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Steve Haag v. City of Syracuse

August 9, 2011

STEVE HAAG, PLAINTIFF, -
v.
CITY OF SYRACUSE, SYRACUSE CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT, DET. MICHAEL MUSENGO, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Neal P. McCURN, Senior District Judge

Memorandum, Decision, and Order

I. Introduction

Plaintiff Steve Haag ("Plaintiff") commenced this action against defendants City of Syracuse ("City"); Syracuse Police Department ("SPD"); and SPD Detective Michael Musengo, ("Musengo") (collectively, "Defendants"). Dkt. No.

1. Plaintiff alleges violations of his rights under the United States Constitution. Id. Presently before the court is a motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Dkt. No. 7. Plaintiff has opposed the motion. Dkt. No. 9. Resolution of this motion is based on the papers submitted, without oral argument.

II. Legal Standard

When deciding a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the court must accept the factual allegations in the complaint as true and draw all inferences in favor of the plaintiff. See Miller v. Wolpoff & Abramson, L.L.P., 321 F.3d 292, 300 (2d Cir. 2003) (quoting Patel v. Contemporary Classics of Beverly Hills, 259 F.3d 123, 126 (2d Cir. 2001)). The court is generally "required to look only to the allegations on the face of the complaint." Roth v. Jennings, 489 F.3d 499, 509 (2d Cir. 2007).

In order to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a plaintiff must allege enough facts "to raise a right of relief above the speculative level." See Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56, 127 S. Ct. 1955 (2007). The complaint must contain sufficient factual allegations, accepted as true, to state a facially plausible claim. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, __ U.S. __, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2000) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). However, assessing whether a complaint states a facially plausible claim for relief is a "context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Iqbal, 129

S. Ct. at 1950.

III. Factual Background

The court will, as it must, accept as true the following allegations in plaintiff's complaint.

On or about January 16, 2009, at approximately 1:30 p.m., Plaintiff was shot multiple times by SPD officers, including Musengo. This shooting occurred as Musengo and the police officers were in the process of arresting Plaintiff. Plaintiff did not resist or disregard the requests of the police officers. Musengo and the other police officers continued an "unnecessary" use of force even after they saw that Plaintiff was injured. Plaintiff contends that the City and SPD did not adequately train Musengo and the other police officers.

IV. Discussion

A. Claims Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983

Defendants argue that Plaintiff has not identified the federal rights he is attempting to vindicate. See Dkt. No. 7 at 6. The court disagrees. Plaintiff explicitly alleges that Defendants' use of firearms against him on January 16, 2009, violated the Fourth, Fifth, and ...


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