Federal Judge William J. Martini DENIES Plaintiff Marc Stephens second motion for reconsideration in $76 Million civil lawsuit for false arrest
On January 15, 2016, plaintiffs Marc and Tyrone Stephens filed a second motion for reconsideration requesting that the court correct their clear errors of facts, clear errors of law, and to prevent manifest injustice regarding Judge William J Martini’s erroneous opinion and order filed on January 13, 2016.
This case is regarding a 20 count civil complaint filed on September 5, 2014 by Marc Stephens, along with his brother Tyrone Stephens, against the City of Englewood, Englewood Police Department, Det. Marc McDonald, Det. Desmond Singh, Det. Claudia Cubillos, Det. Santiago Incle Jr., Det. Nathaniel Kinlaw, Nina C. Remson attorney at Law, and Comet Law Offices, LLC alleging false arrest, false imprisonment, defamation, false evidence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and legal malpractice.
On March 31, 2016, U.S. District Court Judge William J. Martini, of the 3rd Circuit, denied the plaintiffs second motion for reconsideration.
On April 1, 2016, not even 24 hours later, Marc Stephens immediately fired back with a third motion for reconsideration filed with a compelling legal argument backed by case law – and the admissible evidence.
On court record, the lawyers representing the City of Englewood actually stated to the Judge how intelligent and knowledgeable Marc Stephens is about the law, and requested for the court not to be easy on him – basically asking the court to treat Marc as a lawyer due to his knowledge of the law.
The court rejected the City’s argument.
Marc and Tyrone are proceeding as 'pro se', which means they are representing themselves without a lawyer. Federal court is very complicated and intimidating if you are not familiar with the court proceedings, case law, and local rules. Some court opinions are very long and intricate. So, basically, Marc has to read the opinion, make sense of it, then he has to find case law to back his argument. According to the timestamp of the filings, he did all of this in less than 2 hours – very impressive. For Marc to fire back so quick, it means he quickly analyzed the opinion and already knew the case laws. According to his testimony, Marc Stephens never stepped foot inside of a law school.
Judge Martini states the reason for denying the plaintiffs’ second motion for reconsideration, ECF 98:
“The Court is in receipt of multiple letters from Plaintiffs concerning this Court's January 13, 2016 Opinion & Order denying Plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration of the Court's November 3, 2015 Opinion & Order. To the extent those letters are intended to be additional motions for consideration, they are not permitted under the Local Rules and are therefore DENIED. See Mitchell v. Twp. of Pemberton, No. 09810, 2010 WL 2540466, at *7 n. 12 (D.N.J. June 17, 2010) (finding successive motions for reconsideration prohibited under the Local Rule); Caldwell v. Vineland Police Dep't, No. 084099, 2010 WL 703179, at *2 (D.N.J. Feb.23, 2010) (same). If Plaintiffs continue to file motions for reconsideration concerning either the November 3, 2015 Opinion & Order or the January 13, 2016 Opinion & Order, they will be subject to sanctions”.
Marc Stephens obviously was not in fear of Martini's threat of being subject to sanctions - because he filed a third motion for reconsideration.
It apears Judge Martini is clearly in error – again. Marc points out that pursuant to Rule 59(e), the court is obligated to correct a clear error of fact, correct a clear error of law, and to prevent manifest injustice.
Marc then cites case law from the 'Third Circuit Court of Appeals' which states, “Alternatively, if a litigant wishes to bring new or additional information to the Court's attention the Court should, in the interest of justice (and in the exercise of sound discretion), consider the evidence”, D’Atria v. D’Atria, 242 N.J. Super. [392,] 401 (Ch. Div. 1990). Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F. 2d 906 - Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit 1985. Its apparent Judge Martini did not even look at the first or second motions for reconsideration.
Marc Stephens then points to Judge Martini's January 13, 2016 opinion stating Martini is in clear error of facts, and law because his opinion erroneously states the officers had probable cause to arrest Tyrone. Martini states:
“The record shows that Englewood police officers had "probable cause" to arrest Tyrone. Specifically, the officers had 'four main pieces of evidence' implicating Tyrone in the October 31 Incident: (1) the alleged photo identification by Natalia Cortes; (2) the statements made by Justin Evans; (3) inconsistencies in testimony regarding Tyrone’s alibi; and (4) the statement Tyrone allegedly made to Jaquan Graham while in a holding cell”.
Marc Stephens breaks down Martini's erroneous opinion 1-4, and matched it with the evidence on file showing that the Englewood police officer 'did not' have probable cause to arrest Tyrone.
Below is an excerpt of what Marc submitted. Link to the full motion: Plaintiffs' 3rd Motion for reconsideration.
(1) - the alleged photo identification by Natalia Cortes;
Natalia 'did not' identify Tyrone:
A. On November 2, 2012, at the Englewood Hospital Defendant Desmond Singh asked Witness Natalie Cortes the following:
Desmond Singh: “If you saw the actors again, would you be able to identify them?
