosecution. On November 24, 2017, the Savoys moved for summary judgment on all counts. Onofrio filed an opposition on December 15, 2017. In violation of Local Rule 56, Onofrio's opposition did not include a 56(a)(2) Statement of Facts in Opposition to Summary Judgment.[1] The Court ordered Onofrio to submit this statement. He did so on February 5, 2018.

         Facts[2]

         In 2011, Onofrio purchased a condominium, Apartment 2B, in Naugatuck, Connecticut, and hired a contractor to do some renovation work. The Savoys lived next door, in Apartment 2A. Onofrio alleges that the Savoys did not like him because they thought the contractor who was doing the renovations made too much noise. [Plaintiff's Rule 56(a)(2) Statement, Doc. # 42, at ¶ 7]. According to Onofrio, the Savoys began to retaliate against him by banging walls, dropping things, and making noise in their own apartment. [Id.].

         The impetus of the instant action occurred on December 12, 2012. On that date, several Naugatuck police officers were dispatched to the Savoy residence to respond to their complaint of noise coming from Onofrio's apartment. The Savoys told the responding officers that Onofrio had been hitting walls, screaming, and slamming doors that day.[3] They also told the officers that similar incidents had been occurring for about a year and a half, and that these incidents were distracting and disturbing, and frightening to their young family members. Onofrio was issued an infraction for creating a public disturbance in violation of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-181a in connection with the December 12, 2012 police encounter. In July 2013, a nolle prosequi[4] was entered with respect to the infraction issued against Onofrio.

         The Savoys maintain that all of the information they provided to the police on December 12, 2012 was true and accurate to the best of their knowledge. [Defendants' Rule 56(a)(1) Statement, Doc. # 36-1, at ¶ 5]. They deny intentionally causing any type of disturbance to distress Onofrio, and deny any involvement in the police's decision to issue Onofrio an infraction for creating a public disturbance on December 12, 2012. [Id. at ¶¶ 6-7]. They aver that any emotional distress Onofrio experienced was a result of his chronic mental illness and not connected to his experience in the condominium. [Id. at ¶¶ 8-9].

         Onofrio alleges that his son, his health aides, and his friends had all also heard the Savoys being loud and disruptive. [Plaintiff's Rule 56(a)(2) Statement, Doc. # 42, at ¶ 5]. He claims that the Savoys, who have connections to the Naugatuck police department[5], called the police because they wanted to intimidate him and cause his arrest, and believed that their connections would make them more credible to the officers. [Id. at ¶ 6]. Plaintiff states he was traumatized by his arrest on December 12, 2012, and as a result of it, he expended legal fees to resolve the charge. [Id. at ¶¶ B3, 7].

         Legal Standard

         The court shall grant summary judgment if the moving party demonstrates that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A material fact is identified by the substantive law under which the claim is brought, and is one that may make a difference in the outcome of a case. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute as to a material fact is “genuine” if “the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Id. The burden is on the moving party to demonstrate the absence of any material factual issue genuinely in dispute. Am. Int'l Group, Inc. v. London Am. Int'l Corp. Ltd., 664 F.2d 348, 351 (2d Cir. 1981).

         The court's function in ruling on a motion for summary judgment is not “to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249. In making this determination, the court should review all of the evidence in the record and resolve all ambiguities and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150 (2000). The court, however, may not make credibility determinations. Id. “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. 1991), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 849 (1991). Stated differently, “if there is any evidence in the record that could reasonably support a jury's verdict for the non-moving party, ” summary judgment must be denied. Marvel Characters, Inc. v. Simon, 310 F.3d 280, 286 (2d Cir. 2002). Keeping these standards in mind, the Court discusses Onofrio's claims in turn.

         Discussion

         A. Intentional Infliction of ...


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