Alan R. Dembiczak

Partner

Profile

Alan defends municipalities, public officials and employees against all general and professional liability claims, including civil rights violations, negligence, nuisance, and roadway defects. He regularly appears in Connecticut state and federal courts on behalf of public officials, law enforcement officers, boards of education, land use commissions and emergency response personnel.

Clients value Alan’s impressive track record in Federal Court cases involving civil rights claims for excessive force, false arrest, malicious prosecution, first amendment retaliation, due process, illegal entry and municipal liability. He has also prevailed in dozens of Connecticut state court cases involving claims of negligence, recklessness and nuisance, and actions under the state highway defect statute.

Representative Matters

Ancona v. Hicks (USDC – 2017)

Ancona v. Hicks (USDC – 2017): Plaintiff, Benjamin Ancona, filed suit against Coventry Police Detective Michael Hicks claiming that he violated Plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment rights when he arrested Plaintiff pursuant to an arrest warrant on the charge that he conspired with a convicted sex offender to violate his registration requirements.  Specifically, Plaintiff claimed the warrant included false information, which had it not been included, would have negated probable case.  Defendant moved for summary judgment as to all claims in the Plaintiff’s complaint.  After performing the “corrected affidavit test,” whereby the Court removed any alleged “false” information and included any alleged “omitted” information, it still found that the arrest was supported by probable cause.  The Court also found that the officer was entitled to qualified immunity, and granted summary judgment in its entirety.

Edwards v. Hartford, et al. (US District Court of Connecticut)

Edwards v. Hartford, et al. (US District Court of Connecticut): Case involving four plaintiffs alleging use of excessive force by Hartford police constituted violation of their Fourth Amendment rights. After jury trial, obtained defense verdict as to two plaintiffs and hung jury as to remaining two.

Fernandez-Bravo v. Manchester (USDC – 2016)

Fernandez-Bravo v. Manchester (USDC – 2016):  Plaintiff claimed that Manchester Police Officer Maria Garay subjected him to false arrest and malicious prosecution.  As a result of a messy divorce with his ex-wife, Plaintiff’s ex-wife had a protective order against him.  Subsequently, Plaintiff began sending her harassing and threatening e-mails.  Officer Garay investigated the incident, and eventually prepared a warrant for his arrest.  Plaintiff claimed that the arrest warrant included false information, and omitted relevant information, which would have negated probable cause.  Plaintiff filed suit in Connecticut District Court pleading claims of substantive due process, First Amendment violation, Fourth Amendment violation, as well as a host of state law claims.  Defendant moved for summary judgment as to all claims in the complaint.  After performing the “corrected affidavit test”, whereby the Court removed alleged “false“ information, and added the alleged “omitted“ information, it found that the corrected affidavit was still supported by probable cause, and therefore, granted summary judgment as to all claims in the complaint.

Gaunichaux v. Middletown (USDC – 2016)

Gaunichaux v. Middletown (USDC – 2016): Plaintiff filed suit against the City of Middletown as a result of his arrest, during which he claims that Middletown police officers subjected him to excessive force.  The City moved for summary judgment as to all claims in the complaint.  The Court granted summary judgment in its entirety, finding that Plaintiff could not sue the City of Middletown for the alleged unconstitutional conduct of its employees.

Horton v. Amity Regional Board of Education (State Court – 2015)

Horton v. Amity Regional Board of Education (State Court – 2015): Plaintiff, Dianne Horton, claimed she sustained injuries as a result of a slip and fall and a walkway leading from a public school in October 2011 due to an uneven walkway and poor lighting conditions.  The complaint pled claims of negligence against the Board and numerous Board employees.  The defendants moved for summary judgment arguing that the acts of inspection, maintenance and repair are discretionary acts entitled to governmental immunity.  The Court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants on all counts.

Marchand v. Simonson (US District Court of Connecticut)

Marchand v. Simonson (US District Court of Connecticut): Defense verdict in jury trial of plaintiff’s claim that police use of taser constituted excessive force and 4th Amendment violation.

McCarthy v. City of Hartford (US District Court of Connecticut)

McCarthy v. City of Hartford (US District Court of Connecticut): Obtained defense verdict in jury trial involving 4th Amendment claim based upon allegations of excessive use of force by Hartford police officers.

Perry v. Middletown (USDC – 2017)

Perry v. Middletown (USDC – 2017): Plaintiff filed suit against two Middletown officers, alleging that he was improperly detained and arrested during a motor vehicle stop on September 12, 2012.  Prior to that date, Plaintiff had purchased a used vehicle and obtained temporary license plates in North Carolina.  On the date of the subject incident, Plaintiff was operating the motor vehicle in the City of Middletown with only one temporary license plate affixed to the vehicle.  The defendant officers observed Plaintiff make multiple motor vehicle infractions, and as a result, initiated a motor vehicle stop.  During the stop, Plaintiff became argumentative and belligerent, and therefore, was removed from the vehicle and placed under arrest.  Plaintiff filed suit in federal court alleging that he was improperly detained and arrested in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.  Defendants moved for summary judgment as to all claims in the plaintiff’s complaint, and the Court granted summary judgment in its entirety.

