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Vasquez v. Garcia

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

December 16, 2019

ANNA VASQUEZ, Plaintiff(s),
v.
DAVID GARCIA, Defendant.

          RULING AND ORDER ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          VICTOR A. BOLDEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Anna Vasquez (“Plaintiff”) sued David Garcia (“Defendant”) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of her substantive due process rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and for negligent infliction of emotional distress and assault under Connecticut law.

         Mr. Garcia has moved to for summary judgment.

         For the following reasons, Mr. Garcia's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.

         Ms. Vasquez's Section 1983 claims are dismissed as a matter of law and the Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over her remaining state law claims, resulting in the closing of this case.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Allegations

         This case arises out of a series of text messages sent from Mr. Garcia, an officer and a detective in the Bridgeport Police Department, to Ms. Vasquez between February 26, 2015, and April 19, 2016. Def. Statement of Material Fact, ECF No. 34-1 ¶ 1 (Apr. 12, 2019) (“Def. SMF”); Pl. Statement of Facts in Opposition, ECF No. 38 ¶ 1 (May 20, 2019) (“Pl. SMF”); Compl., ECF No. 1 ¶ 5 (May 23, 2017).

         At some point before February 2015, Ms. Vasquez filed a larceny complaint with the Bridgeport Police Department. Pl. Additional Material Facts, ECF No. 38 at 5 (May 20, 2019) (“Pl. Additional Facts”). Mr. Garcia, in his capacity as detective for the Bridgeport Police Department, investigated it. During the course of this investigation, Mr. Garcia and Ms. Vasquez “had numerous conversations.” Id. Ms. Vasquez had asked for Mr. Garcia's help because they had socialized together previously. Def. SMF ¶ 5; Pl. SMF ¶ 5. Ms. Vasquez's then boyfriend was a close friend of Mr. Garcia. Def. SMF ¶ 2; Pl. SMF ¶ 2.[1]

         On March 4, 2016, by text message, Ms. Vasquez asked Mr. Garcia “to inquire about items taken from here that [were] being investigated by the defendant.” Pl. Additional Facts ¶ 5. Mr. Garcia told her that he would call in an hour. Id. Between March 4 and March 5 of 2016, Mr. Garcia, however, sent a series of graphic and sexual texts to Ms. Vasquez. Def.'s Exhibit A, ECF No. 34-2 at 2 (Apr. 12, 2019) (“Def. Exh. A”).[2] The content of these text messages “did not mention, refer, or to relate [sic] to any police business or investigation.” Def. SMF ¶ 6.

         At the time of these messages, Ms. Vasquez lived in New Haven, Connecticut, rather than Bridgeport, Connecticut. Def. SMF ¶ 9; Pl. SMF ¶ 9. Mr. Garcia, however, did not know that she had moved to New Haven. Id. After receiving the graphic and sexual text messages, Ms. Vasquez felt offended, scared, embarrassed and disrespected. Pl. SMF ¶ 8.

         B. Procedural History

         On May 23, 2017, Ms. Vasquez filed this Complaint, alleging violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and civil assault. Compl., ECF No. 1 (May 23, 2017). She also filed a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Mot. to Proceed In Forma Pauperis, ECF No. 2 (May 23, 2017).

         On May 24, 2017, the Court referred the case to Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel to review the motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Order, ECF No. 6 (May 24, 2017). Judge Garfinkel granted the motion on May 25, 2018. Order, ECF No. 7 (May 25, 2017).

         On August 10, 2017, Mr. Garcia timely filed an Answer. Answer, ECF No. 14 (Aug. 10, 2017).

         On November 9, 2018, the Court held a post-discovery telephonic status conference. ...


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