As a part of the Howd & Ludorf LLC’s appellate practice, civil rights defense, public entity defense groups, Beatrice appears in all state and federal courts throughout Connecticut, including both state and federal appellate courts, representing public officials, law enforcement officers, boards of education, land use commissions, firefighters, emergency response personnel and all other municipal employees.
She defends general and professional liability claims, and civil rights claims, including claims brought under 42 U.S.C 1983. She has served as appellate counsel for numerous public entities, successfully advocating the public entity’s position to the Connecticut Appellate Court, the Connecticut Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Mara v. Rilling et.al.
Mara v. Rilling et.al., ___ F.3d ___ (2d Cir. 2019): Howd & Ludorf, LLC partners Thomas R. Gerarde and Beatrice S. Jordan recently convinced the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to reverse a U. S. District Court decision denying summary judgment to the Fairfield, CT Police Department in a federal civil rights claim brought against it by Plaintiff John Mara. The suit stemmed from an assault that occurred on a New Year’s Eve party in January 2012. Mara was identified as the perpetrator by an eyewitness and thereafter was interrogated by the FPD; and while he did not confess to the assault, he admitted he was intoxicated, there were parts of the night he did not remember, and that he could have been the perpetrator. After Plaintiff was arrested pursuant to a warrant, additional information came to the attention of the FPD that another person, who looked similar to Mara, committed the assault. The FPD took supplemental statements and provided them to the prosecutor, who ultimately dismissed all charges as to plaintiff Mara.
Plaintiff brought a federal civil rights claim for false arrest, coerced interrogation, and violation of due process rights. The district court denied summary judgment to the involved FPD officers, but the Court of Appeals has now reversed, finding that the interview and presentation of photo arrays to the eyewitness were constitutional; the interrogation of Mara, while unpleasant, was not coercive in violation of the Constitution; and that the overall conduct of the FPD officers did not meet the high threshold for a due process violation— The net result being that the three involved officers were entitled to qualified immunity, as the existing case law did not clearly establish that the course of conduct implemented by the Fairfield P.D. was unconstitutional.
The Court of Appeals ordered that judgment enter for all Fairfield P.D. defendants.
Costa v. Plainville Board. of Education
Costa v. Plainville Bd. of Educ., 175 Conn. App. 402, 167 A.3d 1152 (2017), cert. denied, 327 Conn. 961, 172 A.3d 801 (2017): Affirming the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor the Town and Board of Education on the basis of governmental immunity against the plaintiff, a student who suffered a serious injury to his eye during a pick-up basketball game off school grounds while attending a high school senior class picnic.
Coderre v. City of Wallingford
Coderre v. City of Wallingford, 668 F. App’x 399 (2d Cir. 2016): Affirming the grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant police officers on both federal and state law claims of false arrest, and correlated state law claims.
Arrigoni Enterprises, LLC v. Town of Durham
Arrigoni Enterprises, LLC v. Town of Durham, 629 F. App’x 23 (2d Cir. 2015), cert. denied, 136 S. Ct. 1409, 194 L. Ed. 2d 821 (2016): Affirming judgment in favor of the municipality pursuant to Town’s arguments that the plaintiff’s inverse condemnation claim was unripe, plaintiff lacked a constitutionally cognizable property interest in a special development permit, proper exclusion of plaintiff’s untimely submitted comparator evidence, and the Town’s regulation barring plaintiff’s proposed rock crushing activities was not unconstitutionally vague as applied to plaintiff.
Pines v. Bailey
Pines v. Bailey, 563 F. App’x 814 (2d Cir. 2014): Obtaining reversal of the District Court’s denial of qualified immunity to the defendant police officer, and finding that the officer was entitled to qualified immunity as a matter of law on the plaintiff’s 42 U.S.C. § 1983 malicious prosecution claim.
Doe v. Waraksa
Doe v. Waraksa, 560 F. App’x 67 (2d Cir. 2014): Affirming the grant of summary judgment in favor of the Town, agreeing that the co-defendant, a volunteer with the Town’s Emergency Management Agency, was not acting under color of state law when he sexually abused the minor plaintiff who was a member of the Agency’s youth cadet program.
Himmelstein v. Bernard
Himmelstein v. Bernard, 139 Conn. App. 446, 57 A.3d 384, 386 (2012): Obtaining reversal of the trial court’s denial of summary judgment upon agreement with the defendants that the plaintiff’s nuisance action was barred by the doctrine of res judicata.
Himmelstein v. Town of Windsor
Himmelstein v. Town of Windsor, 304 Conn. 298, 39 A.3d 1065 (2012), affirming the decision of the Appellate Court which affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of the Town on the basis that the plaintiff’s common-law nuisance allegations implicated Conn. Gen. Stat. § 13a-149, the municipal highway defect statute, thereby rendering the highway defect statute as the plaintiff’s exclusive remedy against Town, and under which the Town was not under the circumstances presented.
Doninger v. Niehoff
Doninger v. Niehoff, 642 F.3d 334 (2d Cir. 2011), cert. denied, 565 U.S. 976, 132 S. Ct. 499, 181 L. Ed. 2d 346 (2011): Affirming the District Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants on the basis that they were entitled to qualified immunity for prohibiting the plaintiff from running for the office of class secretary as a disciplinary consequence for the plaintiff’s reference to administrative officials in a derogatory and offensive manner in off-campus internet speech; and reversing the District Court’s denial of qualified immunity agreeing with defense arguments that that defendants were entitled to qualified immunity for prohibiting students from wearing a t-shirt supporting the plaintiff during a student assembly on the basis that the defendants could have reasonably, but mistakenly, believed their restriction of the t-shirts was consistent with Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Cmty. Sch. Dist., 393 U.S. 503, 89 S. Ct. 733, 21 L. Ed. 2d 731 (1969).
Goldberg v. Town of Glastonbury
Goldberg v. Town of Glastonbury, 453 F. App’x 40 (2d Cir. 2011): Affirming the grant of summary judgment on behalf of the Town and police officers pursuant to their defense of qualified immunity for their arrest of the plaintiff on charges of breach of peace after the defendant responded to a 911 call reporting that an individual had entered a Chili’s Restaurant waiting area with an exposed firearm, and rejecting the plaintiff’s efforts to invoke a Second Amendment claim.
Sullivan v. Stein
Sullivan v. Stein, 319 F. App’x 42 (2d Cir. 2009): Affirming the grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant police officers as to all federal claims.
Hoyer v. DiCocco
Hoyer v. DiCocco, 224 F. App’x 103 (2d Cir. 2007): Obtaining reversal of the District Court’s denial of qualified immunity to the defendant, finding that the defendant was entitled to qualified immunity as to the plaintiff’s claim of false arrest and imprisonment when the defendant seized the plaintiff and transported her to the hospital for an emergency psychiatric evaluation.