United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM & ORDER ON DEFENDANT PAUL W.
MURPHY'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Talwani United States District Judge.
above-captioned civil rights action is described in some
detail in the court's Memorandum & Order on
Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment [#195]. Now before
the court is Defendant Sergeant Detective Paul W.
Murphy's Motion for Summary Judgment [#173]
seeking summary judgment on all claims against him. Plaintiff
Herbert Davis opposes summary judgment on three claims: (1) a
§ 1983 claim based on fabrication of false inculpatory
evidence and failure to disclose exculpatory evidence (Count
II), Am. Compl. ¶¶ 54-59 [#108]; (2) a § 1983
malicious prosecution claim (Count III), Am. Compl.
¶¶ 60-65; and (3) a malicious prosecution claim
under Massachusetts law (Count V), Am. Compl. ¶¶
69-72. For the reasons that follow, Murphy's
Motion for Summary Judgment [#173] is ALLOWED.
moving party is entitled to summary judgment “if the
movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “A dispute is
‘genuine' if ‘the evidence about the fact is
such that a reasonable jury could resolve the point in the
favor of the non-moving party.'” Cherkaoui v.
City of Quincy, 877 F.3d 14, 23-24 (1st Cir. 2017)
(quoting Sanchez v. Alvarado, 101 F.3d 223, 227 (1st
Cir. 1996)). “Facts are material when they have the
‘potential to affect the outcome of the suit under the
applicable law.'” Id. at 23 (quoting
Sanchez, 101 F.3d at 227). “At the summary
judgment stage, [a court] must draw all reasonable inferences
from the record in the light most favorable to the nonmoving
party, disregarding any ‘conclusory allegations,
improbable inferences, and unsupported
speculation.'” McGrath v. Tavares, 757
F.3d 20, 25 (1st Cir. 2014) (quoting Alicea v. Machete
Music, 744 F.3d 773, 778 (1st Cir. 2014)).
the evidence in the light most favorable to Davis, as the
non-movant, the relevant facts supported by the record are as
follows. Murphy is a Boston Police officer.
Defs.' Statement of Undisputed Material Facts
[“Defs.' SOF”] ¶ 1 [#179]; Pl.'s
Response to Defs.' Statement of Undisputed Material Facts
[“Pl.'s SOF Response”] ¶ 1 [#186].
Either on the morning of September 23, 2010, or the night
prior, Murphy's superior, Lieutenant Detective Stephen
Meade, assigned Murphy to assist with a controlled buy
organized by a Federal Bureau of Investigation
(“FBI”) Drug and Gang Task Force (“Task
Force”). Defs.' SOF ¶ 32.
Force members planned for the controlled buy to take place at
11 Harold Park in Roxbury, which was located within the area
to which Murphy's Drug Control Unit was assigned.
Id. ¶ 34. Because the buy was to be located
within Murphy's assigned district, Meade asked Murphy to
bring members of Murphy's unit to the buy location to
serve as backup during the buy and to assist, if necessary,
in the execution of a search warrant at the property.
Id. ¶ 34. Prior to receiving this assignment,
Murphy was unaware of the Task Force investigation of which
the controlled buy was a part, and had never heard of Darren
Sheridan, the informant whom the Task Force relied on to
execute the controlled buy. Id. ¶ 33.
Force briefing on the controlled buy took place the morning
of September 23 at the Special Operations Unit in Roxbury.
Id. ¶ 36. Murphy attended this briefing.
Id. During the controlled buy, Murphy was positioned
in a squad car on a nearby street. Id. ¶ 44.
Murphy did not listen to or view the recording of the
controlled buy, nor did he know that a camera was used during
the buy. Id. ¶¶ 39, 91. At the conclusion
of the buy, Murphy heard over the radio that the Special
Weapons and Tactics (“SWAT”) team was entering 11
Harold Park to secure the premises. Id. ¶ 55.
Law enforcement officers arrested Davis and found him in
possession of some, but not all, of the buy money supplied to
Sheridan. Id. ¶¶ 58-59. Murphy did not
participate in the arrest.
the buy concluded, Murphy and Meade went to the Special
Operations Unit. Id. ¶ 61. Murphy then returned
to 11 Harold Park to assist in the ongoing search alongside
members of his Drug Control Unit and the Task Force.
Id. ¶¶ 61-62. After the search, Murphy
traveled to the station with Stephen McManus, the sole Boston
Police Officer on the FBI Task Force. Id.
¶¶ 1, 67. Once there, Murphy asked whether he could
do anything to assist McManus. Id. ¶ 68.
McManus responded that Murphy could help by writing an
incident report for another controlled buy that the Task
Force had supervised between Sheridan and Davis on September
supplied Murphy with the information for this report.
Id. ¶ 71. Murphy then drafted a Boston Police
incident report that stated:
O/S-On 09-16-2010, Det. Steven McManus of the Boston Police
DCU/FBI squad, along with members of the FBI, conducted a
drug investigation at 11 Harold Pk., apt. #3, Rox. At about
18:00 hours this date, these investigators conducted a
purchase of three plastic bags of crack cocaine from the
above listed suspect (Herbert Davis) with the assistance of a
Cooperating Witness (CW) who made the actual buy.
The CW paid suspect Davis $640.00 USC in funds supplied by
the government and in return, was handed the three P/B's
of crack cocaine by Herbert Davis. Drugs seized in this
incident were secured by FBI Special Agents.
Davis shall be charged with the crimes of Distribution Class
“B” & Distribution Class “B”
(SZ). This incident transpired within 1000' of the Lewis
School, located on Walnut Avenue, Roxbury.
Defs.' SOF Ex. P [#179-16]. Murphy's name appears as
both the reporting officer and the approving supervisor.
Id. The report is dated ...