Pietrandrea v. Wallingford (State Court – 2016)

Pietrandrea v. Wallingford (State Court – 2016): Plaintiff property owner filed suit in state court against the Town of Wallingford, wherein he claimed that the Town altered a drainage system in his neighborhood which caused flooding of his property.  The complaint pled claims for negligence and nuisance.  Defendant move for summary judgment as to all claims in the Plaintiff’s complaint.  The Court granted partial summary judgment, dismissing the negligence claim, finding that the acts of inspection, maintenance and repair of a water drainage system is discretionary, and thereby entitled to governmental immunity. At trial the jury returned a verdict for the defendants on the remaining claims.

Rosenthal v. Avon (Connecticut Superior Court)

Rosenthal v. Avon (Connecticut Superior Court): Defense verdict in jury trial of personal injury case against Town of Avon under Connecticut highway defect statute (C.G.S. §13a-149).

Schofield v. Manchester (USDC – 2015)

Schofield v. Manchester (USDC – 2015): In December of 2011, Plaintiff, Arthur Schofield, was having a pain in his chest, and therefore, went to receive medical treatment.  While receiving treatment, he was told he might be having a possible heart attack and was under doctor’s orders to go to the hospital.  He refused to go, stormed out of the doctor’s office and drove home.  Pursuant to policy, the Manchester Police Department was called whereupon the responding officer attempted to locate the Plaintiff, as he might be a danger to himself or others.  Responding officers eventually found Plaintiff at his home, and based upon information the officer learned at the doctor’s office, as well as during his conversation with the Plaintiff, he decided to perform an involuntary committal of Plaintiff as he believed he was a danger to himself and others.  As a result, Plaintiff filed a civil rights suit against various Manchester officers, claiming that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated as a result of the involuntary hospitalization.  He also pled claims for illegal entry into his home, equal protection, due process and municipal liability.  He further pled state law claims of negligence, infliction of emotional distress and kidnapping.  The defendants moved for summary judgment on all claims in the plaintiff’s complaint.  The Court granted partial summary judgment, dismissing Plaintiff’s claims of illegal entry, equal protection, due process and municipal liability.

Sliwinski v. Middletown (USDC – 2016)

Sliwinski v. Middletown (USDC – 2016): Plaintiffs claimed that Connecticut State troopers and various Middletown police officers illegally entered their property and detained them as a result of an investigation into a burglary.  The Middletown defendants moved for summary judgment as to all claims in the complaint, arguing that they had no personal involvement in the subject incident, as all Middletown officers merely stood outside of the residence, assisting State Police.  The Court agreed and granted summary judgment in favor of the Middletown defendants.

Stearns v. Plainfield (USDC – 2015)

Stearns v. Plainfield (USDC – 2015): Plaintiff, Anne Stearns, filed suit against Plainfield police officers for false arrest and malicious prosecution.  Plaintiff was a Marshall and had served an individual with divorce papers at his home.  That individual found the papers inside his home and reported to the police that she improperly entered her home.  The police investigated, took statements from both Plaintiff and the individual who was served, and as a result, an arrest warrant was issued for Plaintiff’s arrest.  Plaintiff filed suit and claimed that the officers lied and fabricated facts in the arrest warrant.  The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment as to all claims, arguing that even under the corrected affidavit test, where the Court removes alleged “false” facts and adds alleged “omitted” facts, the arrest warrant was still supported by probable cause.  After performing the corrected affidavit test, the Court found that the warrant was still supported by probable cause, and therefore, granted the motion for summary judgment.

Stocking v. Middletown (USDC – 2015)

Stocking v. Middletown (USDC – 2015): Plaintiff filed a civil rights claim against various Middletown police officers alleging that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated when the officers illegally entered his home.  The case stems from a domestic violence incident involving Plaintiff and his stepfather.  After a physical confrontation between them in the home, Plaintiff went to his room, obtained a firearm and instructed his mother and stepfather to leave the home.  Middletown police were called and after a standoff, Plaintiff eventually surrendered.  After he surrendered the officers performed a protective sweep of the home, during which they observed what appeared to be pornographic material of under age children hanging in the Plaintiff’s bedroom.  The officers exited the residence and obtained a search warrant, which revealed a massive amount of child pornography.  Plaintiff was convicted on the child pornography charges.  He filed a civil rights suit against various Middletown police officers claiming that they violated his constitutional rights when they illegally entered his home.  Plaintiff admitted that the civil rights action would essentially call into question the legitimacy of his conviction.  Under the case of Heck v. Humphrey, civil rights claims cannot use for this purpose.  The defendants moved for summary judgment as to all claims in the plaintiff’s complaint, which was granted by the Court.

Strunjo v. Mill (State Court – 2016)

Strunjo v. Mill (State Court – 2016): Plaintiff, Kyle Strunjo, and the defendant, Donald Mill, were both Clinton police officers, escorting a charity motorcycle ride on May 19, 2013.  Plaintiff alleged that the defendant improperly directed the motorcycle ride, and improperly operated his motorcycle, which resulted in Plaintiff losing control of his motorcycle.  Plaintiff’s complaint pled claims of negligence against the defendant.  Defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that the Worker’s Compensation Act was Plaintiff’s sole exclusive remedy, and that the motor vehicle exception did not apply, as the defendant was not actually “operating” his motorcycle at the time of the accident.  The Court agreed and granted summary judgment.