m,TITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT TANYA JACKSON, as next friend On behalf of her minor children, Z. 1.

and y. 1. Plaintiffs vs. CITY OF MIDDLETOWN, MIDDLETOWN POLICE DEPARTMENT, .MIDDLETOWN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, KURT SeRNO (I/O) ALEX RODRIGUEZ (I/O); John Doe 1-3 (VO) Defendants COMPLAINT

JURy TRlAL DEMANDED

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I. INTRODUCTION

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1.

The Plaintiffs, Tanya Jackson and her minor children ZJ. and Y.l, bring this

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civil action for violation of their rights secured and protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1871 (U.S.C. §1983), which are found in the Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, Article First §§ 7, 8, 9 and 20 of the Connecticut Constitution, including discrimination, torture and harassment on the basis of their race and color. Plaintiffs seek compensatory and punitive damages, as well as

attorney's fees and costs.

II.

PARTIES
2. The Plaintiffs, Tanya Jackson, ZJ. (a minor child) and YJ. (a minor child),

have at all material times herein been residents of the City of Middletown, Connecticut.

3.

At all relevant times mentioned herein and pursuant to Connecticut General

Statutes Section 10-184, the two plaintiff minor children were in mandatory attendance at Middletown High School, in Middletown, Connecticut. 4. Defendant Officer Kurt Scrivo, (hereinafter referred to as "Scrivo") was at all

times material herein employed as a police officer by the City of Middletown Police Department and was assigned as a School Resource Officer at Middletown High School. He is being sued in his individual and official capacity, and at all times material herein was acting under the color of law during the course of and within the scope of his employment by the City of Middletown Police Department. 5. Defendant Officer Alex Rodriguez (hereinafter referred to as "Rodriguez"), at

all times material herein employed as a police officer by the City of Middletown Police Department and was assigned as a School Resource Officer at Middletown High School. He is being sued in his individual and official capacity, and at all times material herein was acting under the color of law, during the course and within the scope of his employment with the City of Middletown Police Department. 6. Upon information and belief, defendant Officers John Doe #1-3 were at all

times material herein, employed as police officers by the City of Middletown Police Department They are named and being sued in their individual and official capacities and

at all material times herein were acting under the color of law, and during the course and within in the scope oftheir employment with the City of Middletown Police Department.

7.

The Middletown Police Department (hereinafter referred to as ''MPD'')

is the

primary law-enforcement agency responsible for the enforcement oflaw in the City of Middletown, Connecticut.

8.

At all relevant times mentioned herein, the defendant Middletown Public

Schools (hereinafter referred to as ":MPS") is a local board of education which is organized and existing pursuant to statutory mandates found in the laws of the State of Connecticut, and has been charged with the responsibility for the control and management of the schools and the business and activities conducted therein, which are located within its jurisdiction, including Middletown High School, in Middletown, Connecticut.

ill.

JURISDICTION 9. Jurisdiction of this matter is invoked under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, in that the

District Court shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws or treaties of the United States. 10. This Court has supplemental jurisdiction over the Plaintiffs' state law claims

in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1367. IV. VENUE
11 11.

Venue is the District of Connecticut and is proper in accordance with 28

U.S.C. §1391, in that all of the acts and/or omissions giving rise to the claims occurred within this judicial district.

v.

FACTS 12. During all times material herein, the Defendants and each of them separately

and in concert, acted under color of law, under color of statutes, ordinances, regulations, customs and usages of the State of Connecticut andlor the City of Middletown. 13. Each of the Defendants, separately and in concert, engaged in illegal conduct

thereby injuring the Plaintiffs, depriving them of the rights, privileges and immunities secured to them by the Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution,42 Connecticut. 14. On September 3, 2010, the minor Plaintiff Z.J. was eating lunch in the U.S.c. §1983, and by the laws, statutes and Constitution of the State of

cafeteria of the Middletown High School, Middletown, Connecticut. 15. Z.J. and YJ. were at the time respectively, 17 and 15 year old African-

American males student in attendance at the Middletown High School. 16. ZJ. and YJ. had previously been deemed entitled to receive free lunch based

on their family income and pursuant to federal and state law. Z,J. observed that, although he had taken only one food item, namely, a slice of pizza from the selection of food offered, others of his colleagues similarly situated had taken both pizza and another food item, namely, a Jamaican beefpatty. 17. 18. Z.J. then retumed to the serving line and picked up a Jamaican beefpatty. Upon doing so, an Ml'S employee assigned to serve food in the cafeteria, who

is a Caucasian female, directly addressed Z.J. in a caustic, loud and humiliating manner, accusing him of stealing the Jamaican beef patty. This female Caucasian's misconduct,

namely addressing Z.J. directly, was strictly forbidden pursuant to the MPS own written policy and in accordance with training provided to cafeteria workers. In addition, students

who were actually caught stealing food are not typically addressed in the open cafeteria in front of other students and staff, but rather are addressed discreetly and privately in the closed office of high level school administrators. 19. After protesting his innocence and placing the Jamaican food patty back to its

original place, the female Caucasian cafeteria employee continued to scream at Z.J., accusing him of being a thief Additional screaming and words were exchanged between

the female Caucasian employee and Z.J.
20.

As the female Caucasian cafeteria employee continued to loudly berate and

accuse Z.J. she drew the attention of school resources officers on duty. 21. Officers Kurt Scrivo and Alex Rodriguez, the school resources officers

assigned to Middletown High School, approached Z.J. and instructed him to go to the .security office. Z.J. questioned why he needed to go to the security office and explained that he had not stolen anything and in fact had returned the Jamaican beefpatty.
22.

