Case: Ciraolo v. City of New York

1:97-cv-08208 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Filed Date: Oct. 16, 1997

Closed Date: 1999

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On October 16, 1997, Plaintiff filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Article 1, Section 12 of the New York State Constitution against the City of New York, the New York City Police Department, a Detective, unknown female officers, and Plaintiff's cousin in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Plaintiff, represented by private counsel, asked for compensatory and punitive damages, alleging she was falsely arrested, police used excessive force when arrestin…

On October 16, 1997, Plaintiff filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Article 1, Section 12 of the New York State Constitution against the City of New York, the New York City Police Department, a Detective, unknown female officers, and Plaintiff's cousin in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Plaintiff, represented by private counsel, asked for compensatory and punitive damages, alleging she was falsely arrested, police used excessive force when arresting her, that she was strip-searched in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, and that Defendants committed battery. Plaintiff alleged claims against her cousin for false arrest, malicious prosecution, and intentional infliction of emotional distress because Plaintiff was arrested after her cousin filed a complaint against her.

On January 21, 1997, Defendant Detective arrested Plaintiff for a misdemeanor. Plaintiff alleged Defendant used excessive force by bruising her arm when the Detective handcuffed her. Plaintiff was subjected to a strip and body cavity search at Central Booking by two female Corrections Department employees, in accordance with a City policy of strip-searching all arrestees, and without any reasonable suspicion. Plaintiff was released on her own recognizance the following day and the charges against her were eventually dropped. Plaintiff was traumatized and humiliated, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, entered therapy, and took antidepressants.

On July 17, 1998, Defendants offered Plaintiff $25,001 plus reasonable attorney's fees accrued up to that date. Plaintiff did not accept the settlement offer.

On April 26, 1999, Plaintiff settled her claims against her cousin for $2,500.

On May 7, 1999, the United States District Court (Judge Robert P. Patterson, Jr.) awarded plaintiff $19,645 in compensatory damages and $5,000,000 in punitive damages against the city according to a jury verdict following a three day jury trial. The Court granted a directed verdict for Plaintiff regarding the strip-search. The Court found that Defendant's strip-search policy violated the Fourth Amendment and there was no evidence the officers believed Plaintiff concealed contraband. The jury found for Defendants on Plaintiff's claims of unlawful arrest, excessive force, and battery.

Defendant appealed award of punitive damages.

On June 15, 2000, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals (Judges Guido Calabresi, Robert Katzmann, Pierre N. Leval) reversed and remanded. The Court held that the city was immune from punitive damages because municipalities are only responsible for punitive damages where taxpayers are directly responsible for perpetrating an outrageous abuse of constitutional rights. Judges Calabresi and Katzmann filed separate concurring opinions.

Ciraolo v. City of New York, 216 F.3d 236 (2nd Cir. 2000).

Plaintiff moved for attorney's fees and costs. Defendants cross-moved for costs incurred subsequent to their offer of pre-trial judgment.

On October 13, 2000, the District Court (Judge Patterson) granted these cross-motions. The Court held that Plaintiff was liable for Defendants' costs from the date of their offer because their offer was more than her jury award. Plaintiff was awarded attorney's fees and costs incurred prior to July 17, 1998, a total of $419,116.45. Defendants were granted $8,038.40. Ciraolo v. City of New York, No. Civ. 8208, 2000 WL 521180 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 13, 2000).

On November 13, 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Plaintiff's petition for writ of certiorari. Ciraolo v. City of New York, 531 U.S. 993 (2000).

