Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Mione v. McGrath

June 1, 2006

PETER MIONE AND ANNE MIONE, AS PARENTS AND NATURAL GUARDIANS OF ALEXIS MIONE, AN INFANT AND JOHN MIONE, AN INFANT, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
KEVIN MCGRATH, TONYA BERNITT, SULLIVAN COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT, VILLA ROMA RESORT HOTEL, SULLIVAN COUNTY AND "JOHN DOE" AND "JANE DOE," FULL NAMES UNKNOWN BUT BELIEVED TO BE INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED IN THE ACTS COMPLAINED OF HEREIN, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Conner, Senior D.J.

OPINION AND ORDER

NON-ECF CASE

Plaintiffs Peter Mione ("Mione") and Anne Mione, on behalf of themselves and apparently their minor children, A.M. and J.M., bring the instant action against defendants Sullivan County (the "County"), the Sullivan County Sheriff's Department (the "Department"), the Villa Roma Resort Hotel (the "Hotel"), Hotel employees Kevin McGrath and Tonya Bernitt, as well as John Doe and Jane Doe for alleged violations of plaintiffs' civil rights under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983, 1985 and 1986. Defendants now move to dismiss the action for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6). For the following reasons, defendants' motion is granted.

BACKGROUND

According to the limited information that can be gleaned from the woefully deficient Complaint, plaintiffs' action stems from "the unlawful and improper detention of plaintiff's child and subsequent prosecution" of plaintiff on charges of abuse and endangering the welfare of a child in Sullivan County Court. (Complt. ¶ 1.) The Complaint states that on November 27, 1998, while plaintiffs were guests of the Hotel, Mione "was caused to reprimand" J.M. (Id. ¶ 13.) His actions prompted McGrath and Bernitt to notify the Department and, after an investigation, the Department, in conjunction with the County, instituted neglect and endangerment proceedings against Mione.*fn1 (Id. ¶¶ 15-16.)

The Complaint alleges that defendants proceeded to prosecute these charges despite lacking probable cause to believe any harm had befallen Mione's son and despite "the existence of clear exculpatory evidence." (Id. ¶¶ 18-20, 22, 25.) Defendants are accused of failing "to properly investigate the facts surrounding the injury to" J.M. (Id. ¶¶ 23-24.) As a result of the continued prosecution, "[p]laintiffs were forced to make numerous appearances in Court." (Id. ¶ 27.) On February 5, 1999, the charges against Mione were dismissed by the county court. (Id. ¶ 29.)

Plaintiffs, with the assistance of counsel, subsequently filed two separate actions in state court. The first, filed on or about February 23, 2000, alleged libel, slander, emotional distress, false arrest and false imprisonment. That action was dismissed by Decision and Order of Judge Meddaugh of the New York State Supreme Court for Sullivan County, dated January 8, 2003, for failure to timely serve the defendants in accordance with C.P.L.R. 3012(b). (Nash Decl., Ex. E.) The second, filed in and around June 2003, also was dismissed on the same grounds. (Id., Ex. F.) Plaintiffs, through their attorney, then filed this Complaint on November 13, 2003 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and the case was transferred pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) and assigned to this Court.*fn2 (Id., Ex. D.)

DISCUSSION

I. Standard of Review

On a motion to dismiss pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6), the issue is "whether the claimant is entitled to offer evidence to support the claims." Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974), overruled on other grounds, Davis v. Scherer, 468 U.S. 183 (1984). A court's task in determining the sufficiency of a complaint is "necessarily a limited one." Id. A complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim "unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief." Padavan v. United States, 82 F.3d 23, 26 (2d Cir. 1996) (quoting Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 10 (1980)). Generally, "conclusory allegations or legal conclusions masquerading as factual conclusions will not suffice to prevent a motion to dismiss." 2 JAMES WM. MOORE ET AL., MOORE'S FEDERAL PRACTICE § 12.34[1][b] (3d ed. 1997); see also Hirsch v. Arthur Andersen & Co., 72 F.3d 1085, 1088 (2d Cir. 1995).

"In assessing the legal sufficiency of a claim, the Court may consider those facts alleged in the complaint, documents attached as an exhibit thereto or incorporated by reference . . . and documents that are 'integral' to plaintiff's claims, even if not explicitly incorporated by reference." John v. N.Y.C. Dep't of Corrs., 183 F. Supp. 2d 619, 627 (S.D.N.Y. 2002) (Conner, J.) (internal citations omitted). On a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), a court must accept as true all of the well-pleaded facts and consider those facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See Hertz Corp. v. City of New York, 1 F.3d 121, 125 (2d Cir. 1993); In re AES Corp. Sec. Litig., 825 F. Supp. 578, 583 (S.D.N.Y. 1993) (Conner, J.).

II. Statute of Limitations

According to the Complaint, the events giving rise to plaintiffs' allegations are confined to the period of November 27, 1998 to February 5, 1999. In New York, the statute of limitations for § 1983 claims is three years from the date of accrual. See, e.g., Patterson v. County of Oneida, 375 F.3d 206, 225 (2d Cir. 2004). Section 1983 claims accrue when a plaintiff learns or has reason to learn of the alleged injury that forms the basis of the action. See, e.g., Eagleston v. Guido, 41 F.3d 865, 871 (2d Cir. 1994). Section 1985 claims also have a three-year statute of limitations. See, e.g., Paige v. Police Dep't of City of Schenectady, 264 F.3d 197, 199 n.2 (2d Cir. 2001). Section 1981 actions, however, have a four-year statute of limitations. See Henderson v. State of New York, 423 F. Supp. 2d 129, 141 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 14, 2006) (citing Jones v. R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co., 541 U.S. 369 (2004)). Finally, § 1986 expressly provides for a one-year statute of limitations from when the cause of action accrued. See 42 U.S.C. § 1986; see also Powers v. Karen, 768 F. Supp. 46, 50 (E.D.N.Y. 1991).

To the extent plaintiffs assert claims for false arrest, that claim accrued on the date of the arrest, or November 27, 1998. However, Mione's claim for malicious prosecution accrued on the date of dismissal, or in this case February 5, 1999. See Stephenson v. Rosa, No. 03 Civ. 8503, 2006 WL 464081, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 24, 2006). Regardless, plaintiffs filed their action on November 13, 2003, nearly five years after ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.