Police Officers Win on Summary Judgment in Civil Rights Claim

860-249-1361 Ext. 148

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 be used for this purpose. The defendants moved for summary judgment as to all claims in the plaintiff’s complaint, which was granted by the Court.