Publication Details

Roosevelt Jean and Michael D’Anton Vindicate The Township of Nutley in Two Police Civil Rights Cases

Roosevelt Jean and Michael D’Anton Vindicate The Township of Nutley in Two Police Civil Rights Cases

Chasan Leyner Lamparello attorneys, Roosevelt Jean and Michael A. D'Anton, Ph.D. were successful in dismissing two police civil rights claims against the Township of Nutley before Judge Dennis Carey of the Essex County Superior Court.

In Lamond v. Township of Nutley, et al., Mr. Jean persuaded Judge Carey to grant defendants’ Motion to dismiss a Nutley Police Sergeant’s claim for violation of New Jersey's Conscientious Employees Protection Act (“CEPA”) and civil rights by failing to promote the sergeant to lieutenant. Plaintiff also alleged related claims for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Tortious Interference, Civil Conspiracy, and Negligent Supervision.

Mr. Jean argued that Mayor Alphonse Petracco and Nutley consistently followed the police civil service promotional process. Plaintiff contended, however, that Mayor Petracco’s failure to promote him was due to plaintiff’s alleged “whistle-blowing activities.”

After a careful review of nearly 2 years of discovery produced by Nutley, Judge Carey agreed with Mr. Jean’s argument that plaintiff’s claim was utterly unsustainable, holding that “[the] proofs are insufficient...I don’t find that the nature of the allegations would rise to the level that would come close even to whistle blowing…there is no basis to indicate in any way that [the Sergeant] was discriminated against.”

In Pace v. Township of Nutley, et al., argued by Dr. D'Anton, plaintiffs alleged that Nutley Police Officers violated their civil rights when officers responded to a domestic violence incident at their home.  Plaintiffs alleged that the use of pepper spray and handcuffs when two of the family members were arrested was excessive.  They also alleged that police officers unlawfully entered plaintiffs dwelling. 

The Court held that the use of pepper spray was warranted when one of the actors pushed the officer.  Probable cause existed to arrest both actors.  Moreover, the Court held that the officers were sufficiently trained and did not violate the Attorney General and Nutley Police Department’s Domestic Violence and Use of Excessive Force policies.  Finally, the Court held that the police officers entry into plaintiffs’ home without a warrant to insure that there were no injured persons inside was justified by the exigent circumstances exception memorialized in federal and state case law.

The link to both stories, which appeared on NorthJersey.com may be found at:  www.northjersey.com/news/crime-and-courts/judge-dismisses-police-related-cases-1.1375190