University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Prince v. Aiellos PC-NJ-0023
Docket / Court 2:09-cv-05429 ( D.N.J. )
State/Territory New Jersey
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Policing
Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On October 23, 2009, an individual plaintiff filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Hackensack Police Department, Hackensack Municipal Court, Bergen County Jail in the City of Hackensack, Bergen County Municipal Court, and ... read more >
On October 23, 2009, an individual plaintiff filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Hackensack Police Department, Hackensack Municipal Court, Bergen County Jail in the City of Hackensack, Bergen County Municipal Court, and Bergen County Prosecutor. The plaintiff, filing pro se, sought compensatory and punitive damages plus special damages for future legal fees. The plaintiff specifically claimed that the defendants violated his Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights by attempting to break in and enter his home, threatening to imprison him, fabricating stories to have him incarcerated, and asserting false criminal charges, which led to plaintiff spending three months and five days in county jail.

Prior to these events, the plaintiff and officers had a relationship that arose out of an automobile accident. The plaintiff stated that he collected social security checks because of lasting injuries from the accident. The officers, allegedly because the plaintiff is black, claimed that the plaintiff had faked these injuries.

On October 12, 2010, the U.S. District Court (Judge Jose L. Linares) issued an order granting in part and denying in part motions to dismiss the plaintiff's complaint. The court granted leave to the plaintiff to allow him to amend his conspiracy to maliciously prosecute and equal protection claims. The court noted that if the plaintiff failed to do so, his Second Amended Complaint would remain the operative complaint in this matter and the case would proceed solely as to the plaintiff's malicious prosecution claim as against defendant Sgt. Aiellos. 2010 WL 4025846.

The plaintiff submitted an amended complaint later that month on October 27, 2010. The District Court issued an opinion dismissing the amended complaint as to all defendants except Behnke and Sgt. Aiellos on December 22, 2010. 2010 WL 5392724. The court granted Behnke's subsequent motion to dismiss on February 26, 2011.

Then, on May 22, 2012, the court issued an opinion denying the plaintiff’s motions for leave to submit another amended complaint and for a stay in discovery proceedings. 2012 WL 1883812.

On December 20, 2013, the U.S. District Court (Judge Jose L. Linares) issued an order denying the defendant’s and plaintiff’s motions for summary judgment. 2013 WL 6865619. On January 16, 2014, the defendant appealed to the Third Circuit on the basis of qualified immunity. The district court issued an order on May 7, 2014 granting the defendant’s motion to stay the case pending interlocutory appeal.

Months later, on December 2, 2014, the Third Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision to deny summary judgment. The Third Circuit’s decision hinged on two elements, including whether the plaintiff’s criminal complaint was brought without probable cause and whether the defendant acted maliciously toward the plaintiff. The court agreed with the district court that both issues were matters of disputed fact for a jury to decide and therefore rejected the motion for summary judgment. 594 Fed. App'x 742.

Following the Third Circuit’s decision, litigation continued in the district court. The parties litigated discovery and pretrial orders vigorously. Trial was initially set for June 2018, but later postponed because in May 2018, the docket indicates that plaintiff sought to retain counsel (which terminated all pending pretrial motions). That fall and into early 2019, the parties continued settlement negotiations without success. Judge John Michael Vazquez now presides over the case, which is ongoing as of December 2019.

