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Anderson v. The City of New York

United States District Court, S.D. New York

June 23, 2002

PHILIP ANDERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
THE CITY OF NEW YORK, POLICE OFFICER PETER MARTER, POLICE OFFICER SINAN CAGIRICI, and POLICE OFFICER TAMARA PINKNEY, Defendants.

          For the plaintiff: Alexander M. Dudelson.

          For the defendants: Eviana Englert New York City Law Department.

          OPINION & ORDER

          DENISE COTE United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Philip Anderson ("Anderson") brings this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against the City of New York ("City") and New York Police Department ("NYPD") officers Peter Marter ("Marter"), Sinan Cagirici ("Cagirici"), and Tamara Pinkney ("Pinkney"), asserting claims arising from his arrest on November 3, 2013. The defendants have moved to dismiss the amended complaint ("FAC") under Rule 12(b)(6), Fed.R.Civ.P. For the following reasons, the motion is granted.

         BACKGROUND

         These facts are taken from the FAC. Anderson works in the business of getting customers admission into high-end nightclubs in New York City and driving them to these clubs. On November 3, 2013, at approximately 1:25 a.m., Anderson met P.H. on the corner of 17th Street and 10th Avenue and agreed to help P.H. get into the nightclub 1Oak for $200.

         Defendants Cagirici and Pinkney, who were officers in the 10th precinct's Cabaret Unit, were working in an unmarked police vehicle that looked like a New York City Taxi cab. They observed P.H. at an ATM machine and then hand money to Anderson. Cagirici and Pinkney got out of the cab and approached Anderson and P.H.. Cagirici stopped P.H., searched his pockets, and removed two ziplock bags containing less than one-half a gram of cocaine. Cagirici then handcuffed Anderson and patted him down for safety.

         Approximately five minutes after Cagirici arrested Anderson and P.H., defendant Marter appeared at the scene. According to the FAC, Marter, Cagirici, and Pinkney agreed that Marter would take credit for the arrests even though he had not made any of the observations that led to the arrests.

         At approximately 1:40 a.m., another NYPD officer transported Anderson to the 10th precinct. Cagirici searched Anderson at the 10th precinct and recovered $206.00, but no drugs. Anderson was strip searched. Anderson was arraigned in New York County Criminal Court on the same day of his arrest and was released on his own recognizance.

         Marter wrote up the arrest paperwork, stating that he observed a drug sale and that he apprehended Anderson and P.H. after they attempted to flee. Marter also told the New York County District Attorney's Office ("DA") that: he observed Anderson and P.H. talking, Anderson show P.H. something, P.H. pull out money, Anderson give P.H. two bags of cocaine, and P.H. put the bags of cocaine in his pocket. Marter explained that he and his partner stopped Anderson and P.H. and he recovered two bags of cocaine from P.H.'s pocket. Marter also testified in the grand jury that he had observed a drug transaction involving Anderson and P.H.. On February 10, 2014, the grand jury indicted Anderson on one count of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree in violation of New York Penal Law ("NYPL") § 220.39 (1) .

         A jury trial was held on May 14 and May 15, 2015. Defendant Cagirici testified that he and Marter were working together on the date of Anderson's arrest. Marter testified that he was in the "cab" with Cagirici. The prosecution did not call Pinkney or P.H. as witnesses at trial. The FAC asserts, without explanation, that Marter's trial testimony of his observations was "wholly inconsistent" with his grand jury testimony. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty.

         Anderson filed the instant action on August 23, 2016. He filed the FAC on January 5, 2017, asserting claims under § 1983 for unreasonable search and seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment, false arrest and imprisonment, malicious prosecution, failure to intervene, conspiracy to violate Anderson's civil rights, and municipal liability.

         On February 14, 2017, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the FAC under Rule 12(b)(6), Fed.R.Civ.P. The motion became fully submitted on March 23, 2017.

         DISCUSSION

         When deciding a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a court must accept all factual allegations in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in the non-moving party's favor. Loginovskaya v. Batratchenko, 764 F.3d 266, 269-70 (2d Cir. 2014). "To survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint must allege sufficient facts which, taken as true, state a plausible claim for relief." Keiler v. Harlequin Enters. Ltd., 751 F.3d 64, 68 (2d Cir. 2014). A claim has facial plausibility when the factual content of the complaint "allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Tongue v. Sanofi, 816 F.3d 199, 209 (2d Cir. 2016) (citation omitted). ...


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