Thompson v. Linares

NEW YORK COUNTY
Torts

New York Law Journal

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Justice Joan Madden

Wife Thompson moved for summary judgment against husband Linares on assault and battery claims stemming from an alleged incident on their wedding night. Linares cross-moved for dismissal of Thompson's intentional infliction of emotional distress claim. Linares pleaded guilty to forcible touching, and prosecutors agreed to vacate the charge under a plea agreement and replace it with disorderly conduct under conditions that Linares subsequently met. Thompson alleged Linares' guilty plea to forcible touching collaterally estopped him from re-litigating the claims asserted here. The court stated the doctrine of collateral estoppel is applicable only when a criminal plea becomes a final judgment, which occurs after sentencing. But since Linares was never sentenced on the forcible touching charge, collateral estoppel was inapplicable. The court also noted when Linares made a criminal plea in exchange for a promise it would later be vacated and replaced with a plea to a lesser charge, the initial charge could not serve as the basis for collateral estoppel in a subsequent action. Thus, Thompson's motion for summary judgment was denied, and her emotional distress claim dismissed as New York does not recognize this cause of action between spouses.

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