The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kahn, District Judge.
On July 20, 1999, Plaintiff asked the defendant Ticonderoga
Police Department ("Police Department") to aid her in removing
herself and three minor children from the residence she shared
with her husband, Edward Clark ("Clark"), and relocating to the
residence of Anne DuRoss ("DuRoss"). Plaintiff told the Police
Department that she was afraid Clark would try to kill her
because she was leaving their home and had filed a domestic
violence report against Clark. On July 23, 1999, Clark arrived
at the DuRoss residence and verbally and physically abused
Plaintiff. Unnamed officers from the Police Department were
called to the DuRoss residence and Clark was charged with
Harassment in the Second Degree.
An Order of Protection prohibiting Clark from being in or
around Plaintiffs current residence and place of employment was
issued on July 26, 1999. Plaintiff claims that defendant Officer
Yaw presented the Order of Protection to her and also told her
that the Police Department was aware that Clark was dangerous
and would consequently "keep an eye" on her.
Several days later, on July 31, 1999, Clark confronted
Plaintiff at her place of employment, in violation of the Order
of Protection, and again physically and verbally abused
Plaintiff. Clark then followed Plaintiff to the DuRoss residence
and hid in the backyard while Plaintiff contacted the Police
Department. When defendant Officers LaPierre and Bivens arrived
at the DuRoss residence, Plaintiff was describing the evenings
events when Clark approached the Officers and Plaintiff and
again verbally abused Plaintiff. Officer LaPierre informed Clark
that his actions were in violation of the Order of Protection
and called for back-up. Officer LaPierre asked Plaintiff if she
wanted Clark arrested and Plaintiff claims she replied
affirmatively. Apparently, the only crime with which Clark was
charged on the evening of July 31, 1999 was a misdemeanor
violation of the Order of Protection, and he was not detained in
jail that night.
On August 7, 1999, Clark forcibly entered the residence at
which Plaintiff was staying and physically attacked Plaintiff
with a hunting knife in the presence of her three minor
children. Although Clark stabbed Plaintiff repeatedly, she was
able to place a call to the defendant Police Department by
dialing the "911" emergency service. Plaintiff was then taken to
a Vermont hospital where she underwent surgery to repair her
vertebrae, stomach, intestines, colon and other internal organs.
Following the attack, Clark escaped into the woods surrounding
the residence and subsequently committed suicide.
Plaintiff initiated this action against Defendants alleging a
pattern of discriminatory treatment of women who are victims of
domestic violence in violation of the equal protection and due
process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Presently before
this Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss Plaintiffs complaint
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).
A motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) must be
denied "unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can
prove no set of facts in support of his claim [that] would
entitle him to relief." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46,
78 S.Ct. 99, 2 L.Ed.2d 80 (1957). In assessing the sufficiency
of a pleading, "all factual allegations in the complaint must be
taken as true," LaBounty v. Adler, 933 F.2d 121, 123 (2d Cir.
1991), and all reasonable inferences must be construed in favor
of the plaintiff. See Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236, 94
S.Ct. 1683, 40 L.Ed.2d 90 (1974); Bankers Trust Co. v.
Rhoades, 859 F.2d 1096, 1099 (2d Cir. 1988).
[C]onsideration is limited to the factual allegations
in [the] complaint, to documents attached to the
complaint as an exhibit or incorporated in it by
reference, to matters of which judicial notice may be
taken, or to documents either in plaintiffs'
possession or of which plaintiffs had knowledge and
relied on in bringing suit.
Brass v. American Film Technologies, Inc., 987 F.2d 142, 150
(2d Cir. 1993).
The Rules do not require the plaintiff to set out in detail
the facts upon which the claim is based, but only that a
defendant be given "fair notice of what the claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41,
45-46, 78 S.Ct. 99, 2 L.Ed.2d 80 (1957). Individual allegations,
however, that are so baldly conclusory that they fail to give
notice of the basic events and circumstances of which the
plaintiff complains are meaningless as a practical matter and,
as a matter of law, insufficient to state a claim. Barr v.
Abrams, 810 F.2d 358, 363 (2d Cir. 1987).
It is with this standard in mind that the Court addresses ...