year and ninety days as prescribed by the statute. Therefore, plaintiffs
supplemental state claim must be dismissed.
D. Claims Against the County and the Sheriff's Department
Municipalities are included among those persons to whom § 1983
applies. Monell v. Department of Social Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 690, 98
S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978). Under New York law, a county is a
municipal corporation capable of bringing suit and being sued. See N
YGen.Mun.Law § 2 (McKinney 1986). A police department is an
administrative arm of the municipal corporation. Loria v. Town of
Irondequoit, 775 F. Supp. 599, 606 (W.D.N.Y. 1990); Willard v. Town of
Hamburg, No. 96-CV-0187E(H), 1996 WL 607100, at *1 (W.D.N.Y. Sept.30,
1996). A police department cannot sue or be sued because it does not
exist separate and apart from the municipality and does not have its own
legal identity. Loria, 775 F. Supp. at 606; East Coast Novelty Co. v.
City of New York, 781 F. Supp. 999, 1010 (S.D.N.Y. 1992); Wilson v. City
of New York, 800 F. Supp. 1098, 1101 (E.D.N Y 1992).
Defendants correctly claim that plaintiffs claims against the Warren
County Sheriffs Department and the County are redundant. Since the
sheriffs department is merely an administrative arm of the County, and
the County is the real party in interest here, the claims asserted
against the Warren County Sheriffs Department are dismissed as
redundant. See Curran v. City of Boston, 777 F. Supp. 116 (D.Mass.
1991). Accordingly, the remainder of this opinion addresses plaintiffs
municipal liability claims with respect to the County only.
In order for the County to be held liable under § 1983, plaintiff
must demonstrate that Willett's actions were taken pursuant to an
official municipal policy, custom, or practice. Monell, 436 U.S. at
690-91, 98 S.Ct. 2018; Vann v. City of New York, 72 F.3d 1040 (2d Cir.
1995). However, municipal liability may not be founded solely on a
municipality's employment of a tortfeasor. Monell, 436 U.S. at 691, 98
S.Ct. 2018. Absent an explicitly stated rule or regulation, a plaintiff
must show "that the municipality, alerted to the possible use of
excessive force by its police officers, exhibited deliberate
indifference." Vann, 72 F.3d at 1049.
Deliberate indifference may be inferred from lack of supervision, such
as the lack of meaningful attempts to investigate repeated complaints of
excessive use of force. See id.; see also Fiacco v. City of Rensselaer,
783 F.2d 319 (2d Cir. 1986) (holding that a number of complaints of
police brutality together with evidence of the municipality's treatment of
the complaints was relevant to the issue of negligent supervision),
cert. denied, 480 U.S. 922, 107 S.Ct. 1384, 94 L.Ed.2d 698 (1987);
Mendoza v. City of Rome, 872 F. Supp. 1110 (N.D.N.Y. 1994). However, the
complaints standing alone are not sufficient; it is the combination of
repeated complaints and the municipality's response to such complaints
which "tip the scales toward the probative." Mendoza, 872 F. Supp. at
1118. Persistent failure to investigate complaints or discipline
subordinates who violate civil rights may give rise to an inference of
negligent supervision. Batista v. Rodriguez, 702 F.2d 393 (2d Cir.
1983); Powell v. Gardner, 891 F.2d 1039 (2d Cir. 1989). "Proof of a
single incident of unconstitutional activity is not sufficient to impose
liability under Monell, unless proof of the incident includes proof that
it was caused by an existing, unconstitutional municipal policy . . ."
Oklahoma City v. Tuttle, 471 U.S. 808, 823-24, 105 S.Ct. 2427, 85 L.Ed.2d
791 (1985); Anderson v. City of New York, 657 F. Supp. 1571, 1574-75
(S.D.N.Y. 1987). Failure to discipline an officer for a single incident
of illegality is not sufficient to raise an inference of a municipal
policy or custom. Turpin v. Mailet, 619 F.2d 196, 202 (2d Cir.), cert.
denied, 449 U.S. 1016, 101 S.Ct. 577, 66 L.Ed.2d 475 (1980).
There are limited circumstances in which municipalities can be found
liable under § 1983 for failure to train employees. City of Canton
v. Harris. 489 U.S. 378, 109 S.Ct. 1197, 103 L.Ed.2d 412 (1989). "[T]he
inadequacy of police training may serve as a basis for § 1983
liability only where the failure to train amounts to a deliberate
indifference to the rights of persons with whom the police come into
contact." Id. at 388, 109 S.Ct. 1197.
[I]t may happen that in light of the duties assigned
to specific officers or employees the need for more or
different training is so obvious, and the inadequacy
so likely to result in the violation of constitutional
rights, that the policy-maker . . . can reasonably be
said to have been deliberately indifferent to the
need. In that event, the failure to provide proper
training may fairly be said to represent a policy for
which the city is responsible, and for which [it] may
be held liable if it actually causes injury.
Id;. at 390. 109 S.Ct. 1197. Liability may not be imposed upon a
municipality merely because a particular officer may have been
unsatisfactorily trained, "for the officer's shortcomings may have
resulted from factors other than a faulty training program." Id. at
390-91, 109 S.Ct. 1197 (citations omitted). Liability may not be imposed
on the basis of negligent administration of an otherwise adequate
training program or because the conduct actually resulting in injury
could have been avoided by more or better training. Id. at 391, 109
S.Ct. 1197. in addition, rather than merely alleging a need for
training, a plaintiff must "show how a particular policymaker's specific
choice with respect to the training deficiency at issue reflects
`deliberate indifference' to their constitutional rights, and how this
indifference directly caused their injuries." Ferreira v. Westchester
County, 917 F. Supp. 209, 215-16 (S.D.N.Y. 1996) (citing Canton, 489
U.S. at 391, 109 S.Ct. 1197 (stating that "adequately trained officers
occasionally make mistakes; the fact that they do says little about the
training program or the legal basis for holding the city liable")).