By: Daily Record Staff//March 15, 2013
By: Daily Record Staff//March 15, 2013//
U.S. District Court, WDNY
Mental Hygiene Law — Qualified Immunity
Ryan v. Moss, et al.
Background: The pro se plaintiff brought an action against a number of Chemung County Sheriff’s Office employees asserting a number of constitutional claims arising from the defendants’ illegal entry into a home and subsequent arrest and detention pursuant to the Mental Hygiene Law.
Ruling: The judge found that while exigent circumstances may not have existed, the defendants were still entitled to qualified immunity. Specifically, the officers were told by the plaintiff’s girlfriend that he had broken into her home, that he was covered in blood and under the influence of narcotics and alcohol. The judge, however, found issues of fact existed with regard to the plaintiff’s excessive force claims. Further, there were conflicting versions of the events warranting a need for a jury to resolve whether there was probable cause to arrest the plaintiff under the Mental Hygiene Law. The court dismissed the section 1983 claims against the sheriff in his official capacity as no evidence was provided regarding the use of force against him.
James R. Ryan, pro se; Bryan J. Maggs of Davidson & O’Mara for the defendants