Summary Authors

Shira Gordon (4/7/2012)

People


Judge(s)

Calabresi, Guido (Connecticut)

Katzmann, Robert A. (New York)

Leval, Pierre Nelson (New York)

Patterson, Robert Porter Jr. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Weiner, Stephen H. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Hess, Michael D. (New York)

Kalkstein, Julian L. (New York)

Sonnenshein, Larry A. (New York)

Weiss, Lisa A. (New York)

Zorgniotti , Alessandra Francesca (New York)

Judge(s)

Calabresi, Guido (Connecticut)

Katzmann, Robert A. (New York)

Leval, Pierre Nelson (New York)

Patterson, Robert Porter Jr. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Weiner, Stephen H. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Hess, Michael D. (New York)

Kalkstein, Julian L. (New York)

Sonnenshein, Larry A. (New York)

Weiss, Lisa A. (New York)

Zorgniotti , Alessandra Francesca (New York)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:97-cv-08208

Docket (PACER)

Ciraolo v. The City of New York

Oct. 13, 2000

Oct. 13, 2000

Docket
1

1:97-cv-08208

Complaint

Nov. 5, 1997

Nov. 5, 1997

Complaint

99-07550

Opinion [Reversing Punitive Damage Award]

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

216 F.3d 236

June 15, 2000

June 15, 2000

Order/Opinion
49

1:97-cv-08208

Opinion [Re: Fees and Costs]

2000 WL 1521180, 2000 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 14940

Oct. 13, 2000

Oct. 13, 2000

Order/Opinion

00-00428

[Opinion Denying Cert.]

Supreme Court of the United States

531 U.S. 993, 121 S.Ct. 484, 148 L.Ed.2d 457

Nov. 13, 2000

Nov. 13, 2000

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 4, 2022, 3:17 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT filed; Summons issued and Notice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 636(c); FILING FEE $150.00. RECEIPT # 300875. (em) (Entered: 11/06/1997)

Nov. 5, 1997

Nov. 5, 1997

Magistrate Judge Katz is so Designated. (em) (Entered: 11/06/1997)

Nov. 5, 1997

Nov. 5, 1997

2

RETURN OF SERVICE executed as to The City of New York by serving the Corporation Counsel by leaving the papers with Lilmaria Echevarria on 11/5/97. Answer due on 11/25/97 for The City of New York. (kw) (Entered: 11/13/1997)

Nov. 6, 1997

Nov. 6, 1997

2

RETURN OF SERVICE executed as to Christin Morgillo by P.O. Riffas and mail on 11/6/97. Answer due on 11/26/97 for Christin Morgillo. (kw) (Entered: 11/13/1997)

Nov. 6, 1997

Nov. 6, 1997

2

RETURN OF SERVICE executed as to Julie Fontanella by personal service on 11/6/97. Answer due on 11/26/97 for Julie Fontanella. (kw) (Entered: 11/13/1997)

Nov. 6, 1997

Nov. 6, 1997

3

Filed Memo-Endorsement on letter to Judge Patterson from William P. Farley dated 12/01/97, reset answer due for 1/16/98 for Julie Fontanella, for Jane Does 1-2, for Christin Morgillo, for Police Department, for The City of New York ; conference will be held 1/23/98 at 9 a.m. (signed by Judge Robert P. Patterson) (djc) (Entered: 12/05/1997)

Dec. 4, 1997

Dec. 4, 1997

4

ANSWER to Complaint by Debra Ciraolo (Appearing Pro Se). (jp) (Entered: 12/22/1997)

Dec. 17, 1997

Dec. 17, 1997

5

ANSWER to Complaint by The City of New York, Police Department, Christin Morgillo (Attorney Alessandra Francesca Zorgniotti). (jp) (Entered: 01/22/1998)

Jan. 21, 1998

Jan. 21, 1998

Before Judge Patterson; Pre-trial conference held; joinder of addl parties by 3/2, medical authorizations by 2/6, discovery 5/29, pretrial order 6/10/98, trial date 6/15/98 at 9:30 AM (cd) (Entered: 01/28/1998)

