May 28, 2014
As part of the Civil Rights Defense Practice Area. Mark Semeraro and Scott Fahrney were successful in dismissing a multitude of Civil Rights claims against Morristown Police Officers. On August 7, 2015, the Appellate Division unanimously affirmed a ruling secured by Mr. Semeraro on the behalf of the Town of Morristown, Morristown Police Department, Police Officer Sgt. Robert Holtz, Police Officer Yeison De Los Santos, Police Officer Det. Stuart Greet, Police Officer Michael Molner, dismissing with prejudice a frivolous lawsuit filed by Alberto Sanchez evolving out of his arrest on or about September 5, 2009.
Plaintiff claimed in this civil rights lawsuit that the police did not have probable cause to arrest and charge Mr. Sanchez for conspiracy to commit burglary from Consuela Bonilla on September 5, 2009.
On the date in question, the police were called to respond to the crime scene where the victim informed the police that she saw Mr. Sanchez’s roommate steal money from her apartment and when the police arrived at Mr. Sanchez’s apartment, an amount of money equivalent to half the money stolen was found in Mr. Sanchez’s roommate’s pocket and an amount of money equivalent to the other half of the amount stolen, was found thrown on the floor under Mr. Sanchez’s bed. Mr. Sanchez now denies that the money was ever there, but on the night of the arrest, he did not deny that it was there and simply had no explanation for it.
Mr. Semeraro had argued that based upon these facts, the police officers acted in good faith and had a sufficient basis for probable cause for both the area at and criminal charges.
On November 7, 2013, Mr. Semeraro won the motion for summary judgment dismissing the lawsuit against all the police officers and the Town of Morristown and two years later, the Appellate Division affirmed that decision.