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Julie Kondziela v. County of Erie

September 10, 2011

JULIE KONDZIELA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COUNTY OF ERIE, ERIE COUNTY SHERIFF, TIMOTHY B. HOWARD, DEPUTY DARYL DEMARI, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS ERIE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPUTY, DEPUTIES JOHN DOE AND JANE DOE, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS ERIE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: William M. Skretny Chief Judge United States District Court

DECISION AND ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

In this action, Plaintiff asserts claims under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as well as claims under Article I, § 12 of the New York State Constitution, pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 1367(a). Plaintiff's claims arise from her arrest by Erie County Sheriff's deputies in Grand Island, New York on April 1, 2008. Plaintiff seeks money damages in the amount of $27,000,000 for Defendants' violations. Presently before this Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint in its entirety. For the reasons discussed below, Defendants' motion to dismiss is granted.*fn1

II. BACKGROUND

A. Facts

In adjudicating Defendant's motion to dismiss, this Court assumes the truth of the following factual allegations contained in the complaint. See Hosp. Bldg. Co. v. Trs. of Rex Hosp., 425 U.S. 738, 740, 96 S. Ct. 1848, 1850, 48 L. Ed. 2d 338 (1976); see also Hamilton Chapter of Alpha Delta Phi, Inc. v. Hamilton Coll., 128 F.3d 59, 63 (2d Cir. 1997).

Plaintiff is a resident of Grand Island, Erie County, in the State of New York. (Complaint ("Comp."), ¶ 3.) Defendant, the County of Erie, is a municipal corporation duly organized under the laws of the State of New York. (Id. at ¶ 4.) Defendant Sheriff Timothy Howard is an elected official and employee of the County of Erie. (Id.) The remaining defendants are all police officers also employed by the County of Erie. (Id. at ¶¶ 6-7.)

On April 1, 2008, at approximately 5:00 P.M., Plaintiff was pulled over by Deputies Daryl Demari and John Doe while driving in the town of Grand Island, Erie County. (Id. at ¶ 12.) The stop was prompted by an electronic scan, which revealed that the vehicle's registration was suspended. (Id. at ¶ 13.) Further investigation revealed that Plaintiff's driver's license had also been suspended. (Declaration of James W. Carey, ("Carey Decl."), Docket No. 2, Ex. C) Plaintiff was handcuffed and placed under arrest. (Comp.¶ 14.) Although Plaintiff states that she was not provided with an explanation for her arrest, (id. ¶ 16), she was given the opportunity to make a phone call to her girlfriend. (Carey Decl., Ex. B, 20:8-20:22.) During that conversation, Plaintiff told her girlfriend that the police had said that her license was bad and that she was being arrested. (Id.)

During her arrest, Plaintiff informed the officers that she suffered from multiple sclerosis. (Comp.¶ 19.) She further told them that she required her auto-injector in order to self-administer her daily medication. (Id.) On Plaintiff's directions, the officers searched, but could not locate, the auto-injector in Plaintiff's vehicle and did not permit Plaintiff to look for it herself. (Carey Decl., Ex. B, 21:9-22:1.)

After failing to find the auto-injector, Deputies Demari and John Doe took Plaintiff to the Erie County Holding Center. (Id. at ¶ 21.) There, Plaintiff was searched both over and under her clothing by Defendant Officer Jane Doe, in the presence of Deputy Demari. (Id. at ¶ 22.) In addition, Plaintiff was instructed to take off her shoes, which were specially crafted to help Plaintiff with her multiple sclerosis. (Id. at ¶¶ 24-25.) Plaintiff was at the holding center for approximately two hours before being released. (Id. at ¶ 26.)

Plaintiff now seeks to recover damages for violations of her right to be free from unreasonable search and seizures under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, § 12, of the New York State Constitution, inadequate medical care under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, and conspiracy to commit the same.*fn2

B. Procedural History

Plaintiff commenced this action on June 29, 2009, by filing a complaint in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York. Defendant filed the instant motion to dismiss ...


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