ZJ. did not in fact or in deed pose a threat ofhann to anyone and did not in

any manner engage in violent behavior. Notwithstanding, without further warning, Officer Scrivo then placed his hands upon Z.J. and violently threw him backwards onto the cafeteria floor. 23. While Z.J. was incapacitated on the cafeteria floor, Officer Rodriguez used

his department issued taser gun to taser Z.J. approximately five (5) times. While Officer

Rodriguez was in process of tasering Z.!. he repeatedly and loudly taunted and mocked Z.J., asking "whose the bitch now?" . 24. At all times while Officer Rodriguez was tasering and taunting ZJ, Z.J.

remained totally incapacitated and offered no resistance, nor posed any threat to anyone as he lay fully restrained on the floor in the cafeteria. 25. Because of the loud commotion which drew the attention of the a large

portion of the student body eating in the cafeteria, Y.J. who happened to be in attendance at the same lunch wave, was able to observe what was taking place. Concerned for the safety of his brother, Y.!. came to the area where Officers Scrivo and Rodriguez were restraining, taunting and tasering ZJ. YJ. loudly questioned why the officers were tasering his brother. 26. 27. Both Z.J. and YJ. were taken into custody and arrested. Immediately after the two (2) minor plaintiffs, Z.J. and YJ., were transported

to the Middletown Police Department to be booked and processed, their mother, Plaintiff Tanya Jackson arrived at the police department to secure the release her two (2) children and receive an explanation as to what had happened. 28. Upon speaking with police officers, Ms. Jackson learned that no medical

treatment had been offered to Z.J. despite his having sustained multiple bums from the taser applied to his back. 29. Ms. Jackson stated her belief that Officers Scrivo and Rodriguez had unjustly

mishandled and abused her son Z.J. 30. After securing the release of Z.J. and YJ. into her custody, Ms. Jackson left As Ms. Jackson exited the building with her two

the Middletown Police Department

children, YJ. kicked a metal sign with his foot.

Two Defendant (John Doe) Officers

employed by the Defendant Middletown Police Department emerged from the interior of the Police Department building, rearrested YJ. and charged him with breach of the peace. FIRST COUNT: 42 U.S.C. § 1983-Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution; Article First § 7, 8, 9 and 20 of the Connecticut Constitution as to Defendants Scrivo and Rodriguez 1-30. Paragraphs 1.- 30. above are hereby incorporated and made paragraphs 1.-30. of this First Count. 31. Defendants Scrivo and Rodriguez, separately and in concert, engaged in the

unlawful aforementioned conduct, injuring and depriving the minor Plaintiff Z.J. of the rights, privileges and immunities secured to him by the Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution as well as the Connecticut Constitution and statutes. 32. Defendants Scrivo and Rodriguez violated the minor Plaintiff Z.J.' s rights

secured to him by the 42 U.S.C. § 1983, in one or more of the following ways: a. In stopping and restraining Z.1. without reasonable suspicion, probable cause,

or other exigent circumstances; b. c. In using unreasonable, unjustified and excessive force upon him; In acting jointly and in concert with each other when they had a duty and

opportunity to protect him from the unlawful acts of the other officer; d. In using cruel and
lU1USUal

punishment on him;

e.

In causmg

unjust

and

unwarranted

physical

abuse,

intimidation

and

humiliation to him; f g.

In unjustly depriving him of rights without due process oflaw;
In acting recklessly toward him. As a result of Defendants' misconduct, Plaintiff ZJ. has suffered personal

33.

injuries, including physical injury, severe emotional distress and shock to his entire system.

34.

As a result of the misconduct

of Defendants

Scrivo and Rodriguez,

ZJ. has

suffered and in the future will continue to suffer physical and emotional pain and suffering.

SECOND COUNT: 42 V.S.c. § 1983-Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution; Article First § 7, 8, 9 and 20 of the Connecticut Constitution as to Defendant (John Doe) Officers
1-30. Paragraphs of this First Count. 31. unlawful Defendant (John Doe) Officers, conduct, separately and in concert, engaged in the

1.- 30. above are hereby incorporated and made paragraphs 1.-30.

aforementioned

injuring and depriving the minor Plaintiff Y.I. of the

rights, privileges and immunities secured to him by the Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments statutes. 32. Defendant (John Doe) Officers violated the minor Plaintiff Y.l's rights of the United States Constitution as well as the Connecticut Constitution and

secured to him by the 42 U.S.C. § 1983, in one or more of the following ways: a. In stopping and restraining Y.I without reasonable suspicion, probable cause,

or other exigent circumstances;

b. c.

In using unreasonable, unjustified and excessive force upon him; In acting jointly and in concert with each other when they had a duty and

.opportunity to protect him from the unlawful acts of the other officer; d. e, In using cruel and unusual punishment on him; In causing unjust and unwarranted physical abuse, intimidation and

humiliation to him; f g.
33.

In unjustly depriving him of rights without due process of law; In acting recklessly toward him. As a result of Defendants' misconduct, Plaintiff Y.I has suffered personal

injuries, including physical injury, severe emotional distress.
34.

As a result of the misconduct of Defendant (John Doe) Officers, PlaintiffY.J.

has suffered and in the future will continue to suffer physical and emotional pain and suffering. TIDRD COUNT:

42 V.S.C. §1983/Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution; Article First §§ 7,8,9 and 20 of the Connecticut Constitution as to City of Middletown Police Department and Middletown Public Schools
1-30. Paragraphs 1.-30. are hereby incorporated and made paragraphs 1.-30. of this Third Count 31. At all material times mentioned herein, the City of Middletown Police

Department and the Middletown Public Schools, acting through its respective final policy makers in the area of law enforcement and school security, had in effect, policies, practices, and customs regarding Police Officers assigned as school resource officers.