Jan. 23, 1998

Jan. 23, 1998

6

SCHEDULING ORDER: medical authorizations are due by 2/6/98; all discovery is to be completed by 5/29/98; pretrial order is to be filed by 6/10/98; trial date scheduled for 6/15/98 at 9:30 a.m.; joinder of additional parties due by 3/2/98. ( signed by Judge Robert P. Patterson ); Copies mailed (sac) Modified on 01/27/1998 (Entered: 01/27/1998)

Jan. 26, 1998

Jan. 26, 1998

7

Order referring action to the Clerk to assign the above-entitled action to mediation. All issues are eligible ( signed by Judge Robert P. Patterson ) (cd) (Entered: 01/30/1998)

Jan. 29, 1998

Jan. 29, 1998

8

Notice of selection of mediator. (sc) (Entered: 03/13/1998)

March 13, 1998

March 13, 1998

pre-trial conference (contested issue) held and concluded before Judge Patterson on 6/11/98; conference 6/23/98 at 5 p.m., schedule set: 8/31/98 for discovery, 9/16/98 for pretrial order, trial date 9/22/98 at 9:30 a.m. (ls) (Entered: 06/15/1998)

June 11, 1998

June 11, 1998

9

SCHEDULING ORDER: all discovery is to be completed by 8/31/98; pre-trial order is to be filed by 9/16/98; settlement conference with parties & counsel on 6/23/98 at 5:00 p.m.; trial date scheduled for 9/22/98 at 9:30 a.m. ( signed by Judge Robert P. Patterson ); Copies mailed (sac) (Entered: 06/15/1998)

June 12, 1998

June 12, 1998

10

SCHEDULING ORDER: all discovery to be completed by 9/30/98; pretrial order to be submitted on or before 10/14/98; trial date set for 10/19/98 at 9:30 a.m. ( signed by Judge Robert P. Patterson ); Copies mailed (ae) (Entered: 06/26/1998)

June 26, 1998

June 26, 1998

11

Filed Memo-Endorsement on letter by Stephen H. Weiner to Judge Patterson dated 9/9/98, reset discovery due for 11/20/98 ; reset pretrial order due for 12/2/98 ; trial set for 12/7/98 at 9:00 a.m. ( signed by Judge Robert P. Patterson ) (ae) (Entered: 09/14/1998)

Sept. 11, 1998

Sept. 11, 1998

12

Filed Memo-Endorsement on letter by Stephen H. Weiner to Judge Patterson dated 11/19/98, reset pretrial order due for 2/26/99 ; reset trial for 3/15/99 at 9:00 a.m. ( signed by Judge P. Patterson ) (ae) (Entered: 11/23/1998)

Nov. 20, 1998

Nov. 20, 1998

13

Filed Memo-Endorsement on letter addressed to Judge Patterson from Clyde Jay Eisman dated 1/29/99, granting in part request for an extension. Pltff's counsel is to respond to the issue of the court's jurisdiction on or before 2/16/99 (signed by Judge Robert P. Patterson). (kg) (Entered: 02/03/1999)

Feb. 2, 1999

Feb. 2, 1999

14

Filed Memo-Endorsement on letter to Judge Patterson from Steven A. Friedman dated 02/16/99, reset pretrial order due for 4/12/99 ; Trial for May 3, 1999 (signed by Judge Robert P. Patterson ) (djc) (Entered: 02/18/1999)

Feb. 18, 1999

Feb. 18, 1999

15

Filed Memo-Endorsement on letter addressed to Judge Patterson from Stephen H. Weiner, dated 2/16/99; Ms. Fontanella respectfully requests that if Your Honor decides to agree to the schedule proposed by Asst. Corporation Counsel Steven Friedman in his letter of today's date, there will be ample time to complete any outstanding discovery before trial on 5/3/99. In view of the Court's approval of the Corp. Counsel's schedule, this application is deemed moot ( signed by Judge Robert P. Patterson ) (sac) (Entered: 02/22/1999)

Feb. 19, 1999

Feb. 19, 1999

Pre-trial conference held before Judge Patterson (ls) (Entered: 04/16/1999)

