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Michael v. County of Nassau

August 11, 2010

RAYMOND MICHAEL, JR., PLAINTIFF,
v.
COUNTY OF NASSAU, NASSAU COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT, LAWRENCE W. MULVEY, JOSEPH MILLER, JOHN BAILEY, MICHAEL NICOLLETTI, "GREG" NICHOLSON, AND JAMES M. PANARELLO, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Seybert, District Judge

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

On November 30, 2009, Plaintiff Raymond Michael Jr. filed a Complaint against Defendants, County of Nassau, Nassau County Police Department ("NCPD"), Lawrence W. Mulvey, Joseph Miller, John Bailey, Michael Nicolletti, "Greg" Nicholson, James M. Panarello, and John Doe 1 through and including John Doe 5. In addition to various common-law torts, Plaintiff asserts claims under 42 U.S.C § 1983. Defendants have moved to dismiss.

For the following reasons, this motion is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.

BACKGROUND

On September 4, 2008, Plaintiff alleges he was driving his motor vehicle on Franklin Avenue in Nassau County when Defendant Police Officers Joseph Miller ("Miller") and John Bailey ("Bailey") stopped him. (Compl. ¶ 28.) Plaintiff alleges that Officers Miller and Bailey approached him and asked for his driver's license, insurance card and registration. Plaintiff alleges that, when he produced these, Officers Miller and Bailey directed him to exit his car. Plaintiff alleges that Officers Miller and Bailey then arrested him for a robbery committed in Elmont. (Id. ¶ 30-31.)

Plaintiff claims he was with a friend that day and did not consume any alcohol. Plaintiff further claims that Officers Miller and Bailey did not administer any sobriety tests at the scene, such as a breathalyzer test. (Id. ¶ 34.) Nor, according to Plaintiff, did anyone ask him to take a breathalyzer test when he later arrived at police headquarters. (Id. ¶ 48.)

Plaintiff alleges that Officers Miller and Bailey then handcuffed him, read him his Miranda warnings, and transported him to NCPD Headquarters. (Id. ¶¶ 35, 37-38.) In response, Plaintiff claims that he asked for an attorney, but otherwise exercised his right to remain silent. (Id. ¶ 39.) Plaintiff claims that Officers Miller and Bailey "merely laughed" when he requested an attorney. (Id. ¶ 40).

Plaintiff claims that the handcuffs caused loss of circulation, stress upon the nerves, and "great pain." (Id. ¶ 42.) Plaintiff alleges that he complained to Officers Miller and Bailey, and asked them to remove or loosen the handcuffs. (Id. ¶ 43.) According to Plaintiff, Officers Miller and Bailey refused, and "continuously laugh[ed] at plaintiff's complaints of pain." (Id. ¶ 44.) Plaintiff claims that, by the time he arrived at police headquarters, he had lost sensation in his arms, wrists, and hands, and "was extremely upset and disturbed." (Id. ¶ 47.) Plaintiff further claims that Officers Miller and Bailey kept him in handcuffs for more than two hours after arriving at police headquarters, despite his pleas to remove them, his requests to be taken to a hospital, and no danger of his escape. (Id. ¶ 49.)

Plaintiff alleges that, once he arrived at police headquarters, he again asked to call his attorney. (Id. ¶ 52.) Plaintiff claims that the officers again responded with "laughter and derogatory comments." (Id. at ¶ 53.) Plaintiff claims that, despite invoking his right to counsel, the officers continued to question him about the Elmont robbery. (Id. ¶ 54). Plaintiff contends that he continued to deny knowledge of any involvement. (Id.)

Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Police Officer "Greg" Nicholson, ("Nicholson") then accused Plaintiff of driving unsafely, driving while intoxicated, making a turn without signaling, and resisting arrest. (Id. ¶ 55.) Plaintiff alleges that Officer Nicholson then requested he take a breathalyzer test, and falsely claimed that Plaintiff had previously refused such a test. (Id. ¶¶ 56-57.) Plaintiff claims that Officer Nicholson "conjured up" these allegations to justify his arrest, which "was without any cause whatsoever." (Id. ¶ 58.) Plaintiff further claims that Officer Bailey then filed false police and court documents indicating that Plaintiff was intoxicated and engaged in traffic violations. (Id. ¶ 59-60.)

Plaintiff alleges that, 2.5 hours after being placed in custody, Officer Nicholson finally removed his handcuffs and permitted him to call his attorney. (Id. ¶ 63.) Plaintiff claims that, when calling counsel, he "could not hold the phone due to the lack of sensation in his hands," and that Officer Bailey "howled with laughter" at this predicament. (Id. ¶ 65.) Plaintiff alleges that his attorney did not answer the phone, so he left a message on his machine. (Id. ¶ 66.)

After leaving this phone message, Plaintiff alleges that Officer Nicholson proceeded to ask him questions about him driving while intoxicated. (Id. ¶ 67.) This questioning was allegedly videotaped. (Id. ¶ 68.) But, according to Plaintiff, at one point the officers interrupted the video recording, then Officers Nicholson, Nicoletti, Miller, Bailey and "at least one" John Doe proceeded to beat and kick him. (Id. ¶¶ 69-72, 75.) This alleged attack included the officers "placing fingers up to and into Plaintiff's nostrils," "grabbing his penis," and "forcibly banging and beating his head onto the ground multiple times." (Id. ¶ 75.) This alleged beating "caused Plaintiff to urinate in his pants, caused his entire body to go numb, and caused plaintiff great terror and shock." (Id. ¶ 76.) Plaintiff claims that, despite a 2 minute, 6 second gap in the video recording, the recording's prior operation captured "some of the sounds of the beating of plaintiff." (Id. ¶¶ 73-74.) Plaintiff alleges that, after the beating, the officers forced him to remain in a room and did not offer or provide medical treatment. (Id. ¶ 78.) The officers then locked Plaintiff in a cell overnight, again without providing him any medical treatment. (Id. ¶ 81.) After arraignment, Plaintiff claims that he spent seven days in jail "in the company of criminals, addicts and other unsavory persons." (Id. ¶ 86.) Eventually, Plaintiff claims the police released him from custody when the "prosecution failed to appear and present a case before the Grand Jury within the statutory time required." (Id. ¶ 88.)

Plaintiff claims injuries from the alleged beating that include cuts, bruises, mental and physical stress, chronic headaches, chronic back and neck pain, numbness, loss of sensation in his hands, torn rotator cuff, insomnia, scarred penis, as well as other injuries. (Id. ¶ 89.) Plaintiff claims that, due to these injuries, he has become disabled and is unable to work. (Id. ¶ 92.) Plaintiff claims to have suffered loss of income, ...


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