32. a.

These policies, practices, and customs included, but are not .limited to: the failure to properly screen, train, discipline, supervise or otherwise control

police officers engaged as school resource officers in the law as regards the use of excessive unreasonable and unjustified force; and the duty of officers to intervene and protect individuals from the deprivation of their civil rights by other police officers.
33.

These actual and/or de facto policies, practices and customs were the

proximate cause of the misconduct engaged in by all of the Defendant Police Officers, and the deprivation of civil rights and/or injuries suffered by Plaintiffs ZJ and YI 34. The defendant, Middletown Public Schools, was deliberately indifferent in

the supervision, discipline and investigation of the individual defendants and Defendant Middletown Police Department, thus ratifying, promulgating and approving of the unlawful behaviors. 35. As a consequence of the policies, practices and customs of the City of

Middletown Police Department and the Middletown Public Schools, Plaintiffs ZJ. and YJ. have suffered the deprivation of their civil rights, as well as physical and/or emotional distress and injury.

FOURTH COUNT:
Assault and Battery as to Defendants Scrivo and Rodriguez 1-30. Paragraphs 1.- 30. are hereby incorporated and made paragraphs 1.-30. of this Fourth Count

31.

Defendant Officers' contact with Z.J. was a harmful and offensive contact

with his physical person and, moreover, was carried out in such a manner as to ensure that Z.J. experienced offense to his reasonable sense of personal dignity. 32. Defendants' misconduct caused undue physical impairment to Z.J.' s body and

caused physical pain and suffering. The unlawful contact was the direct and immediate consequence of the force exerted by Defendant Police Officers. 33. Defendant Police Officers' misconduct was intentional, wanton, malicious

and without the exercise of due care. 34. Z.J. was damaged thereby.

FIFTH COUNT: False Arrest and Imprisonment

as to Defendants Scrivo and Rodriguez

1-30. Paragraphs 1.- 30. are hereby incorporated and made paragraphs 1.-30. of this Fifth Count. 31. Defendants Scrivo and Rodriguez unlawfully restrained the physical liberty of

Z.J. against his will and without his consent when they arrested Plaintiff Z.J. at the Middletown High School. 32. As a result of the unlawful restraint, Z.J. was forced to suffer physical and

emotional injuries. 33. Z.J. was damaged thereby.

SIXTH COUNT: False Arrest and Imprisonment

as to Defendant (John Doe) Officers

1-30. Paragraphs L- 30. are hereby incorporated and made paragraphs 1.-30. ofthis Sixth Count.

31.

Defendant Officers unlawfully restra:ined the physical liberty of Plaintiff YJ.

against his will and without his consent when they arrested him outside the Middletown Police Department. 32. As a result of the unlawful restraint" YJ. was forced to suffer physical and

emotional injuries. 33. YJ. was damaged thereby.

SEVENTH COUNT: Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress as to Defendants Scrivo and Rodriguez
1-30.

Paragraphs 1.- 30. are hereby incorporated and made paragraphs 1.-30. of this

Seventh C01.U1t.
31.

Defendants Scrivo and Rodriguez engaged in extreme and outrageous

misconduct whereby Z.J. was subjected to the deprivation of his civil rights, false arrest and imprisonment, and to an unprovoked nature. 32. The Defendants Scrivo's and Rodriguez' misconduct was intended to cause assault and battery which was particularly cruel in

and did cause Z.J. severe emotional distress. 33. As a result of Defendant's misconduct, Z.J. has sustained and will in the

future suffer extreme emotional distress. 34. Z.l has been damaged thereby.

EIGHTH COUNT: Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress as to Defendants Scrivo and Rodriguez 1-30. Paragraphs 1.- 30. are hereby incorporated and made paragraphs 1.-30. of this Eighth C01.U1t.

31.

Defendants Scrivo and Rodriguez engaged in reckless misconduct whereby

they subjected ZJ. to the deprivation of his civil rights, false arrest and imprisonment, and to an unprovoked assault and battery which was particularly cruel in nature. . . . 32. The conduct of Defendants Scrivo and Rodriguez was negligent in that they

knew, or should have known that emotional distress was the likely result of their misconduct. 33. As a result of the misconduct of Defendants Scrivo and Rodriguez, Z.J. has He is likely to suffer severe emotional pain and

suffered severe emotional distress. suffering in the future. 34.

Z.J. has been damaged thereby.

NJNTH COUNT: Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress as to Defendant (John Doe) Officers 1-30. Paragraphs 1.- 30. are hereby incorporated and made paragraphs 1.-30. ofthis Ninth Count. 31. Defendant (John Doe) Officers engaged in. extreme and outrageous

misconduct whereby YJ. was subjected to the deprivation of of his civil rights and false arrest ::111d imprisonment. 32. The Defendant (John Doe) Officers' misconduct was intended to cause and

did cause Z.J. severe emotional distress. 33. As a result of Defendant (John Doe) Officers' misconduct, Z.J. has sustained

and will in the future suffer extreme emotional distress. 34. Z.J. has been damaged thereby.