Natalia Cortez: “I’m not really sure because it was really dark and most of them had hoods on and like that one in the bike had the ski-mask on”, see Ex. 6 (page 7 line 23) & (page 8 line 1-3), ECF Document 72-2, page 22-23.
Mr. Martini, Tyrone went to jail for 1 year and 35 days as the ski-mask person. How would anyone see through a ski-mask??
B. On November 2, 2012, Victim Kristian Perdomo identified co-defendant Derrick Gatti as being present at the incident on October 31, 2012 at 7-eleven at 10pm, ECF Document 72-3, page 19, paragraph #2. “Upon Kristian Perdomo viewing said book, he immediately identified Derrik Gaddy”.
The Supplementary Investigation Report states that after taking the statements from all of the victims and witnesses on November 2, 2012, defendant McDonald and Singh went to pick up Derrick Gatti for questioning, but Derrick Gatti’s grandmother took custody of him without providing a sworn statement, see Ex. 15 (page 2, paragraph 3-4), ECF Document 72-3, page 19, paragraph #3-4.
On March 1, 2013, during Justin Evans Probable Cause hearing defendant McDonald testified that on November 2, 2012, the Englewood Police Department only had Derrick Gatti, see EXHIBIT 19, page 13, paragraph 14-25, ECF Document 72-3, page 13, paragraph 14-20.
This is proof Natalia 'did not' identify Tyrone on November 2, 2012.
Grossman: after you attempted to interview Derric Gatti, what happened next?
McDonald: I mean, well, that was pretty much it. All we really knew was at that particular point was—was Derric Gatti”.
C. On February 26, 2013, State witness Natalie Cortez “testified” at Tyrone Stephens’s probable cause hearing that she did not identify Tyrone Stephens by name, picture, or as a possible suspect on November 2, 2012, see EXHIBIT 18, page 14-22. ECF Document 72-3, page 93-97.
Jordan Comet: But there are three parts to this. There’s an identification by knowing the person by name. There’s an identification of a picture. And then there’s the –I’m not sure, I really don’t know maybe possibly. Those are the three parts that were looking at here.
Jordan Comet: First question is, did you pick out anyone from a picture, looking at them and saying, oh, I know that person, his name is whatever, either on 11/2 or 11/13 2012?
Natalia Cortez: No. I didn’t know anybody’s name. I just saw by face.
Jordan Comet: When you looked at their faces, did you say I saw that face at 7-eleven on October 31, 2012?
Natalia Cortez: No.
Jordan Comet: And finally, third, did there come a point where you wavered and said, I’m not sure, this person might have been there, I really don’t know?
Natalia Cortez: Yeah.
Jordan Comet: And how many faces did you say that about?
Natalia Cortez: I think one or two.
Jordan Comet: And the crucial question is, do you know whether one of those faces that you said might have been there was my client?
Natalia Cortez: No….I’m saying, no, it wasn’t him.
Prosecutor: You said that you were interviewed at the hospital correct?
Natalia Cortez: Yes. Prosecutor: And you think that the date, November 2, 2012 sounds correct?
Natalia Cortez: Yeah. Something like that.
Prosecutor: And you said that you were showed a photo identification book? A collection of pictures?
Natalia Cortez: Yes
Prosecutor: Did you point to any of the pictures when asked if they were there?
Natalia Cortez: I pointed, like, one or two pictures.
Prosecutor: Did you say how sure you were at that point?
Natalia Cortez: All my answers were pretty much, I’m not so sure. It might have been, but I’m not really sure since it was really dark. And like I said, everybody had either hoodies or like, some type of hat on.
Prosecutor: Did you know Tyrone Stephens before you looked at the photo book on November 2?
Natalia Cortez: I remember him by face because we went to high school together. I mean, like, we really didn’t talk or, like, anything. But I remember seeing him in high school. And that he played sports and everything.
Prosecutor: Did you recognize any of the pictures that you pointed out as being Tyrone Stephens?
Natalia Cortez: No.
Prosecutor: Do you remember the identification in the hospital.
Natalia Cortez: I remember they showed me.
Prosecutor: Do you remember what you said that day very well?
Natalia Cortez: I remember them showing me the books and what I said. It was—Not Really.
Prosecutor: I don’t have any further questions.
(2) - the statements made by Justin Evans;
Justin Evans’ statement is 'irrelevant' the officers knew 'before' their investigation that Tyrone was not the suspect who attacked the victims at 7-eleven at 10pm.
A. Justin Evans testified that he implicated Tyrone Stephens because, “I thought he was one of the people that said I was involved or told them”…and it was “out of revenge”, see EXHIBIT 23 (page 9, paragraph 1-25) (page 10, paragraph 1-14), ECF Document 72-4, page 8-9.
This confirms Justin Evans statement in his letter to Tyrone when he mentioned that the officers said Tyrone was 'under investigation' for the incident, and when McDonald and Singh stated Tyrone implicated Justin, Justin stated, “I through it back on yall”. Justin realized that the officers lied about Tyrone saying his name, “I fell for it on some dumb shit”. Justin states to Tyrone, “I aint purposely do it”, see EXHIBIT 17 (page 4, #8 & #10), ECF Document 72-3, page 85.