April 14, 1999

April 14, 1999

17

Proposed Voir Dire Questions by The City of New York, Det Christin Morgillo (ri) Modified on 04/23/1999 (Entered: 04/22/1999)

April 22, 1999

April 22, 1999

18

NOTICE OF MOTION by Debra Ciraolo for an order granting the following motions in limine: to preclude testimony of the following witnesses for the City of New York defendants 1) Dr. Robert Berger and 2) "An individual, whose name will be supplied, who either conducted or supervised the strip search." In addition, plaintiff respectfully requests that this Court exclude City Exhibits L, Q, and S , no return date set (ri) (Entered: 04/22/1999)

April 22, 1999

April 22, 1999

19

Request to charge by Debra Ciraolo. (ri) (Entered: 04/22/1999)

April 22, 1999

April 22, 1999

20

Proposed Voir Dire Questions by Debra Ciraolo. (ri) (Entered: 04/22/1999)

April 22, 1999

April 22, 1999

21

Municipal defendants' first request for jury instructions (ri) (Entered: 04/22/1999)

April 22, 1999

April 22, 1999

Pre-trial conference held before Judge Patterson (cd) (Entered: 04/29/1999)

April 26, 1999

April 26, 1999

22

Memo endorsed on copy of motion; granting in part, denying in part [18-1] motion for an order granting the following motions in limine: to preclude testimony of the following witnesses for the City of New York defendants 1) Dr. Robert Berger and 2) "An individual, whose name will be supplied, who either conducted or supervised the strip search." In addition, plaintiff respectfully requests that this Court exclude City Exhibits L, Q, and S; pltff is to complete her examination by Dr. Berger. Dr. Berger is to complete his report and be deposed before trial; defts will provide pltff with the identity of such witness or witnesses and allow their deposition before trial; City Exhibits L, Q & S are not admissable as evidence. ( signed by Judge Robert P. Patterson ); Copies mailed. (jp) (Entered: 05/03/1999)

April 30, 1999

April 30, 1999

Jury trial begun before Judge Patterson. (jp) (Entered: 05/10/1999)

May 3, 1999

May 3, 1999

Jury trial begun & continued on 5/3/99 before Judge Patterson (ae) (Entered: 05/18/1999)

May 3, 1999

May 3, 1999

Jury trial held before Judge Patterson. (jp) (Entered: 05/10/1999)

May 4, 1999

May 4, 1999

Jury trial held & continued on 5/4/99 before Judge Patterson (ae) (Entered: 05/18/1999)

May 4, 1999

May 4, 1999

Jury trial held before Judge Patterson. (jp) (Entered: 05/10/1999)

May 5, 1999

May 5, 1999

Jury trial held & continued on 5/6/99 before Judge Patterson (ae) (Entered: 05/18/1999)

May 5, 1999

May 5, 1999

Jury trial concluded before Judge Patterson. (jp) (Entered: 05/10/1999)

May 6, 1999

May 6, 1999

23

JUDGMENT #99,1052, that plntf have judgment in the sum of $5,019,645.00 as against the deft, the City of NY (signed by James M. Parkison, Clerk of Court); Mailed copies and notice of to appeal. Entered on 5/10/99 (cd) Modified on 05/12/1999 (Entered: 05/10/1999)

May 7, 1999

May 7, 1999

24

NOTICE OF APPEAL by The City of New York, Police Department, Christin Morgillo, Jane Does 1-2, Julie Fontanella ; from [23-1] judgment order . Copies of notice of appeal mailed to Attorney(s) of Record: Stephen H. Weiner . $105.00 Appeal filing fee paid on May 10, 1999 on receipt # E 344851. (dt) (Entered: 05/11/1999)