TENTH COUNT: Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress as to Defendant (John Doe) Officers 1-30. Paragraphs 1.- 30. are hereby incorporated and made paragraphs 1.-30. of this Tenth Count. 31. Defendant (John Doe) Officers engaged in reckless misconduct whereby Y.J.

was subjected to the deprivation of his civil rights and false arrest and imprisonment. 32. The Defendants' misconduct was negligent in that they knew, or should have

known that emotional distress was the likely result of their misconduct. 33. As a result of the Defendant's misconduct, Y.J. has suffered severe emotional

distress. He is likely to suffer severe emotional pain and suffering in the future. 34. YJ. has been damaged thereby.

"VREREFORE, Plaintiffs Tanya Jackson, as next friend of the minor Plaintiffs Z.J.
and YJ. pray for the following relief: A. B.
C.

A trial by jury; Compensatory damages; Punitive damages (As to Defendant Officers) Attorneys fees and costs; Such further and equitable relief as the Court may deem appropriate.

D. E.

Case 3:1'!-cv-00725-J8A Document 6

Filed 05/09/11 Page -I of 2

UNITED STATES DlI§TRlICT COUR.T
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT

TANYA JACKSON, ET AL.,

v.
CITY OF MlDDLETOWN, ET AL.,

SUMMONS IN A CIVIL CASE
CASE NUIVIBER:J:II-CV-00725JBA

TO: City of Middletown, Middletown Police Dept., Middletown Public Schools
Defendant's Address:

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....

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A lawsuit has been filed against you. Within 21 days after service of this summons on you (not counting the day you received it) - or 60 days if you arc L"'1eUnited States or a United. States agency, or an officer or employee of the United States described in Fed. R. Civ, P. 12 (a)(2) or (3) - you must serve on the plaintiff an answer to the attached complaint or a motion under Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The answer or motion must be served on the plaintiff or plaintiffs attorney, whose name and address are: Josephine S. Miller 914 Main Street East Hartford, CT

osr 08

If you fail to respond.judgment by default will be entered against you for the relief demanded in the complaint. You also must file your answer or motion with the court.

CLERK OF COURT

lsi ~ N. Kelsey
Signature of Clerk or Deputy Clerk

ISSUED ON 2011-05-0909:47:58.0, Clerk USDCCTD

Case 3:1 ~1-cv-00725-jBA Document 6

F!ied 05/09/11

Page 2 of 2

PROOF OF SERViCE
(This section should not be tiled with the court unless required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 4 (JJ)
This summons for (name ofindividual and title. ifany) was received by me on (date}
_

_

I personally served the summons __________________

on the individual

at (place) on (date)

~
~;

or

_

I left the summons _-;-----,,--. on (date)

at the individual's

residence or usual place of abode with (name) ~ , a person of suitable age and discretion who resides there, , and mailed a copy to the individual's last known address; or
, who is _

__________________

I served the summons on (name of individual) designated by law to accept service of process on behalf of
on {date}

(name of organization)

: or

I returned the summons unexecuted because __________________________________
Other
(specify)

~

;or

_

_

My fees are $

for travel and $

~for services, for a total of $.

0.00

I declare under penalty of perjury that this information
Date:

is true.

--------Servers signature

Printed name and title

Servers address

Additional

information

regarding

attempted

service, etc:

Case 3:1 1-cv-00725-jBA

Document 6

Flied 05/09/11

Page 1 of 2

UNITED STATES llJl[STRKCT COURT DISTRlCT OF CONNECTICUT

TA-NYA]ACKSON,ET

AL.,

v.
CITY OF MIDDLETOWN, lET AL.,

SUMMONS IN A CIVIL CASE
CASE NUMBER: 3: H -CV -00125- JBA

TO: City of Middletown, Middletown Police Dept., Middletown Public Schools
Defendant's Address:

A lawsuit has been filed against you. Within 21 days after service of this summons on you (not counting the day you received it) - or 60 days if you arc t.1C United States or a United States agency, or an officer or employee of the United States described in Fed. R. Civ, P. 12 (a) (2) or (3) - you must serve on the plaintiff all answer to the attached complaint or a motion under Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The answer or motion must be served on the plaintiff or plaintiffs attorney, whose name and address are: .Iosephine S. Miller 914 Main Street

East Hanford, CT

osiss

If you fail to respond, judgment by default will be entered against you for the relief demanded in the complaint. You also must file your answer or motion with the court.

CLERK OF COURT

lsI - N. Kelsey
Signap.1re of Clerk or Deputy Clerk

ISSUED ON 2011-05-09 09:47:58.0, Clerk USDCCTD

Case 3:1 '!-cv-00725-JBA

Document 6

Filed 05/091'l1 Page 2 of 2

I

I

PROOF OF SERWClE (This section should Dot be filed with the court unless required by Fed. R. Civ. P 4 (1))
This SlLlTUllOnsor {name of individual and title. ifany) f was received by me on {date)
~ _

~

I personally ~

served the summons

on the individual

at {place} on {date}

~

,; or

_

I left the summons at the individual's residence or usual place of abode with (name) _ _ ~__:_--__ ----' a person of suitable age and discretion who resides there, on (date) , and mailed a copy to the individual's last known address; or

~

I served the summons on (name of individual) designated by law to accept service of process on behalf of (name oi orgenizetion}

, who is ; or

~

on

(date)

_

I returned the summons unexecuted because -------------------__________________________________ ;or
OLDer (specifyJ _

My fees are $

for travel and $

for services, for a total of $

0,,00

r declare
Date:

under penalty of perjury that this information _

is true.