Julie Singer - 11/13/2014
Will McCartney - 03/10/2018
Richa Bijlani - 12/01/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Bail/Bond
Excessive force
Failure to discipline
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
False arrest
Fines/Fees/Bail/Bond
Over/Unlawful Detention
Racial profiling
Search policies
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Criminal Violation of Federal Rights Under Color of Law, 18 U.S.C. § 242
Defendant(s) Hackensack Police Department
Plaintiff Description Plaintiff is a private citizen who alleges his arrest and confinement to a mental institution were founded in animus on the part of the local police and courts, and not in criminal activity.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se Yes
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 10/23/2009
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
Date: May 2006
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University Faculty)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
Book
Date: Jan. 1, 1998
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
2:09-cv-05429-JLL-JAD (D.N.J.)
PC-NJ-0023-9003.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/22/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Amended Complaint [ECF# 5]
PC-NJ-0023-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/16/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Answer to Plaintiff's Amended Complaint [ECF# 10]
PC-NJ-0023-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/10/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order {Granting Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint} [ECF# 40] (D.N.J.)
PC-NJ-0023-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/23/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint [ECF# 87]
PC-NJ-0023-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/18/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order {Denying Motion to Dismiss} [ECF# 79] (D.N.J.)
PC-NJ-0023-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/14/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [ECF# 117] (2010 WL 4025846) (D.N.J.)
PC-NJ-0023-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 10/08/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order { Granting in part and denying in part motion to dismiss} [ECF# 118] (D.N.J.)
PC-NJ-0023-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/12/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [ECF# 137] (2010 WL 5392724) (D.N.J.)
PC-NJ-0023-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 12/21/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order {Dismissing Third Amended Complaint} [ECF# 138] (D.N.J.)
PC-NJ-0023-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/22/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [ECF# 187] (2012 WL 1883812) (D.N.J.)
PC-NJ-0023-0010.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 05/22/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order { Denying Plaintiff's motion for leave to amend the complaint} [ECF# 188] (D.N.J.)
PC-NJ-0023-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/22/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Denying Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration] [ECF# 217] (D.N.J.)
PC-NJ-0023-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/07/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Denying Plaintiff's Motion to grant court-appointed expert witness, with prejudice] [ECF# 223] (D.N.J.)
PC-NJ-0023-0013.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/18/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion [For Summary Judgment] [ECF# 229]
PC-NJ-0023-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/09/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [Denying Plaintiff’s and Defendant’s respective motions for summary judgment] [ECF# 246] (2013 WL 6865619) (D.N.J.)
PC-NJ-0023-0016.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 12/20/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Interlocutory Appeal [ECF# 250]
PC-NJ-0023-0017.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/17/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [Ct. of App. ECF# 37] (594 Fed.Appx. 742)
PC-NJ-0023-0018.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/24/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Hammer, Michael A (D.N.J.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
PC-NJ-0023-0010 | PC-NJ-0023-0011 | PC-NJ-0023-0013
Hardiman, Thomas Michael (W.D. Pa., Third Circuit) show/hide docs
PC-NJ-0023-0018
Linares, Jose L. (D.N.J.) show/hide docs
PC-NJ-0023-0003 | PC-NJ-0023-0004 | PC-NJ-0023-0006 | PC-NJ-0023-0007 | PC-NJ-0023-0008 | PC-NJ-0023-0009 | PC-NJ-0023-0012 | PC-NJ-0023-0016 | PC-NJ-0023-9003
Vazquez, John Michael (D.N.J.) show/hide docs
PC-NJ-0023-9003
Plaintiff's Lawyers Prince, Donell (New Jersey) show/hide docs
PC-NJ-0023-0001 | PC-NJ-0023-0005 | PC-NJ-0023-0014
Defendant's Lawyers Ayes, Mitchell Ryan (New Jersey) show/hide docs
PC-NJ-0023-9003
Del Bove, Christopher Smith (New Jersey) show/hide docs
PC-NJ-0023-9003
Eder, Reid Harlan (New York) show/hide docs
PC-NJ-0023-9003
Flanagan, Brian G. (New Jersey) show/hide docs
PC-NJ-0023-9003
Galasso, Vicent L. (New Jersey) show/hide docs
PC-NJ-0023-9003
Gatlin, Karen Boe (New Jersey) show/hide docs
PC-NJ-0023-9003
Hayes, Kenneth (New Jersey) show/hide docs
PC-NJ-0023-9003
Klasna, Chad Lee (New Jersey) show/hide docs
PC-NJ-0023-9003
Kundla, Mark Stewart (New Jersey) show/hide docs
PC-NJ-0023-9003
Langfitt, V. Nicole (New Jersey) show/hide docs
PC-NJ-0023-9003
Lubin, Jesse D (New Jersey) show/hide docs
PC-NJ-0023-9003
Malagiere, Richard (New Jersey) show/hide docs
PC-NJ-0023-9003
Mclaughlin, Lucinda Jordan (New Jersey) show/hide docs
PC-NJ-0023-9003
Nunez, Xavier A (New Jersey) show/hide docs
PC-NJ-0023-9003
Positan, Wayne J. (New Jersey) show/hide docs
PC-NJ-0023-9003
Prutting, George A. (New Jersey) show/hide docs
PC-NJ-0023-0002 | PC-NJ-0023-9003
Sicheri, William August Anthony (New Jersey) show/hide docs
PC-NJ-0023-0017 | PC-NJ-0023-9003

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