B. On November 2, 2012, the victims stated the incident occurred October 31, 2012, at 10pm, which was testified by defendant McDonald, see Exhibit 16 (page 16, paragraph 19-25) and that Tyrone stated he was at McDonalds at 10pm, (page 16, paragraph 1-3), ECF Document 72-3, page 28.
Prosecutor: First of all what was the time that the victims said the attack occurred?
McDonald: On or about 10pm.
Prosecutor: And what day did they say the attack occurred?
McDonald: October 31, Halloween.
Prosecutor: Where did Tyrone say that he was at that time?
McDonald: He stated he was initially at McDonald’s.
C. Det. McDonald stating that Kinlaw saw Tyrone at McDonalds at 10pm, ECF document 77-6 page 55-56.
Tyrone Stephens: Kinlaw said he seen me! Kinlaw just said he seen me!
Det. McDonald: “Kinlaw said he saw you and other people…when Kinlaw saw you on the Ave at this particular time you weren’t at home..”
Marc Stephens: Were you there?!
Tyrone Stephens: No I was not there at all! I was not there! I didn’t see any fight, anything! Kinlaw seen me at McDonald’s. I pulled up at McDonalds.
Marc Stephens: Kinlaw said he saw him on the Ave, at, look like 10 o’clock. Where was this altercation at? The 7-Eleven on the ave.?
Det. McDonald: up the street.
Tyrone Stephens: That’s it right there! I was in front of McDonalds. I just hopped out of a car. I walked in McDonalds and said what’s up Kinlaw.
Tyrone Stephens: If Kinlaw just said that he seen me, you just said it on here, you heard Kinlaw say that he seen me. He seen me at McDonalds, and he was talking to a little kid Willie. I think he was with Ron, right there at McDonalds. If you say that’s the time, than how could I be at two places at once?
Det. McDonald: That was at '10 O’clock' he said that.
(3) - inconsistencies in testimony regarding Tyrone’s alibi;
The incident occurred at '10pm'. The officers knew 'before' their investigation that Tyrone was not the suspect who attacked the victims at 7-eleven at 10pm, see #2 herein. According to Judge Wilcox ruling, there were never inconsistencies in Tyrone's alibi:
A. Judge Gary Wilcox ruled that Defense Witness Tyrone Roy was credible, see Exhibit 16 (page 91, paragraph 12-14), and that based on the timeline Tyrone Stephens should have been at McDonalds, or home, during the time of the incident at 7-eleven, see Exhibit 16 (page 91, paragraph 14-25) (page 92, paragraph 1), ECF Document 72-3, page 65-66.
Judge Gary Wilcox: “I heard the brief testimony of Tyrone Roy. I found Tyrone to be credible as a witness. And clearly the reason Tyrone Roy was called is to establish time line, indicating that, again, he and another friend, Anthony Mancini, picked up Tyrone at his house at approximately 9:40, 9:45. At approximately '10pm' they went to McDonalds. They ate food there for about ten or 15 minutes. And then Anthony drove Tyrone Stephens home. So, I think the Juveniles argument here is that, again, the time line, and again, the act was alleged to have occurred at 10:13pm-- that Tyrone at that time, would have been at McDonald’s or home”.
(4) - the statement Tyrone allegedly made to Jaquan Graham while in a holding cell”
A. The officers knew before their investigation that Tyrone was not the suspect who attacked the victims at 7-eleven at 10pm, see #2 herein. The fabricated statement is irrelevant.
"For the reasons set forth above, it does not matter if Justin Evans or Natalia Cortes actually or incorrectly identified Tyrone as the suspect. Tyrone’s timeline is irrefutable and backed by solid evidence that he was at McDonalds at 10pm, which is the time the incident occurred at 7-eleven, half a mile away. In addition, the officers testified that they had 'no leads' after interviewing the victims and the witness Natalia Cortes on November 2, 2012, clearly revealing that they fabricated all evidence against Tyrone Stephens. The court ruled defense witness Tyrone Roy’s 10pm at McDonald’s timeline was credible. If the officers did not fabricate the evidence and testimony Tyrone would not have spent 1 year and 35 days in jail.
Plaintiffs respectfully request that this Court grant Plaintiffs’ third motion for reconsideration, grant plaintiffs’ motion to amend the complaint adding the parties, deny all Defendants’ motion for summary judgment, and set the case for trial".
Judge Martini appears to have had too many 'strawberry Martinis'. So, we are eager to see what Judge Martini will order – Sanctions, or send the case to trial. It is obvious that Martini is forcing Marc and Tyrone to file an appeal which will cost more money. The court record shows Marc is out of money due to multiple court cases regarding the defense of Tyrone, and another civil case in the Bronx Supreme Court. The record also shows that the prosecutor forced Marc to stop working, in which Marc gave up $28,000 per month income in order to keep Tyrone out of jail.
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