Servers signature

I I
I
I
Additional information regarding attempted service, etc:

Prtnted name and title

Servers address

I

FHec~05103/-'~~~

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

DffiTIUCTOFCONNECTICUT

TANYA JACKSON, as next friend
On behalf of her minor children,

Z. 1. and Y. 1.
PlainfJ!s
VS.

Cui OF NITDDLETOWN~ MIDDLETOWN POLICE DEP AR11\1Er"rr, MIDDLETOWN PUBLIC SCHOOLS~KURT SeRNO (VO) ALEX RODRIGUEZ (I/O); John Doe 1-3 (I/O) .A D efendants
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1

Th'TRODUCTION
1.

'Ih.e Plaintiffs, Tanya Jackson and her minor children 2.J. and Y.J., bring this

civil action for violation of their rights secured and protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1871 ('U.S.C. §1983)~ which are f01L."1d in the FOlli-fr.~ Fitlli" Eighth and Fourteenth

Amendments to the United States Constitution, Article First §§ 7, 8, 9 and 20 of the
Connecticut Constitution, including discrimination,

torture and harassment on the basis of

their race and color.

Plaintiffs seek compensatory and punitive damages, as wen as

2.

. Tile Plaintiffs, Tanya Jackson, Z.J. (a minor child) and YJ. (a minor child},

have at all material times herem been residents of the City of Middletown, Connecticut

3.

At all relevant time-s mentioned herein and pursuant to Connecticut General

Statutes Section lO-184~the two plaintiff minor children were in mandator; attendance at Nfiddletovrn High School, in Middletown, Connecticut. 4.
Defendant Officer Kurt Scrivo, (hereinafter referred to as "Scrivo") was at all

Department and was assigned as a School Resource Officer at Middletown High School, He is being sued in. his individual and official capacity, and at all times material herem. was acting under fhe color of law during the
COllLSe

of and within the scope of his employment

by the City of Middletown Police Department.

5.

Defendant Officer Alex Rodriguez (hereinafter referred to as."Rodriguez"), at

all times material herein employed as a police officer by the City of Middletown Police Department and was assigned as a School Resource Officer at Middletown High School, He is being SUed in his individual and official capacity, and at all times material herein was acting under the color of law, during the course and within the scope of his employment
with the City of'Middletown Police Department 6, Upon information and belie£, defendant Officers John Doe #1-3 were at all

times material herein, employed as police officers by the City of Middletown Police Department They are named and being sued in their individual end official capacities
&.FId

at all material times herein were acting under the color of law, and during the course and

within in the scope of their employment with the City ofI\1iddlctown Police Department.

7.

The Middletown Police Department (hereinafter referred to as "MPD")

is the

primary law-enforcement agency responsible for the enforcement of law in the City of1Middleto~ Connecticut

8.

At all relevant times mentioned herein, the defendant Middletown Public

- Schools (hereinafter referredto

as ':MPS"')

is

R local

board of education wbjch is organized -

and existing pursuant to statutory mandates found in the laws of the State of Connecticut, and has been charged with the responsibility for the control and management of the schools and the business and activities conducted therein, which are located within its jurisdiction,
including Middletown High School, in Middletm~ Connecticut.

ill.

JURI§DlICTION 9.

Jurisdiction of this matter is invoked under 28 U.S.c. § 1331; it'). that the

District Court shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws or treaties of the United States.

10.

This Court has supplemental jurisdiction over the Plaintiffs' stare law claims

in accordance "With 28 U.S.C. § 1367.

11.

V roue is the District of Connecticut and is proper in accordance with 28

u.s.C. §1391~ in that all of the acts and/or omissions giving rise to the claims occurred
within this judicial district

v.

FACF§

12.

During ali times material herein, the Defendants and each of them separately

and in concert" acted under color of law, under color of statutes, ordinances, regulations, customs and usages of the State of Connecticut and/or the City of'Middletown. 13. Each of the Defendants, separately and i.1:1 concert, engaged in illegal conduct

thereby injuring the Plainti:fiS, depriving them of the rights, privileges and immun..ties i secured to them by the Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, 42 U.S.C. §1983, and by the laws, stanrtes and Constitution of the State of
Connecticut 14. On September 3, 2010, the minor Plaintiff Z.J. was eating lunch in the

cafeteria of the Middletown High School, Middletown, Connecticut.
15. 2.1. and YJ. were at the time respectively. 17 and 15 year old Africanat

American males student in attendance
16"

me Middletown

High School.

Z.J. and YJ. had previously been deemed entitled to receive free lunch based

on their family income and pursuant to federal and state law. Z,J. observed that, although
he had taken only one food item, namely, a slice of pizza from the selection of food offered, others of his colleagues similarly situated had taken both pizza and another food item,

17.

Z.J. then returned tome serving line andpicked up a Jamaican beefpany.

18.

Upon doing so, an :MPSemployee assigned to serve food in the cafeteria, who

is a Caucasian female, directly addressed Z.J. in a caustic, loud and humiliating manner,

accusing Dim of stealing the Jamaican beef patty. This female Caucasian's misconduct,

namely addressing Z.J. directly, was. strictly forbidden pursuant to the IviPS own written policy and in accordance with training provided to cafeteria workers.
In addition, students

who were actually caught stealing food are not typically addressed in the open cafeteria in £.ont of other students and staff, but rather are addressed discreetly and privately in the dosed office of high level school administrators, 19, Af~ protesting his innocence and placing the Jamaican food patty back to its

origina! place, the female Caucasian cafeteria employee continued to scream at Z.J.,

accusing him of being a thief Additional screaming and 'words 'were exchanged between
the female Caucasian employee and z.J. 20. As the female Caucasian cafeteria employee continued to loudly berate and

accuse Z.1. she drew me attention of school resources officers on duty.
21.

