Thompson v. Linares


New York Law Journal


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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