crime is generally distinct from the issue of the officer's conduct being a constitutional violation.
Cases where convictions have been accorded a conclusive effect generally involve a closer correlation between the conviction and civil action. Benedick and Czajkowski involve closely correlated criminal and civil offenses. In Talarico and Bulfin, the defendants in the criminal cases could have raised the defenses that their use of drugs caused their criminal conduct. In the civil actions against the medical providers and drug companies, they would also be required to prove their criminal behavior was caused by the drugs. To the extent the attorney discipline cases can be read as holding that any criminal offense is a fortiori an ethical violation, they also involve close tracking of the criminal and civil proceedings. The attorney discipline cases, though, are not strictly collateral estoppel cases and appear to be rooted in policies behind maintaining an ethical bar.
The present case is one where the offense charged and proven in the criminal case closely tracks the tort alleged in the present civil action. It is appropriate to apply the ordinary collateral estoppel rules. Cf. Czajkowski, 810 F. Supp. at 1433-34. Gamble does not dispute that the standard elements of collateral estoppel are present: (1) Gamble was a party to the criminal case; (2) whether he battered plaintiff Smith was actually litigated in the criminal action; (3) resolution of that issue was necessary for the determination of Gamble's guilt; and (4) the issues are identical in both cases. Gamble does not dispute that he had a full and fair opportunity to litigate the criminal action and that he had the incentive to fully contest the charges. Additionally, Gamble concedes that he also litigated the affirmative defense of self-defense. Even if he did not, he would be precluded from raising the affirmative defense in the present proceeding. See Talarico, 667 N.E.2d at 573; Bulfin, 614 N.E.2d at 406. It would be just to apply collateral estoppel in the present case.
Plaintiff's motion is granted; defendant is held liable on Count II. Plaintiff also asserts that defendant's inclusion of comparative fault as an affirmative defense is inappropriate because it is not properly a defense and it is inapplicable to intentional torts such as battery. No argument or citation is provided in support of this contention. The present ruling only concerns liability. No issue is resolved regarding damages, including whether defendant may raise comparative fault.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for judgment on the pleadings on Count II [21-1] is granted. Plaintiff's motion to strike affirmative defenses [21-2] is denied. Defendant Ronald Gamble is found liable for the Count II battery claim. In open court on February 19, 1997 at 9:15 a.m., the parties shall submit an original and copy of a top bound final pretrial order in full compliance with Local Rule 5.00.
William T. Hart
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
DATED: JANUARY 7, 1997