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Mauney v. Cugino

United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina

August 15, 2019




         Plaintiff, Bradley L. Mauney, brings this federal civil rights action against Defendants, Detective A.W. Cugino, II (“Cugino”), Detective S.P. Hosier (“Hosier”), the City of Archdale, North Carolina (“Archdale”), and the City of High Point, North Carolina (“High Point”), alleging violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). (Docket Entry 42; see also Docket Entry 41 (allowing filing of Amended Complaint).) Defendants all filed both Motions to Dismiss (Docket Entries 46, 50) under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Motions for Summary Judgment (Docket Entries 71, 74) under Rule 56 of those Rules. One set of Defendants, High Point and Hosier, explicitly incorporate the arguments made in their Motion to Dismiss into their Motion for Summary Judgment. (Docket Entry 72 at 8.) However, as to all Defendants, the Summary Judgment Motions include all the arguments made in the Motions to Dismiss. The Court thus should treat the Motions to Dismiss as moot and directly address only the Motions for Summary Judgment.

         I. Plaintiff's Allegations and Claims

         The Amended Complaint describes Plaintiff as a pretrial detainee housed in the Randolph County Jail (Docket Entry 42, ¶ 3), Defendant Cugino as a detective with the Archdale Police Department (id. ¶ 6), and Defendant Hosier as a detective with the High Point Police Department (id. ¶ 7). According to the Amended Complaint, on December 8, 2016, Defendants Hosier and Cugino “approached [Plaintiff] and put [him] in handcuff[s] behind [his] back and asked if [he] could hear or speak.” (Id. ¶ 9.) The Amended Complaint further states that, when Plaintiff responded in the negative by shaking his head, the detectives (A) called for an interpreter waiting in their car, and (B) began to question him, despite the fact that the interpreter could not “see or understand [Plaintiff] while [his] hands were handcuffed behind [his] back.” (Id.) The detectives allegedly then “gave up” and transported Plaintiff to the Archdale Police Department, where they continued to attempt to question him with the interpreter present and Plaintiff handcuffed behind his back (such that the interpreter still could not assist him). (Id. ¶ 10.)

         The Amended Complaint also asserts that “the Police refused to let [his] hands free from the handcuffs so [he] could communicate with [the] interpreter and [he] was even willing to cooperate with the police.” (Id. ¶ 11.) In that regard, the Amended Complaint alleges that the interpreter “made demands to have [Plaintiff's] hands free so [he could] communicate with her, ” but that Defendants Cugino and Hosier refused. (Id.) According to the Amended Complaint, Defendant Cugino later took Plaintiff before a magistrate and disclosed Plaintiff's deafness. (Id. ¶ 12.) The magistrate then “typed on a computer and printed [a paper] out and told [Plaintiff] to sign the paper.” (Id.) When Plaintiff inquired about an interpreter, Defendant Cugino allegedly replied, “‘We can't get one' and threw [Plaintiff] in jail.” (Id.)

         The Amended Complaint sets out two claims for relief. The first states that “[t]he handcuffing, refusal to let [P]laintiff's hands free to communicate, and discrimination violated Plaintiff's rights and constituted [ ] a due process violation under [the] United States Constitution[, ] 42 U.S.C. § 1983, [the] Rehabilitation Act of 1973, [and the] American[s] With Disabilities Act of 1990.” (Id. ¶ 15.) The second states that the “[f]ailure to provide [an] interpreter at Magistrate Joshua Grant's hearing” violated the Constitution and the same statutes, as well as N.C. Gen. Stat. § 8B-2(d). (Id. ¶ 16.) Plaintiff brings the claims against all Defendants in both their individual and official capacities. (Id. ¶ 8.)

         For relief, Plaintiff seeks a declaration that Defendants violated his rights, an injunction ordering 1) Defendants Cugino and Hosier to reinvestigate Plaintiff's case by allowing him to communicate with his hands free so that an interpreter can understand him, and 2) another hearing before a magistrate with an interpreter present. (Id. ¶ 21.) Plaintiff also demands compensatory damages in the amount of $88, 000 against each Defendant “for mental anguish, loss of wage, loss of personal property, [and] loans defaulted due to being unable to work because [P]laintiff is incarcerated” (id. ¶ 22), as well as punitive damages in the amount of $1.5 million against each Defendant (id. ¶ 23).

         II. Evidence Submitted by Defendants

         Defendants submitted evidence showing the following pertinent facts:

         On December 8, 2016, Defendant Hosier obtained a warrant in Guilford County, North Carolina, ordering Plaintiff's arrest on charges of indecent liberties with a child and sexual battery. (Docket Entry 47-1.) Similarly, Defendant Cugino and another detective, C.A. Chewning, procured a warrant in Randolph County, North Carolina, for Plaintiff's arrest for indecent liberties with a child. (Id.) Chewning and Defendant Hosier then went to arrest Plaintiff on these charges. (Docket Entry 72-2, ¶ 9.)[1] Defendants filed an audio recording of the encounter, as well as a typed transcript of that recording. (Docket Entries 48-2, 48-3.)

         The transcript, which the audio recording supports, shows that Detective Chewning and Defendant Hosier approached Plaintiff and asked if he was “Brad Mauney.” (Docket Entry 48-3 at 4.)[2] They then identified themselves, told Plaintiff that they needed to speak with him about a “couple of different things, ” and asked whether or not he could read lips. (Id.) At that point, Defendant Hosier called for the interpreter. (Id.) Defendant Hosier had directed the interpreter to wait in the car while initially approaching Plaintiff because of his prior felony record and a concern that he might flee or react violently during the arrest. (Docket Entry 72-2, ¶ 8.)

         After the interpreter arrived, the transcript reflects the following exchange:

DETECTIVE HOSIER: Okay. Tell him that we need to talk to him about some reports that we have. Is he willing to talk to us about these reports?
THE INTERPRETER: About--what about?
DETECTIVE HOSIER: About some sexual assault allegations.
DETECTIVE HOSIER: In High Point and Archdale.
THE INTERPRETER: Has--were there any--is there any warrant ...

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