United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING AND ORDER ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Hoegemann (“Plaintiff”) brought this action under
42 U.S.C. § 1983 in forma pauperis alleging
various civil rights violations committed by Donato Palma, a
Town of East Haven police officer, and several parole
officers employed by the Connecticut Board of Pardons and
Parole, Jennifer Desena, James Long, and Frank Mirto
(“State Defendants”) (collectively
“Defendants”) in their individual capacities.
Palma and the State Defendants have separately moved for
following reasons, both motions for summary judgment are
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Factual Background 
Hoegemann is a registered sex offender with two prior
convictions. State Defendants' Statement of Material
Facts Not in Dispute, ECF No. 58-2 ¶ 1 (Nov. 1, 2019)
(“State Defs.' SMF”).
October 25, 2019, Frank Mirto served as the Deputy Director
of the Parole and Community Services Division. Id.
¶ 39. Before that date, from 2012 until the times
relevant to this case, Mr. Mirto served as Parole Manager of
the Special Management Unit, which closely monitors and
supervises convicted offenders who have exhibited problem
sexual behavior and have stipulations for evaluation and
treatment for such behavior. Id. Mr. Mirto served as
a Parole Officer or Parole Manager for fifteen years before
serving as Deputy Director. Id. James Long has been
a Parole Officer for approximately fifteen years.
Id. ¶ 11. Jennifer Desena is also a PO.
November 20, 2013, Mr. Hoegemann was assigned to Ms.
Desena's caseload. Id. ¶ 3 (Nov. 1, 2019)
(“State Defs.' SMF”). As part of his earlier
guilty plea to sexual assault,  Mr. Hoegemann had to serve
twelve-and-a-half years of special parole. Id.
January 8, 2014, Mr. Hoegemann violated various conditions of
his Special Parole, including a new criminal arrest and
charges, so he was remanded to the custody of
Connecticut's Department of Corrections
(“DOC”). Id. ¶ 4.
29, 2014, Mr. Hoegemann received a new criminal sentence of
less than a year. Id. ¶ 5.
August 8, 2014, Mr. Hoegemann was reinstated to Special
Parole and again assigned to Ms. Desena. Id. ¶
6. Ms. Desena met with Mr. Hoegemann prior to his release to
Special Parole, and Mr. Hoegemann signed his conditions of
parole, which included a stipulation to GPS monitoring and a
consent to search condition. Id. ¶ 7. The
consent to search condition, applicable to all Connecticut
parolees, stated: “I will submit to a search of my
person, possessions, vehicle, residence, business, or other
area under my control at any time, announced or unannounced,
with or without cause, by parole or its agents to verify my
compliance with the conditions of my parole.”
Id. ¶ 8 (citing Ex. B: Statement of
Understanding and Agreement - Conditions of Parole, ECF No.
58-4 at 13 (“Parole Conditions Agreement”)).
Ms. Desena took a leave of absence from work due to a family
matter, and in her absence, another parole officer
inadvertently authorized removal of Mr. Hoegemann's GPS
monitoring. Id. ¶ 9.
3, 2014 Incident
December 3, 2014, Ms. Desena contacted Mr. Hoegemann and
directed him to be home at around 8:00 p.m. for
re-installation of an ankle GPS monitoring device.
Id. ¶ 10. Ms. Desena asked James Long to
perform this duty, and he agreed. Id. ¶ 12.
8:07 p.m., the East Haven Police Department received a 911
call. Palma's Local Rule 56(a)(1) Statement, ECF No. 59-2
¶ 1 (Nov. 1, 2019) (“Palma's SMF”). A
male caller reported having been assaulted by Richard
Hoegemann at Robinson Aviation. Id. Officer Donato
Palma, the investigating officer, submitted the eventual
warrant for Mr. Hoegemann's arrest. Id. ¶
2. As part of his investigation, Officer Palma spoke with Mr.
Hoegemann by telephone between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
Id. ¶ 3. These calls were recorded by the East
Haven Police Department. Id.
approximately 9:00 p.m., or shortly thereafter, Mr. Long
arrived at Mr. Hoegemann's residence in Newington. State
Defs.' SMF ¶ 13.
approximately 9:22 p.m., Officer Palma first called Mr.
Hoegemann. Id. ¶ 4. After a brief exchange, Mr.
Hoegemann handed his phone to Mr. Long, who then had a
conversation with Officer Palma. State Defs.' SMF ¶
14. Mr. Long explained to Officer Palma that he did not know
what time Mr. Hoegemann arrived home, but when Mr. Long had
arrived, Mr. Hoegemann was out front with his vehicle, a
silver Chrysler 300. Id. ¶ 15. At no point
during this first conversation did Officer Palma inform Mr.