May 10, 1999

May 10, 1999

Notice of appeal and certified copy of docket to USCA: [24-1] appeal by Julie Fontanella, Jane Does 1-2, Christin Morgillo, Police Department, The City of New York ; Copy of notice of appeal sent to District Judge. (dt) (Entered: 05/11/1999)

May 11, 1999

May 11, 1999

25

STIPULATION AND ORDER; this action is hereby dismissed with prejudice and without costs, expenses, or fees in excess of the consideration specified in this document as against deft Julie Fontanella ; deft hereby agrees to provide pltff with the consideration set forth herein, in full satisfaction of all claims, including for costs, expenses, benefits and atty fees. In consideration for the payment of this sum, pltff agrees to dismissal of all the claims against the deft and all claims, or right of action in the complaint in this action, including claims for costs, expenses and atty fees. The effective date of this agreement is 3/31/99. Deft hereby agrees to provide pltff with the sum of $2,500.00. ( signed by Judge Robert P. Patterson ). (sac) (Entered: 05/13/1999)

May 12, 1999

May 12, 1999

Case closed (sac) (Entered: 05/14/1999)

May 12, 1999

May 12, 1999

26

Court Exhibit #2 at 12:24 p.m. (ae) (Entered: 05/19/1999)

May 12, 1999

May 12, 1999

27

Court Exhibit #3 (ae) (Entered: 05/19/1999)

May 12, 1999

May 12, 1999

28

Court Exhibit #4 at 1:02 p.m. (ae) (Entered: 05/19/1999)

May 12, 1999

May 12, 1999

29

Court Exhibit #5 at 2:35 p.m. (ae) (Entered: 05/19/1999)

May 12, 1999

May 12, 1999

30

Court Exhibit #6 at 3:37 p.m. (ae) (Entered: 05/19/1999)

May 12, 1999

May 12, 1999

31

Court Exhibit #6 at 3:06 p.m. (ae) (Entered: 05/19/1999)

May 12, 1999

May 12, 1999

32

Court Exhibit #7 at 4:34 p.m. (ae) (Entered: 05/19/1999)

May 12, 1999

May 12, 1999

33

Court Exhibit #8 (ae) (Entered: 05/19/1999)

May 12, 1999

May 12, 1999

34

Court Exhibit #9 at 5:00 p.m. (ae) (Entered: 05/19/1999)

May 12, 1999

May 12, 1999

36

AFFIRMATION in support of Stephen H. Weiner of his motion for attorney's fees and costs purs to 42 U.S.C. section 1988. (djc) (Entered: 05/26/1999)

May 24, 1999

May 24, 1999

37

MEMORANDUM of LAW in support of Motion of Plaintiff for Attorney's Fees (djc) (Entered: 05/26/1999)

May 24, 1999

May 24, 1999

35

Jury Trial Court Exhibit #1. Docketed per instructions of Chambers. (emil) (Entered: 05/26/1999)

May 25, 1999

May 25, 1999

39

Filed Memo-Endorsement on letter to Judge Patterson from Steven A. Freidman dated 5/26/99, defendant writes in response to plaintiff's motion for attorneys fees and costs, currently returnable 6/16/99. Plaintiff's application should be stayed pending the decision by the Second Circuit; Application granted, defendant need not respond to plaintiff's applaication for attorney's fees until 10 days after the Court of Appeals decides defendant's appeal (signed by Judge Robert P. Patterson) (ri) Modified on 06/03/1999 (Entered: 06/01/1999)

May 28, 1999

May 28, 1999

40

Transcript of record of proceedings before Judge Patterson filed for dates of 5/3-6/99 (jp) (Entered: 07/13/1999)

July 12, 1999

July 12, 1999

41

Notice that the record on appeal has been certified and transmitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals: (as) (Entered: 07/22/1999)

July 22, 1999

July 22, 1999

42

Report of the Clerk of Court regarding court-ordered mediation: Paragraph 4 or 5 and unresolved issues should be treated as if they had not been sent to mediation. (Signed by George O'Malley, Counsel for the Clerk of Court) (sc) (Entered: 08/05/1999)

