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Plaintiff v. District of Columbia

September 21, 2012

PLAINTIFF, PRINCE EDWARD JONES,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Beryl A. Howell United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Pending before the Court is the motion for summary judgment [Dkt. #47] filed by the sole remaining defendant in this case, Metropolitan Police Department Officer Jarlith Cady.*fn1

For the reasons discussed below, the motion will be granted.*fn2

I. BACKGROUND

The events giving rise to the plaintiff's complaint began on February 19, 2006, when Officer Jarlith Cady ("Cady") of the Metropolitan Police Department ("MPD") responded to a 911 call to plaintiff's residence at 4452 B Street S.E., Apartment #102, in Washington, D.C.

A. Plaintiff's Allegations

The plaintiff allegedly called "911 . . . about a female person attempting to burglarize his apartment." Pl.'s Opp'n to Defs.' Mot. for Summ. J. ("Pl.'s Opp'n") at 3. While he remained "on the phone with [the] 911 dispatcher," the plaintiff was told that police had arrived on the scene "but couldn't enter the building [because] the front door was locked." Id. The plaintiff met Cady at the door of the apartment building, id., only to find that Cady brought with him "the female who had attempted to break into his residence. Compl. ¶ 9. The plaintiff identified the burglary suspect as Patrice Taylor. Pl.'s Opp'n at 3. "Instead of investigating [Patrice Taylor] for the Burglary-in-process call, . . . Cady allowed [her] to manipulate him to break into the Plaintiff[']s residence" on her behalf and to search the premises. Id. ¶ 10. Cady "seize[d] Plaintiff's house keys by force, open[ed] plaintiff[']s front door . . . and . . . search[ed his apartment] without probable cause or warrant." Id. ¶ 11.

The plaintiff further alleges that the next day, February 20, 2006, Detective Kevin Tighe ("Tighe") obtained a search warrant based on "false and fraudulent information that lacked probable cause" as it was based on unreliable "second hand information." Id. ¶ 12. Cady and Tighe conducted a second search of the plaintiff's apartment on that same date. Id. ¶¶ 12-13. According to the plaintiff, Tighe exceeded the scope of the warrant and seized items that were not listed in the warrant. Id. ¶¶ 14-15. As a result, the "[p]laintiff was arrested . . . and falsely charged" with a crime. Id. ¶ 16. On February 22, 2006, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia "found that there was no probable cause and dismissed all charges" against plaintiff. Id. ¶ 17.

"On or about March 16, 2006[,] The State of Maryland[,] Prince George[']s County[,] . . . issued an arrest warrant for the plaintiff." Id. ¶ 18. According to the plaintiff, Cady and Tighe turned over property seized from the plaintiff's apartment to "the State of Maryland Prince Georges [sic] County States Attorneys [sic] Office [which] wrongfully used the illegally obtained property" as evidence against him. Id. "Since March 16, 2006, [p]laintiff has been incarcerated in the State of Maryland." Id. ¶ 6.

B. Defendant's Representations

Cady's version of events is set forth in the police report he filed on February 20, 2006:

WHILE ON ROUTINE PATROL IN THE SIXTH DISTRICT . . . OFFICERS CADY AND . . . CIPOLARI DURING THE MIDNIGHT TOUR ON 2/19/06 . . . IN FULL UNIFORM . . . THE SIXTH DISTRICT DISPATCHER ADVISED THAT THERE WAS A BURGULARY [sic] IN PROGRESS AT 4452 B ST[.] SE.

ONCE ON THE SCENE OFFICER CADY [and three other officers] WERE MET BY D-1 [plaintiff] AND C-1 [complaining witness Patrice Taylor] AT THE FRONT DOOR OF 4452 B ST[.] SE. [Patrice] STATED THAT HER SISTER, D-2 [Porsha Taylor] WAS INSIDE THE APARTMENT AND SHE COULD HEAR HER SISTER BEING CHOKED FROM OUTSIDE THE APARTMENT[']S BEDROOM WINDOW. [Patrice] ALSO STATED THAT SHE HAD SPOKE [sic] TO HER SISTER ON [plaintiff's] PHONE EARLIER AND THAT SHE HAD ASKED HER TO COME OVER TO HER APARTMENT (4452 B ST SE #102). [Plaintiff] WAS ASKED BY THE OFFICERS IN FRONT OF THE APARTMENT IF THEY COULD ENTER THE APARTMENT TO CONTINUE THE INTERVIEW AND TO CHECK ON THE WELFARE OF [Porsha]. [Plaintiff] STATED THAT "YOU CAN[']T COME IN" (REFER[R]ING TO THE OFFICERS), [and plaintiff] MADE SEVERAL STATEMENTS THAT THE APARTMENT WAS HIS AND THAT THE OFFICERS HAD NO RIGHT TO ENTER THE APARTMENT. . . . CADY [and two other officers] ENTERED THE APARTMENT AND BEGAN TO SEARCH FOR [Porsha].

THE MAIN LIVING AREA AND BEDROOM HAD NO LIGHTS ON, MAKING IT VERY DIFFICULT TO SEE. WHILE SEARCHING FOR [Porsha] IN THE BEDROOM . . . CADY BELIEVING HE HAD FOUND [HER] HIDING UNDERNEATH THE BLANKET ON WHAT . . . CADY BELIEVED TO BE A REGULAR MATTRESS ON THE FLOOR . . . CADY PUSHED THE MATTRESS WHICH TURNED OUT TO BE A SEMI-INFLATED AIR MATTRESS WITH HIS FOOT. THE BLANKET AND MAT[T]RESS WERE LIGHTER THAN EXPECTED AND MOVED SEVERAL FEET AWAY FROM A WALL. . . . CADY FOUND A LOADED REVOLVER . . . ON THE FLOOR AND ANNOUNCED HIS FINDING TO THE OTHER OFFICERS. WHILE SEARCHING FOR [Porsha] . . . CADY FOUND A CLEAR[] ...


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