Long that he had received authorization to have Mr. Hoegemann
strip searched, nor did Officer Palma request that Mr. Long
search Mr. Hoegemann's vehicle. Palma SMF ¶¶ 5,
6. During this first call, Mr. Hoegemann indicated that he
did not leave counseling until 7:20 p.m. Id. ¶
during this first call, Officer Palma never stated that he
was aware of Mr. Hoegemann's parole status or that he
could have him “sent back to jail where he belongs,
” nor did Mr. Hoegemann state that he was “going
to file a complaint against Palma for threatening him.”
Id. ¶¶ 9, 10. Mr. Hoegemann never filed a
complaint against Officer Palma. Id. ¶ 13.
this call, Officer Palma called the Waterbury Parole Office
around 9:40 p.m., but no one answered. Id. ¶
14. Then, also at approximately 9:40 p.m., Officer Palma
called Mr. Hoegemann again, and spoke with both him and Mr.
Long. Id. ¶ 15. Mr. Long communicated that Mr.
Hoegemann was supposed to get out of a counseling session at
7:00 p.m. and meet Mr. Long at 8:00 p.m. so that Mr. Long
could install a GPS bracelet on Mr. Hoegemann, but Mr. Long
had arrived late. State Defs.' SMF ¶ 16. As a
result, Mr. Long could not confirm Mr. Hoegemann's
location at the time of the crime. Palma SMF ¶ 42.
Officer Palma did not inform Mr. Long that he had received
authorization to have Mr. Hoegemann strip searched, nor did
Officer Palma request that Mr. Long search Mr.
Hoegemann's vehicle. Id. ¶¶ 19, 20
(undisputed). Nevertheless, Mr. Hoegemann maintains and
testified at his deposition that during the second call,
Officer Palma ordered Mr. Long to strip search him.
Id. ¶ 32.
the first and second conversations and before placing the GPS
device, Mr. Long conducted a pat-down search and may have
reached under Mr. Hoegemann's jacket and into his
waistband to ensure he had no weapons. State Defs.' SMF
¶ 19. The pat-down was consistent with Mr. Long's
years of training and experience. Id. ¶ 20.
Because he was alone, Mr. Long “was concerned, as he is
always, about his safety and the safety of others.”
Hoegemann also showed Mr. Long a receipt for cigarettes at a
nearby store. Id. ¶ 17. The receipt was
time-stamped 9:01 p.m. Id.
approximately 9:57 p.m., Officer Palma was able to reach and
speak with Ms. Desena. Palma SMF ¶ 22. During this call,
Officer Palma informed Ms. Desena that “the [P]laintiff
had been involved in an incident earlier in the evening and
that an arrest warrant for the [P]laintiff, for breach of
peace, and possibly assault third degree was going to be
placed on the [P]laintiff.” State Defs.' SMF ¶
28 (undisputed). Ms. Desena relayed to Officer Palma that Mr.
Hoegemann was supposed to have been in counseling until 5:45
p.m. Call Five, ECF No. 59-4 at 33 (transcript of the first
phone call between Ms. Desena and Officer Palma); but
see Pl.'s Local Rule 56 Statement, ECF No. 63-1
¶ 41 (Nov. 22, 2019) (“Pl.'s SMF -
Palma”) (alleging that Officer Palma “well knew
that the [P]laintiff ran late and that in fact he could not
have committed the crime at the time alleged in the 911
Palma spoke with Ms. Desena again at approximately 10:09 p.m.
Palma SMF ¶ 25. Officer Palma did not request
authorization from Ms. Desena for Mr. Hoegemann to be strip
searched. Id. ¶¶ 23, 26. Ms. Desena also
contacted her then-supervisor, Mr. Mirto, and informed him of
the situation. State Defs.' SMF ¶ 29. Mr. Mirto did
not have any personal contact with Mr. Hoegemann on December
3, 2014. Id. ¶ 40.
that evening, Mr. Long also contacted Mr. Mirto, who was also
his then-supervisor, and reported 911 call made to the East
Haven Police Department, and that he had also informed Ms.
Desena about the situation. State Defs.' SMF ¶ 27.
Mr. Mirto directed Mr. Long to leave. Id. Mr. Long
recorded the events in his case notes. Id.
Long maintains that he did not “strip search the
plaintiff as alleged in the complaint, ” State
Defs.' SMF ¶ 21, but according to Mr. Hoegemann, Mr.
Long inspected him for bruising and asked him to remove
articles of clothing, Pl.'s Local Rule 56 Statement, ECF
No. 64-1 ¶ 21 (Nov. 22, 2019) (“Pl.'s SMF -
State Defs.”); Ex. 1: Hoegemann Dep., ECF No. 58-3 at
46:22-24 (Sept. 27, 2019) (“Q. So what articles of
clothing did you remove, if anything? A. Sweatshirt, T-shirt,
tank top.”). See also Pl.'s SMF - State
Defs. ¶ 21 (“the phrase ‘strip' search
is not a term with any precise definition”);
id. ¶ 24 (admitting “that there was no
reference to a strip search in the recorded telephone
calls”). Mr. Long also maintains he never asked Mr.
