By: Daily Record Staff//September 16, 2015
By: Daily Record Staff//September 16, 2015//
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Brown v. City of New York
Judges Newman, Jacobs and Calabresi
Background: The defendant had approached police officers and requested help finding a bathroom. The conversation quickly escalated into a confrontation, an arrest, a struggle, and the use of force and pepper spray. The plaintiff appealed from an order that granted summary judgment to the police officers on the grounds of qualified immunity.
Ruling: The Second Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part. The court held that the unlawful arrest claim was properly dismissed on the grounds of qualified immunity. However, her claim for use of excessive force should be remanded for trial as the severity of the crime was unquestionably slight. The offense was disorderly conduct that has a maximum penalty of 15 days in jail. Moreover, there was no evidence that the plaintiff posed a threat to the safety of the officers.
Joshua S. Moskovitz of Beldock Levine & Hoffman for the appellant; Julie Steiner, assistant corporation counsel, for the appellees