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TAYLOR v. CITY OF NEW YORK

February 11, 1997

JAMES TAYLOR, Plaintiff, against The CITY OF NEW YORK; ALLYN SIELAFF, individually and in his official capacity as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Correctional Services; ROBERT DEROSA, individually and in his official capacity as Warden of Anna M. Kross Center (C-95) Prison; Deputy Warden ROSADO; Deputy Warden BEDRON; Captain PEREZ; Officer RODRIGUEZ; Officer TORRES; Officer TUCKER: individually and in their capacities as Correctional Officers of the New York City Department of Correctional Services, Defendants.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: EDELSTEIN

 Edelstein, District Judge :

 Presently before this Court is a motion for judgment on the pleadings brought by defendants Allyn Sielaff ("Sielaff"), the former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Corrections (the "DOC") and Robert DeRosa ("DeRosa") (the "moving defendants"), the Warden of the Anna M. Kross Center (the AMKC"). Plaintiff James Taylor ("Taylor" or "plaintiff") did not respond to the motion. For the following reasons, the instant motion is granted.

 BACKGROUND

 Plaintiff, an inmate at the Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York ("Sing Sing"), alleges that on July 13, 1990, while he was an inmate at the AMKC, he was beaten by several unknown correctional officers, as well as defendants Rosado, Bedron, Perez, Torres, Tucker, and Rodriguez. (Complaint, Taylor v. City of New York, 91 Civ. 4649, at 3-4 (June 16, 1991).) Plaintiff contends that, after his beating, he was treated for a "small cut [that] [he] received over [his] right eye," and a swollen face and head. Id. at 5. Plaintiff alleges that his "back, sides and stomach" were also injured. Id. Plaintiff asserts that, in addition to the medical care he received at the AMKC, he was brought to Kings County Hospital on the evening of July 13, 1990, and "had X-rays taken of practically [his] whole body." Id. The next days he was returned to the AMKC. Id. Plaintiff does not elaborate what, if any, injuries were diagnosed by the hospital.

 Plaintiff alleges that as a result of inquiries regarding this incident made by himself and friends, he was transferred to the Brooklyn House of Detention. Id. On April 10, 1991, plaintiff was again transferred, this time to Sing Sing. Id. Plaintiff claims that, since arriving at Sing Sing, he has "been X-rayed twice and sent to an outside hospital, St. Lukes Hospital, located in Newburgh County to receive a catscan of his chest to diagnose an irregularity within his chest cavity." Id. Plaintiff contends that his chest irregularity was sustained during the alleged assault by defendants. Id.

 On July 10, 1991, plaintiff was permitted to pursue his claims arising from this incident in forma pauperis. (Order, Taylor v. City of New York, 91 Civ. 4649 (July 10, 1991).) On that same day, plaintiff filed his pro se Complaint. See (Complaint.) In his Complaint, plaintiff sought: (1) "[a] declaratory judgment that the acts described herein violated plaintiff['s] rights under the United States Constitution; (2) a preliminary and permanent injunctions which prohibit defendants and other prison officials from harassing or retaliating against plaintiff and which require defendant DeRosa to remove all references to the instant lawsuit from plaintiff's prison files; (3) compensatory damages in the amount of $ 10,000,000; (4) punitive damages in the amount of $ 10,000,000; (5) a jury trial; (6) litigation costs; and (7) "such other and fyrther [sic] relief as this Court deems just, proper and equitable." Id. at 5-6. This Court previously construed plaintiff's Complaint to plead a claim arising under Title 42, United States Code, Section 1983 ("Section 1983"). See (Order, Taylor v. City of New York, 91 Civ. 4649 (May 16, 1996).) Plaintiff has not disputed this Court's interpretation of his Complaint.

 After both parties conducted discovery, on March 26, 1992, plaintiff applied for the appointment of counsel. On March 19, 1996, this Court denied plaintiff's application for counsel, (Order, Taylor v. City of New York, 91 Civ. 4649 (Mar. 19, 1996)), and ordered both parties to submit proposed pre-trial orders, proposed voir dire questions, and proposed jury charges no later than May 29, 1996. (Order, Taylor v. City of New York, 91 Civ. 4649 (Mar. 19, 1996).)

 On May 15, 1996, the office of the New York City Corporation Counsel wrote to this Court on behalf of Sielaff and DeRosa to request that this Court "grant [these two] defendants leave of court to serve and file a motion for partial summary judgment by June 17, 1996, and reset the due date for the pre-trial order until the resolution of the summary judgment motion, or at least extend to a date after the submission of the motion." (Letter from Robert A. Bell, Esq., Assistant Corporation Counsel, to Honorable David N. Edelstein, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, at 1 (May 15, 1996).) On May 16, 1996, this Court granted this request, and vacated its March 19, 1996, Order concerning the parties' proposed pre-trial orders, voir dire questions, and jury charges. (Memorandum Endorsement, Taylor v. City of New York, 91 Civ. 4649 (May 16, 1996).)

 On June 14, 1996, Sielaff and DeRosa filed the instant motion for judgment on the pleadings. (Notice of Motion, Taylor v. City of New York, 91 Civ. 4649 (June 11, 1996).) In their motion, Sielaff and DeRosa "move for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on the ground that the Complaint fails to allege that [Sielaff or DeRosa] were personally involved or even know of the alleged incident from which this action arose." (Memorandum of Law in Support of Defendants Sielaff and DeRosa's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, Taylor v. City of New York, 91 Civ. 4649 ("Dfts. Memo") at 1-2 (June 11, 1996).) Without such an allegation, the moving defendants contend that plaintiff's Section 1983 claim must fail. Id. at 3. Plaintiff has not responded to the instant motion.

 DISCUSSION

 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 12(c) provides in relevant part: "After pleadings are closed but within such time as not to delay the trial, any party may move for judgment on the pleadings." Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c). A Rule 12(c) motion "is designed to provide a means of disposing of cases when the material facts are not in dispute and a judgment on the merits can be achieved by focusing on the content of the pleadings and any facts of which the court will take judicial notice. 5A Charles A. Wright, et al., Federal Practice & Procedure, ยง 1367, at 509-10 (2d ed. 1990). A defendant may not move under Rule 12(c) until after its answer is filed. Id. ; see Fed. R. Civ. P. 7(a).

 In considering a motion for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Rule 12(c), "all allegations in the complaint must be accepted as true[,] [and] all inferences must be drawn in favor of the [non-movant]." Sheppard v. Beerman, 94 F.3d 823, 827 (2d Cir. 1996). Moreover, judgment on the pleadings "may only be granted when the pleadings show that it is 'beyond doubt that the [non-movant] can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.'" B.F. Goodrich v. Betkoski, 99 F.3d 505, 529 (2d Cir. 1996) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 78 S. Ct. 99, 101-02, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80 (1957)). Finally, because plaintiff is acting pro se, this Court will construe his Complaint liberally, "applying less stringent standards than [are] used when a plaintiff is represented by counsel." Braxton v. Brown, No. 96 Civ. 187, 1997 WL 43525, at *1c (E.D.N.Y. Jan 28. 1997) (citing Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9, 101 S. Ct. 173, 175, 66 L. Ed. 2d 163 (1980)); Elliott v. Bronson, 872 F.2d 20, 21 (2d Cir. 1989).


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