Case: Barnes v. Camden Police Department

1:10-cv-03827 | U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

Filed Date: June 29, 2010

Closed Date: 2013

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Case Summary

On June 29, 2010, a resident of Camden, New Jersey filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey under 42 U.S.C. §1983 and Article 1, Section 7 of the New Jersey Constitution against the Camden Police Department, several of its police officers, and two prosecuting attorneys. The plaintiff, represented by the New Jersey chapter of the ACLU, asked the court for compensatory and punitive damages as well as injunctive relief, claiming that he had been falsely arrested, m…

On June 29, 2010, a resident of Camden, New Jersey filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey under 42 U.S.C. §1983 and Article 1, Section 7 of the New Jersey Constitution against the Camden Police Department, several of its police officers, and two prosecuting attorneys. The plaintiff, represented by the New Jersey chapter of the ACLU, asked the court for compensatory and punitive damages as well as injunctive relief, claiming that he had been falsely arrested, maliciously prosecuted and denied due process.

Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that the Camden Police Department had arrested him without probable cause and threatened him with charges of possession of a controlled substance unless the plaintiff told the officers the location of drugs within his friends house. Plaintiff was subsequently charged with possession of controlled substances, to which he pled guilty, and was sent to the county jail for over a year.

Prior to the filing of this lawsuit, one of the defendant officers pled guilty to conspiring to deprive others of their civil rights. He also identified at least four other members of the Camden Police Department who had also participated in the conspiracy. The officer admitted that he and the others had planted drugs on innocent people and threatened certain individuals with arrest using planted evidence if they did not criminally implicate themselves or others. Roughly 185 other criminal cases were withdrawn or vacated because of this conspiracy.

On January 14, 2011, the defendants Dow and Faulk moved to dismiss the case for failure to state a claim. Both motions were granted on June 22, 2011 and August 18, 2011, respectively.

For the remainder of the case, there were lengthy discovery proceedings.

On January 11, 2013, the District Court (Judge Robert Kugler) ordered the case be dismissed on the grounds that the parties had settled out of court. The Camden Police Department agreed to pay $3,500,000 spread between the 87 plaintiffs whose civil rights had been violated by the Camden Police Department as a result of the conspiracy.

Summary Authors

Andrew Steiger (10/17/2013)

People


Judge(s)

Kugler, Robert B. (New Jersey)

Schneider, Joel (New Jersey)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Barocas, Edward (New Jersey)

Shalom, Alexander (New Jersey)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Behr, Matthew J. (New Jersey)

Bender, David B. (New Jersey)

Eastlack, John C. (New Jersey)

Flanagan, Brian G. (New Jersey)

Myles, Samuel (New Jersey)

Judge(s)

Kugler, Robert B. (New Jersey)

Schneider, Joel (New Jersey)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Barocas, Edward (New Jersey)

Shalom, Alexander (New Jersey)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Behr, Matthew J. (New Jersey)

Bender, David B. (New Jersey)

Eastlack, John C. (New Jersey)

Flanagan, Brian G. (New Jersey)

Myles, Samuel (New Jersey)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

BARNES v. PARRY

Jan. 29, 2013 Docket
1

Complaint

Barnes v. Parry

July 29, 2010 Complaint
58

Order to Dismiss

Barnes v. Parry

June 22, 2011 Order/Opinion
59

Order to Dismiss

Barnes v. Parry

Aug. 18, 2011 Order/Opinion
67

Order to Dismiss

Barnes v. Parry

Jan. 11, 2013 Order/Opinion
68

Settlement Letter

Barnes v. Parry

New Jersey state appellate court

Jan. 29, 2013 Notice Letter

Resources

Title Description External URL

Barnes v. Camden

ACLU

In July 2010, the ACLU and the ACLU of New Jersey filed a lawsuit on behalf of an innocent Camden, New Jersey man, Joel Barnes, who was jailed for more than a year as the result of having drugs plant… March 27, 2012 https://www.aclu.org/...

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: New Jersey

Case Type(s):

Policing

Key Dates

Filing Date: June 29, 2010

Closing Date: 2013

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Individual who was arrested and convicted of possessing drugs that were planted on him by police officers.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Camden Police Department (Camden), City

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Amount Defendant Pays: 3,500,000

Issues

General:

False arrest

Over/Unlawful Detention

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