Aug. 4, 1999

Aug. 4, 1999

43

Report of Mediator to the Clerk that the court-ordered mediation was held but was unsuccessful in resolving any issue in the case. The unresolved issues should be treated as if they had not been sent to mediation. (sc) (Entered: 08/05/1999)

Aug. 4, 1999

Aug. 4, 1999

Indexed record on appeal files (99-7550) sent to the U.S.C.A. *(Files requested by Vincenza Singleton from the U.S.C.A.)*. (dt) (Entered: 11/17/1999)

Nov. 17, 1999

Nov. 17, 1999

44

Memo-Endorsement on letter addressed to Judge Patterson from Lisa A. Weiss, dated June 23, 2000; Defendant's Response to motion reset to 7/26/00 for [38-1] motion for attorney fees to Stephen H. Weiner, Esq., in the sum of $64,215.00 with an appropriate multiplier and an award of attorney's fees to Scott Korenbaum, Esq., in the sum of $6,030.00, reset to 7/26/00 for [38-2] motion for costs in the amount of $7,484.59 ; (signed by Judge Robert P. Patterson); Copies mailed. (djc) (Entered: 06/29/2000)

June 27, 2000

June 27, 2000

45

MANDATE OF USCA (certified copy) Re: Ordered, Adjudged and decreed that the judgment of said district is Reversed in accordance with the opinion of this Court [24-1] appeal by Julie Fontanella, Jane Does 1-2, Christin Morgillo, Police Department, The City of New York. 99-7550, Roseann B. Mackechnie, Clerk. (sl) (Entered: 07/26/2000)

July 19, 2000

July 19, 2000

46

NOTICE OF CROSS MOTION by The City of New York, Police Department, Christin Morgillo for an order prus to FRCP 68 granting costs sought by City defts ; Return date not indicated; attached are papers in support (cd) (Entered: 07/27/2000)

July 26, 2000

July 26, 2000

48

Memo-Endorsement on letter addressed to Judge Patterson from Stephen H. Weiner, dated 8/14/00; granting counsel for the pltffs request for leave to serve an opposition to the defts [46-1] cross motion for costs on or before 8/18/00 , and granting the request to serve reply papers, if any, in further support of pltffs [38-1&2] application for legal fees on or before 8/18/00 ; defts reply papers to the [46-1] cross motion, if any, are due 8/28/00 . ( signed by Judge Robert P. Patterson ); Copies mailed. (jp) (Entered: 08/15/2000)

Aug. 15, 2000

Aug. 15, 2000

Record on appeal files (99-7550) returned from U.S. Court of Appeals: [24-1] appeal by Julie Fontanella, Jane Does 1-2, Christin Morgillo, Police Department, The City of New York. (dt) (Entered: 10/05/2000)

Oct. 5, 2000

Oct. 5, 2000

49

OPINION AND ORDER #84678, granting [46-1] cross motion for an order prus to FRCP 68 granting costs sought by City defts in the amount of $8,038.40; granting [38-1] motion for attorney fees in the amount of $14,737.50, granting [38-2] motion for costs in the amount of $4,378.95, for a total of $19,116.45 ( signed by Judge Robert P. Patterson ); Copies mailed (cd) Modified on 10/16/2000 (Entered: 10/13/2000)

Oct. 13, 2000

Oct. 13, 2000

Case Details

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Strip Search Cases

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Oct. 16, 1997

Closing Date: 1999

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The Plaintiff was arrested for aggravated harassment in the second degree, a misdemeanor. Plaintiff was taken to Central Booking, where she was subjected to a strip and cavity search by two female Corrections Department employees. This was traumatizing.

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

The City of New York (New York), City

Police Department of the City of New York (New York), City

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Damages

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Issues

General:

Strip search policy

Affected Gender:

Female

Type of Facility:

Government-run