Hoegemann to remove his T-shirt and undershirt. State
Defs.' SMF ¶ 25; compare Id. ¶ 26
(Officer Palma did not ask Mr. Long to “inspect
[P]laintiff's upper torso to look for marks or scratches,
as alleged by plaintiff in his deposition”),
with Pl.'s SMF - State Defs. ¶ 26
(admitting the previous fact).
to Mr. Hoegemann, the removal of those three articles of
clothing-the sweatshirt, T-shirt, and tank top-is the
“strip search” at issue in this lawsuit. Palma
SMF ¶¶ 29, 30 (admitted). Mr. Hoegemann also
alleges that this “strip search” occurred while
Mr. Long was on the phone with Officer Palma. Id.
December 5, 2014, after a case conference, Mr. Mirto
authorized and directed Ms. Desena to remand Mr. Hoegemann to
custody. State Defs.' SMF ¶¶ 30, 42. Other
parole officers who assisted with the remand were Parole
Officers Long, Fortuna, and Thompson. Id. The remand
was routine, and Mr. Hoegemann cooperated. Id.
¶ 31; see also Id. ¶ 32 (noting that Conn.
Gen. Stat. § 54-127 authorizes any parole officer to
arrest and hold any parolee who is ordered back into actual
custody without a written warrant).
Desena continued her investigation of the parole violation.
Id. ¶ 33. Following Mr. Mirto's directions,
she spoke with and obtained statements from the complainants
in the assault that occurred on December 3, 2014: Glenn
Evans, who was the victim, and Nazia Rahman, who was a
witness and Mr. Hoegemann's ex-girlfriend. Id.
¶¶ 33, 43. Mr. Mirto witnessed and notarized one of
the statements. Id. ¶ 43. Ms. Desena then
prepared a Notice of Parole Violation Report. Id.
Ms. Desena, Mr. Mirto was on-duty and present at the
Waterbury District Parole Office on December 5, 2014, when
Plaintiff was remanded. Id. ¶¶ 42, 45. At
no time did Mr. Hoegemann complain to Mr. Mirto about an
alleged strip search, improper search, or otherwise improper
conduct by any PO. Id. 45. Mr. Hoegemann admits that
he testified incorrectly at his deposition that Mr. Mirto was
not present that day. Compare State Defs.' SMF
¶ 44, with Pl.'s SMF - State Defs. ¶
44 (admitting the fact).
December 9, 2014, the Notice of Parole Violation Report was
served on Mr. Hoegemann, but he refused to sign it. State
Defs.' SMF ¶ 35. The Notice charged him with
violating condition (1), obey all laws; and condition (6),
statutory release criteria, which stated that Mr.
Hoegemann's release on parole “was no longer
compatible with the welfare of society, and it was not
reasonably probable that he could live and remain on parole
without violating the law.” Id. ¶ 36.
Desena then completed a Parole Violation Report, adding four
addenda based on new information received before the parole
revocation hearing. Id. ¶ 37.
December 29, 2014, after reviewing the evidence submitted by
the Department of Correction parole officers, regarding Mr.
Hoegemann's conduct on December 3, the Chairperson of the
Board of Pardons and Paroles found that there was probable
cause to issue a warrant for Mr. Hoegemann's
re-imprisonment. Id. ¶ 55.
March 15, 2016, after a parole revocation hearing, by a
preponderance of the evidence, Mr. Hoegemann was found to
have violated his conditions of Special Parole. Id.
The parole revocation hearing had been continued “a
number of times” at Mr. Hoegemann's request.
Id. ¶ 59.
Mirto did not receive any inmate request or grievance
concerning the conduct of any parole officer with regard to
either December 3 or December 5, 2014. Id. ¶
46. Grievances about staff misconduct “are taken quite
seriously and investigated” by a dedicated staff person
in the Parole and Community Service unit. Id. ¶
47. Mr. Hoegemann admits he did not file any grievances
concerning the events in this case, id. ¶ 49,
but also admits he has used the same inmate administrative
remedy system with regard to other issues, id.
¶ 51. Despite knowing about the administrative remedies
process, Mr. Hoegemann never filed a complaint against any of
the State Defendants. Id. ¶¶ 52-54.
January 15, 2015, Officer Palma signed an arrest warrant,
which charged Mr. Hoegemann with breach of peace in the
second degree and stalking in the second degree. Palma SMF
¶ 34. As part of his investigation, Officer Palma
interviewed Mr. Hoegemann's ex-girlfriend, who was
present during the December 3, 2014, assault at Robinson
Aviation, had a child with Mr. Hoegemann, and had complained
to the Hamden Police Department about alleged child custody
issues and harassment by him. Id. ¶ 43
(undisputed). The warrant listed the incident date as
December 2, 2014, instead of December 3, 2014. Id.
The parties dispute whether the incorrect date was a
typographical error. Compare State Defs.' SMF
¶ 56, with Pl.'s SMF - State Defs. ¶
January 20, 2015, a prosecuting authority signed the arrest
warrant, Palma SMF ¶ 35, and a judge of the Connecticut
Superior Court ...