Officers Kurt Scrivo and Alex Rodriguez. the school resources officers

assigned to Middletown High School, approached Z.J. and instructed him to go to the

security office. 2:1. questioned why he needed to go to the security office and explained that he had not stolen anything and in fact had returned the Jamaican beef patty.
22. 2.1. did not in fact or in deed pose a threat of harm to anyone and did not in

any manner engage in violent behavior.

Notwithstanding, withou; further warning, Officer

Scrivo then placed his hands upon Z.l and violently threw him backwards onto the cafeteria
floor, 23. While ZJ. was incapacitated on the cafeteria floor, Officer Rodriguez used

his department issued taser gill! to taser Z.J. approximately five (5) times. While Officer

Rodriguez was in process of tasering 2.1 he repeatedly and loudly taunted and mocked Z.J.,

24.

At

an

times while Officer Rodriguez was tasering and taunting Z.J~ Z.J.

remained totally incapacitated and offered no resistance, nor posed any threat to anyone as he lay fully restrained on the floor in the cafeteria.
25. Because of the loud commotion which drew the attention of the a large

portion of the student body eating in the cafeteria, Y.l who happened to be in attendance at the same lunch vvave, was able to observe what
W'aS

taking place. Concerned for the safety

of his brother, y.J. came to the area where Officers Scrivo and Rodriguez were restraining, taunting and tasering ZJ. y.J. loudly questioned why the officers were tasering his brother.
26. Both ZJ. and Y.J. were taken into custody and S1TestOO.

27.

ImmedW2ZZY the WlO (2) minor plaintiffs, Z.J, and YJ.~ were transported after

to the Middletown Police Department to be booked and processed, their mother, Plaintiff Tanya Jackson arrived
at

the police department to secure th.e release her two (2) children

and receive an explanation as to what had happened.

treatment had been offered to ZJ. despite his having sustained multiple burns from the taser
applied to his back. 29_

Ms, Jackson stated her belief that Officers Scrivo and Rodriguez had unjustly

mishandled and abused her son Z.J.
30. Atter securing the release of Z.l and Y.J into her custody, Ms. Jackson left
As Ms. Jackson exited the building with her two

the Middletown Police Department

children" Y.J. kicked a metal sign. 'With his foot.

Two Defendant (John Doe) Officers

employed by the Defendant Middletown Police Department emerged from the interior of the Police Department building, rearrested Yl and charged him with breach of the peace" FmBT COUNT:
~4~-·U'&C. ·§·-.:!9&3-F-omllR~ IF'1l&9

Cm»§n.m¢ioll1\; AlftYd(l; fir§t § 71 8, D~feID1drumt§ Serive $ll!lrll Rodrig!lJlez;:

JE1ghfttB.!'
9}

FOuF~llllt1:fuJ. AlUWellItdlmewt§ of tfule u.§~ ~l1ldl 2® of C@M~ifti!lllit· Cooo1.'itMfiQ)mi ..as to·
$B,~

~e

1-30. Paragraphs L- 30. above are hereby incorporated and made paragraphs 1.-30. of this First Count 31. Defendants Scrivo and Rodriguez, separately and in concert, "engaged in the

unlawful aforementioned conduct, injuring and deprivingthe minor Plaintiff Z.J. of the
rights, privileges and immunities secured to him by the Fourth, Fifth,. Eighth and Fourteenth

Amendments of the United Stares Constitution as wen as the Connecticut Constitution and
ststetes. 32. Defendants Scrivo and Rodriguez violated the minor Plaintiff Z.J.'g rights

secured to him byh"'1e42 U.S.C. § 1983~ in one or more of the following ways: a. In stopping and restraining ZJ. without reasonable suspicion, probable cause,

b. c.

In using uareasonable, unjustified and excessive force upon him; In acting jointly and in concert wit.l! each otber when they had a duty and

0PPO:W1nity to protect him from the unlawful acts of the other officer;

d.

In using cruel and unusual punishment on him;

e.

In causmg unjust and unwarranted physical abuse, intimidation and

humiliation to him; f g. 33.
In unjustly depriving him of rights without due process of law;

in. acting recklessly toward him. As a result of Defendants' misconduct,

Plahiliff ZJ. has suifered

personal

iP_juri~ including physical iejury, severe emotional distress and shock to his entire system. 34.
As a result of the misconduct of Defendants Scrivo and Rodriguez, Z.I has

suffered and in the future will continue to suffer physical and emotional pain and suffering,
SECOND COUNT~

42 U.SOC" § 1~8J..FG1iRrtilIl, Fffih, JEftgfulth9 lIl:l.illld! 1F®1I1lrtee1ID.t:Bl1 Amen<Otmel!lllts of ilie U.So COIDi§ililuoon; A.l!1iclke Fir§t § i 9 8, 9 arm@2® ([llf tfute Cml11TIiernellllU: COIDl@llimti~j)Jm 213 to
Dt'EfeIDl.d1llnt (JQJlm Doe) om~elI'§

1-30. Paragraphs L- 3~. above are hereby incorporated and made paragraphs 1.-30.
of this First Count 31. Defendant (John Doe) Officers, separately and in concert, engaged in the

unlawful aforementioned conduct, injuring and depriving the minor Plaintiff Y.J. of the
rights, privileges and immunities secured to rum by the Fourth, Fifth, Eig.hth and Fourteenth

Amendments of the U~"'Cl States Constitution as wen as the Connecticut Constitution and

32.

Defendant (John Doe) OffiOO!""S violated the minor Plaintiff

Y.J.~s rights

secured
a

to

him by the 42 U.S.c. § 1983" in one or more of the following ways:
In stopping and restraining YJ. without reasonable suspicion, probable cause,

or other exigent circumstances;

b. c.

