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 ...
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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 Roughly 185 other criminal cases were withdrawn or vacated because of this conspiracy.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. Andrew Steiger - 10/17/2013