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Stamps v. Capalupo

United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division

April 3, 2019

RUPERT STAMPS, Plaintiff
v.
PARIS CAPALUPO, et al., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Charles B. Day, United States Magistrate Judge.

         Before the Court is Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (“Defendant's Motion”)(ECF 63). The Court has reviewed Defendant's Motion and the opposition thereto. No. hearing is deemed necessary. Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md.). For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS Defendant's Motion.

         I. Factual Background

         The gist of Plaintiff's claims arise from his detention pursuant to an arrest warrant issued by a state judge for armed robberies which occurred on August 14 and November 14, 2014. At the time of Plaintiff's arrest his cell phone was taken and later provided to Defendant who was the lead detective investigating the robberies. At Plaintiff's trial, the State used cell phone records and associated location data from Plaintiff's phone to obtain a conviction.

         While Plaintiff's appeal was pending, he filed a motion for a hearing under Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154 (1978), a Supreme Court decision entitling a criminal defendant to a hearing to determine if a police officer's affidavit in support of an arrest or search warrant included knowingly false incriminating information. At the criminal trial, Plaintiff did not seek a Franks hearing. The trial court denied Plaintiff's request for this untimely sought collateral Franks hearing. The denial was affirmed on appeal. Similarly, Plaintiff's conviction on appeal was affirmed.

         Plaintiff now seeks relief in this Court claiming that his Fourth Amendment constitutional rights were violated when he was arrested without probable cause and when his cell phone was searched without a warrant. Plaintiff asserts that Defendant did not provide truthful information in pursuit of any arrest or search. Plaintiff's claims are based upon Title 42 U.S.C. 1983.

         II. Standard of Review

         The standard for review is set forth in the Federal Rules, “[t]he court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). In order to challenge the motion “the party opposing a properly supported motion for summary judgment ‘may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of [his] pleadings,' but rather must ‘set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'” Bouchat v. Baltimore Ravens Football Club, Inc., 346 F.3d 514, 525 (4th Cir. 2003)(alteration in original). The Court is required to view the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and to draw all reasonable inferences in his favor without weighing the evidence or assessing the witness' credibility. Dennis v. Columbia Colleton Med. Ctr., Inc., 290 F.3d 639, 644-45 (4th Cir. 2002). Not any factual dispute will defeat a motion for summary judgment, the requirement is that there be no genuine issue of material fact. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986).

         III. Analysis

         a. Plaintiff's claims are barred by collateral estoppel.

         Defendant contends that Plaintiff had ample opportunity to raise the concerns which are the basis of this litigation, namely that the seizure of his phone and the subsequent search was unlawful. Defendant contends that Plaintiff's claims are barred by the doctrine of collateral estoppel. “Under collateral estoppel, once an issue is actually and necessarily determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, that determination is conclusive in subsequent suits based on a different cause of action involving a party to the prior litigation.” Collins v. Pond Creek Mining Co., 468 F.3d 213, 217 (4th Cir. 2006). Collins sets forth five elements that must satisfied:

1) that the issue sought to be precluded is identical to the one previously litigated;
2) that the issue was actually determined in the prior proceeding;
3) that the issue's determination was “a critical and necessary part of the decision in the ...

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