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Johanne C. Beauvais v. Village of Altamont Police Department County of Albany

September 16, 2011

JOHANNE C. BEAUVAIS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
VILLAGE OF ALTAMONT POLICE DEPARTMENT COUNTY OF ALBANY; ANTHONY J. SALERNO; CENTER FOR DISABILITY SERVICES; AND MARY ELLEN SMITH, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary L. Sharpe District Court Judge

MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

I. Introduction

Plaintiff Johanne C. Beauvais commenced this action against defendants Village of Altamont Police Department County of Albany ("VAPD"), Anthony J. Salerno, Center for Disability Services ("CDS"), and Mary Ellen Smith, asserting claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and New York State common law for negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. (See Compl., Dkt. No. 1, Ex. B.) Pending are VAPD, Salerno, CDS, and Smith's motions to dismiss. (Dkt. Nos. 5, 16.) For the reasons that follow, defendants' motions are denied.

II. Background

A. Factual History*fn1

Plaintiff Johanne C. Beauvais, a licenced practical nurse, was employed by defendant CDS as a weekend nurse. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 1-2, Dkt. No. 14.) Beauvais was assigned to care for the individuals (referred to as consumers) at 142 Main Street in Altamont, NY. (Id. ¶ 3-4.) Her duties included monitoring the blood sugar of diabetic consumers, administering medications, and transporting consumers to appointments, jobs, or for errands. (Id. ¶ 5.) During the course of her employment with CDS, Beauvais was occasionally notified when consumers' personal items, which they stored in their rooms at 142 Main Street, went missing. (Id. ¶ 7.) Prior to the incident in question, she had never been questioned about any missing items. (Id. ¶ 7.)

On December 7, 2009, Beauvais was called by the house manager of 142 Main Street. (Id. ¶ 9.) The manager advised her that a consumer's personal items were reported missing and CDS intended to investigate. (Id.) To this end, Beauvais was asked to report to 142 Main Street on December 8; the location of this meeting was later changed to the Village of Altamont Police Department. (Id. ¶ 9.)

Beauvais arrived at the Police Department at 10:00 a.m. on December 8, 2009. (Id. ¶ 10.) She waited until approximately 11:30 a.m. for her meeting with defendants Anthony J. Salerno, Chief of the Village of Altamont Police Department, and Mary Ellen Smith, from CDS, to begin. (Id.) Before entering the meeting with Salerno and Smith, which occurred "behind closed doors," Beauvais's "cell phone and jacket were taken from her." (Id. ¶¶ 10-11.) Furthermore, she was neither informed that she was permitted to leave at any time, nor of her right to remain silent or to an attorney. (Id. ¶¶ 11-12.)

Beauvais was accused of stealing a Nintendo Wii system and "kidnapping" a consumer.*fn2 (Id. ¶13.) In lieu of being arrested, she was given the option to either admit that she stole the items, or sign a pre-drafted letter of resignation. (Id. ¶ 14.) Salerno told Beauvais that he had "videotaped evidence that [she] kidnapped a consumer"; he also "appeared to make [a] phone call to a judge" about possibly arraigning Beauvais for theft and kidnapping. (Id. ¶¶ 15-16.) In addition, Smith stated that she knew Beauvais stole the Nintendo Wii. (Id. ¶ 17.) Refusing to admit to the allegations against her, Beauvais was presented with a pre-drafted resignation letter. (Id. ¶ 18.) The letter stated that Beauvais "took a consumer from the house and that she resigned her position with" CDS. (Id. ¶ 20.) She was told that if she did not sign the letter she could be arrested, lose her nursing license, and/or have her children taken away from her. (Id. ¶ 19.)

As a result of this "forced" resignation, Beauvais suffered from depression and sought medical attention from her healthcare provider. (Id. ¶¶ 21-22.) She was prescribed medications for her depression, a condition that still persists. (Id. ¶ 22.) Beauvais further alleges that the defendants' conduct caused her mental anguish, anxiety, emotional distress, and other personal injuries. (Id. ¶ 51.)

B. Procedural History

On November 18, 2010, Beauvais commenced this action against the defendants in New York State Supreme Court. (See Dkt. No. 1, Ex. B.) VAPD and Salerno filed an answer on December 10, 2010, and thereafter, defendants removed this action to this court. (See generally Dkt. No. 1.) CDS and Smith moved to dismiss Beauvais's Complaint under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). (See Dkt. No. 5.) In response, Beauvais filed a memorandum which included an Amended Complaint on March 8, 2011.*fn3 (See Dkt. No. 14.) On March 29, 2011, VAPD and Salerno filed a motion to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b) and (c) challenging both the filing of the Amended Complaint and the underlying causes of action. (See Dkt. No. 16.)

III. Standard of Review

The standard of review under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12 is well established and will not be repeated here. For a full discussion of the standard, the court refers the parties to its decision in Ellis v. Cohen & Slamowitz, LLP, 701 F. Supp. 2d 215, 218 (N.D.N.Y. 2010); see also Hayden v. Paterson, 594 F.3d 150, 160 (2d Cir. 2010) (stating motions under Fed. ...


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