In using unreasonable, unjustified and excessive force upon him; L, acting jointly and ttl concert with each other when they had a duty and

opportunity to protect }l.i1TI from the unlawful acts of the other officer; d.
_._-"-

Ll1 using cruel and unusual punishment on him; In causing·· unjust and unwarranted

-

..

e.

·physic.a1 abuse, intimidation .and

humiliation to him; f g. 33. 1'1.unjustly depriving him of rights without due process of law; Inacting recklessly toward him.
As a result of Defendants' misconduct, Plaintiff Y.J has suffered personal

injuries, including physical injury, severe emotional distress.
34.
As a result of the misconduct of Defendant (JoP..11 oe) Officers, Piaintiff'YJ. D

bj;)ssuffered and in the future will continue to suffer physical and emotional pain and

'TIIIRD COUNT~ 42 U.s.C. §l~J/Fo!llnlifm~ Fm~ JEigIDnth FOlllllfteelmtfil AmeImdmelffi~ to the UoS. rumd COlm§tiirutiij\llll~ Amde .lFIDr~\lt§§ t.8,9 SlK!l.d ® «)f me C@llllneclticllllt C@oollib!tioIDl 2§ to City 2 IDlf Mlld!<!IDieit!PWlID P@Mtr:eDeprutmemrt ll1!1!i!d :Mi«lldlletowllI! hbllie. Sdl@@~

1=30. Paragraphs 1.-30. are hereby incorporated and made paragraphs 1.-30. of this Third Count. 31. At all material times mentioned herein, the City of Middletown Police

Departmeat and the Middletown Public Schools, acting th..rough its respective final policy makers in the area of law enforcement and school security, had in. effect, policies, practices,

32. a.

These policies, practices, and customs included, but are not .limited to: the failure to properly screen, tram, discipline, supervise or otherwise control

police officers engaged as school resource officers in the law as regards the use of
excessive unreasonable and unjustified force; and the duty of officers to intervene and

protect

individuals from the deprivation or their civil fights by other police

officers.
33. These actual and/or de facto policies" practices and customs were the

proximate cause of the misconduct engaged in by all of the Defendant Police Officers, and the deprivation of civil rights and/or injuries suffered by Plaintiffs Z.J and YJ. 34. The defendant, Middletown Public Schools, was deliberately indifferent in

the supervision. discipline and investigation of the individual defendants and Defendant Middlet.o'Wn Police Department, thus ratifying, promulgating and approving of the unlawful

35.

As a consequence of the policies, practices and customs of the City of

Middletown Police Department and the Middleto-wn Public Schools, Plaintiffs Z.J. and Y.I
have suffered the deprivation of their civil righta, as wen as physical and/or emotional

distress and injury. A~.m;amt
FOURTH COUNT:
$llU~:Battery 25 t® De:femi~IDllm§~]"w@

SlmldlR@ohrngUl!e7l

1-30. Paragraphs 1.- 30. are hereby incorporated and made paragraphs 1.-30. ofthis

31.

Defendant Officers ~ contact with 2.J. was a harmful and offensive contact

with his physical person and, moreover, was carried out in such a manner as to ensure that 2.J. experienced offense to his reasonable sense of personal dignity,

32.

Defendants ~misconduct caused undue physical impairment to Z.1.' s body and

caused physical pam and suffering. The unlawful contact was -the direct and immediate consequence of'the force exerted by Defendant Police Officers. 33. Defendant Police Officers' misconduct was intentional; wanton, malicious

and witbout the exercise of due care. 34. Z.J. was damaged thereby.
~d1 RodJr!l,gIDltt-Z

FIFTH COLTf\"f~
F:tilil~ Mlt"teSt- uro! Jfmpm'UJrurmelffittas to Deffnd~Jlllt§ Stdvo 1-30. Fifth Count. 31, Z.l Defendants Scrivo and Rodriguez unlawfully restrained the physical liberty of Paragraphs 1.-30. are hereby incorporated and made paragraphs 1.-30. oft-his

against his will and 'without his consent when they arrested Plaintiff Z.J. at the

Middletown High School. As a result of the unlawful restraint, Z.J. was forced to SUITer physical and

emotional injuries.
33. Z.l was damaged thereby.

SIXTH COUN,]_,~ Fa]~ Ai"resrJ: ]]d Imnrpm~)Jlllmelillt~l\l to IDN.::fetmdml!ilt (JO~IDlDee) Orncl'ern 2
1-30_ Paragraphs L- 30. are hereby incorporated and made paragraphs 1.-30. of this

Sixth Count,

3 I.

Defendant Officers unlawfully restrained the physical liberty of Plaintiff Y.J

against his will and without his. consent when they arrested him outside the Middletown Police Department 32.
As a result of the unlawful restraint, Y.J. was forced to suffer physical and

emotional injuries.
33. Y.J. was damaged thereby.

