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Caraballea v. Pataki

June 25, 2009

JULIO CARABALLEA, 77-A-4889 PLAINTIFF,
v.
GEORGE PATAKI, ROBERT DENNISON, AND GLENN GOORD DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: H. Kenneth Schroeder, Jr. United States Magistrate Judge

DECISION AND ORDER

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), the parties have consented to have the undersigned conduct any and all further proceedings in this case, including entry of final judgment. Dkt. #10.

Currently before the Court is defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's complaint. Dkt. #8. For the following reasons, defendants' motion is granted.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, an inmate at the Arthur Kill Correctional Facility, commenced this action, pro se, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief regarding the manner in which parole determinations are made, as well as compensatory and punitive damages for denial of parole in violation of his constitutional right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment and his rights to due process and equal protection under the law. Dkt. #1.

Plaintiff was convicted of murder, second degree and sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 25 years to life on December 14, 1977. Dkt. #1, ¶ 7. Plaintiff was denied parole following appearances before the New York State Board of Parole ("Board"), in 2001, 2003 and 2005. Dkt. #1, ¶ 11.

Plaintiff alleges that the Board ignored his participation in prison programs and the strength of his plan upon release and relied solely upon the nature and circumstances of his offense in reaching its decision. Dkt. #1, ¶¶ 8-12. Plaintiff also complains that the Board afforded preferential treatment to a white woman, Kathy Boudine,*fn1 an admitted member of a known terrorist organization, The Weather Underground, and cites the Board's decision to afford Ms. Boudin parole upon her first appearance as evidence of a pattern and practice of withholding parole to members of the underclass while granting parole "to those considered privileged, white and/or affluent." Dkt. #1, ¶ ¶ 19-20. Plaintiff also cites the parole of John Kim,*fn2 "the son [of] a major contributor to the defendant Pataki's gubernatorial campaign" as an example of defendants' "pattern and practices of withholding parole to members of the underclass, of which[] plaintiff is a member, while granting parole to those considered privileged, white and/or affluent." Dkt. #1, ¶ 20.

Subsequent to the filing of this action, plaintiff was paroled to the custody of the U.S. Immigration Services. See http://nysdocslookup.docs.state.ny.us. Plaintiff has not provided the Court with an updated address as required by Rule 5.2(d) of the Local Rules of Civil Procedure.*fn3

DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS

Dismissal Standard

When ruling on a motion to dismiss, the court accepts the material facts alleged in the complaint as true and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendants. See Chance v. Armstrong, 143 F.3d 698, 701 (2d Cir. 1998); Cohen v. Koenig, 25 F.3d 1168, 1171-72 (2d Cir. 1994); Atlantic Mutual Ins. Co. v. Balfour Maclaine Int'l Ltd., 968 F.2d 196, 198 (2d Cir. 1992). However, legal conclusions, deductions or opinions couched as factual allegations are not given a presumption of truthfulness. Albany Welfare Rights Organization Day Care Center, Inc. v. Schreck, 463 F.2d 620 (2d Cir. 1972), cert. denied, 410 U.S. 944 (1973). The court is required to read the complaint broadly and with great latitude on a motion to dismiss. Yoder v. Orthomolecular Nutr. Inst., 751 F.2d 555, 558 (2d Cir.1985). The court's function on a motion to dismiss is "not to weigh the evidence that might be presented at a trial but merely to determine whether the complaint itself is legally sufficient." Goldman v. Belden, 754 F.2d 1059, 1067 (2d Cir. 1985).

The United States Supreme Court recently revisited the standard of review on a motion to dismiss and concluded that:

While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide the "grounds" of his "entitle[ment] to relief" requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in fact).

Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)(internal citations omitted). In setting forth this standard, the Supreme Court disavowed an often quoted statement from its decision in Conley v. Gibson that "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 ...


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