Burgess v Wallingford - Summary

Burgess v Wallingford is a 42 USC ยง 1983 Civil action for deprivation of rights filed in the second circuit Federal district court. The complaint is against the Town of Wallingford, the police chief, several individual officers and the person who made the complaint about Mr. Burgess to the police.

The complaint stems from an incident at a billiards hall in Wallingford where Mr. Burgess was playing pool while he wore a pistol without concealing it. As Mr. Burgess played pool, the owner had a short conversation questioning the legality of the unconcealed pistol, but ultimately decided that Mr. Burgess could stay. Right afterwards, Mr. Burgess was aggressively confronted by a patron of the billiards hall who loudly exclaimed that Mr. Burgess was breaking the law.

The patron called the police and Mr. Burgess was arrested for 'Breach of peace'. The 'Breach of peace' charge was later changed to 'Disorderly conduct' when the police figured out that Mr. Burgess was not breaking any laws by carrying his firearm openly, despite their insistence that he was breaking the law at the scene of the arrest.

Mr. Burgess went on to have his case dismissed in court for 'no probable cause'. Attorney Baird was hired to bring forth the Federal lawsuit against Wallingford for 1st, 2nd and 4th amendment rights violations.

On May 15, 2013 a ruling on Summary Judgment was entered against the plaintiff, Mr. Burgess. The summary judgment ruling claimed that the officers were entitled to Qualified Immunity. The ruling has been appealed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in October, 2013.

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