SEVE..l\T'[H COUNT: Iwitfntli€Jlul! ImI1il1ktimm @fEll1ll!@OOllli~ Dm1bress as to Ddell!lrllut'ill

SQ!ffl([Jlalffird! oo_rigIDJez R

1-30. Paragraphs 1.- 30. are hereby incorporated and made paragraphs 1.-30. of this Seventh Count.
31. Defendants Scrivo and Rodriguez engaged in extreme and outrageous
arrest

misconduct whereby Z.J. was subjected to the deprivation of his civil rights" false

and

imprisonment, and to an unprovoked assault and battery which was particularly crud in

nature.
32. The Defendants Scrivo's and Rodriguez' misconduct was intended to cause

and did cause Z.J. severe emotional distress.
33. As a result of Defendant's misconduct, Z.J. has sustained and will in the

future suffer extreme emotional distress.
34. Z.J. has been damaged thereby. llJml'fI!n.cnoImofElIIDlOIli@lTIl~ mme§§ as to DefeImdrun.ts

EIGHTH COlJNT~
N~ent

Sertvo 1Jnmd RoorlgMe;£

1-30. Paragraphs L- 30. are hereby incorporated and made paragraphs 1.-30, of this

31.

Defendants Scrivo and Rodriguez engaged in reckless misconduct whereby

they subjected Z.J. to the deprivation of his civil rights, false arrest and imprisonment, and
i~' • • . i. . l' f• to an unprovoxec assault an d • ! battery wmcn was particularly cruet 111 nature.

32.

The conduct of Defendants Scrivo and Rodriguez was negligent in that they
WES

knew. or should have known that emotional distress

the likely result of their

misconduct.
33. As a result of the misconduct of Defendants Scrivo and Rodriguez, Z.J. has He is likely to suffer severe emotional pain and

suffered severe emotional distress.

suffering in the future.
34. Z.J. has been damaged thereby.

NJ1;lTH CQlINT:
I1l1Wlmtil@li1lrzJl ldiwo1lll

@fEIDIIl4JJti®llllru m§t!r'us

as to Defelffid2IDiE (JoIDUll!Doe) O:ffieell'§

1-30. Paragraphs L- 30. are hereby incorporated and made paragraphs 1.-30. of this

Ninth Count.
31. Defendant (John Doe) Officers engaged in extreme and outrageous

misconduct whereby Y.J. was subjected to the deprivation of of his civil rights and false

arrest and imprisonment
32. The Defendant (JOM Doe) Officers' misconduct was intended to cause and

did cause Z.J. severe emotional distress. 33.

As a result of Defendant (John Doe) Officers' misconduct, ZJ. has sustained

and will in the future suffer extreme emotional distress.
34. Z.J. has been damaged thereby.

TENT§\{ COIDN1f~ Neglffig~Iffit mffiCn(llllll @fEmCJ!Qi@walllOO§ilfe§§ss to D~jfe1lldtilmllt (Johm Dee) Offiltern

1-30. Paragraphs 1.- 30. are hereby incorporated and made paragraphs 1.-30. of'this
Tenth Count

31.

. Defendant .. John 0Qe). Officers (

engaged in reckless

misconduct whereby Y.J.

was subjected to the deprivation ofhis civil rights and false arrest and imprisonment. 32. The Defendants' misconduct was negligent in that they knew, or should have

known that emotional distress was the likely result of their misconduct. 33.
As a result of the Defendam's misconduct" YJ. has suffered severe emotional

distress. He is likely to suffer severe emotional pain and suffering in the future. 34. Y.J. has been damaged thereby.

"i}HfW.J[(;w'FORE, Plaintiffs Tanya Jackson, as next friend of the minor Plaintiffs Z.J. and YJ. pray for the following relief

A
B.
C.

A trial by jury;

Compensatory damages; Punitive damages (As to Defendant Officers)
Attorneys fees and costs;

D.

E.

Such further and equitable relief as the Court may deem appropriate.

ep

~-+~~~~~~--S. MIler, ~t27039

I~

~

914 Main Street, Suite 206
East Hartford, CT 06108

Tel: (203) 512~2?95

Fax: (860) 289-&944

tyofResidmceofFiz-stLisred

Plaintiff

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CASES)

(EXCEPT IN U.S_PlAL-m1FF

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County ofR.esi'Wlll.ce of First Listed Defeadast
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, (U.S.

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3;0 Airplare 3!5 Arrplane P.rodllCt

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fcle=s) rea's B=fi!;;
0)<1=' SciI;s

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Iiaiiliity 320 A=1ili, Libcl & Slander 33IJ Federal Emplayoo:' Liability 340 Marine 345 Marine Product Llsbility
3:50 Motor Vehicle 3:55 Motor-Vehicle

362 Personal fujwy· Med. Malpractice a 365PernnatIqiurylWductLiBhilWj n 36g Asbestos Peil5<Hla! Injury Ploduet Liability PERSONAL PROPERTY a 370 Other Fmud o 311 Troth in L<mding: o 300 Other Personal

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610 Agriouiture 620 Other Food &. Drug D 625 Drog Related Sei:=e
of~:n USCS8i.

630 Liquor U!:ws 640 R.R.. &. Truck 650 Airline~ 66{1 Occupational Safetylfualth
Other

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C:>avpt~ 4&fr~~

490 CablaISat TV

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730 I..aborIMgmtROjlortiug

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443Housing/
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444 Wel:fm'e 445 A=. w/Disabiliti;;s Other 0Iher Civil Rights

Habeas COroll<: 530Gelld535 Dea!h Pena!ty 54{1 Mlmdamus & Othar 550 Civil Rigt.:s 555 !'riso!! Cond!!lon.

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Stare Starotes

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:EUESTEDIN
&PLAIN'lf':
LATED CASE(§) ~"NJr
RIDGE
SrGNAr1.JRE OF p.JTORNEY OF RECORD

CHECK YES only if demanded in complaint
J"(lR'fDEMAND: Q Yes

a No

DOCKEHrtJMBER

EUSEONLY

--------

Al:;,iOt.tr-IT

-------------

JfJDGE

~----

M:AG.JUDGE

--------