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Amore v. Novarro, No. 08-3150

Civil Rights Action Alleging False Arrest

In Amore v. Novarro, No. 08-3150, a civil rights action alleging a false arrest, the court reversed the denial of summary judgment based on qualified immunity where the district court erred in deciding that it would have been clear to a reasonable officer in defendant's position that making the arrest was unlawful.

As the court wrote:  "Defendant-Appellant Andrew Novarro, an Ithaca, New York, police officer, appeals from that part of a memorandum decision and order dated March 28, 2008, by the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York (Frederick J. Scullin, Jr., Judge) denying his motion for summary judgment on a false arrest claim brought by plaintiff-appellee Joseph Amore under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The claim is based on Novarro's arrest of Amore pursuant to New York Penal Law § 240.35(3), which, on its face, prohibits loitering in a public place for the purpose of soliciting another person to engage in "deviate" sexual behavior.  Amore alleges that his apprehension constituted a false arrest because the statute, although then officially and unofficially published as currently effective law, had been ruled unconstitutional by the New York Court of Appeals eighteen years before."

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