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Grace Amaker v. New York State Department of Correctional Services

November 3, 2011

GRACE AMAKER, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES, CLINTON COUNTY, DAVID HARDIN & RANDALL J. CUMM, IN THEIR INDIVIDUAL AND OFFICIAL CAPACITIES, DEFENDANTS, ANDREW J. WYLIE, TIMOTHY G. BLATCHLEY, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York (Thomas J. McAvoy, Judge).*fn1

10-5286-cv

Grace Amaker v. Andrew J. Wylie & Timothy G. Blatchley

SUMMARY ORDER

Rulings by summary order do not have precedential effect. Citation to a summary order filed on or after January 1, 2007, is permitted and is governed by Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 32.1 and this Court's Local Rule 32.1.1. When citing a summary order in a document filed with this Court, a party must cite either the Federal Appendix or an electronic database (with the notation "summary order"). A party citing a summary order must serve a copy of it on any party not represented by counsel.

At a stated term of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, held at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse, 500 Pearl Street, in the City of New York, on the 3rd day of November, two thousand eleven.

PRESENT: JOSE A. CABRANES, DEBRA ANN LIVINGSTON, SUSAN L. CARNEY, Circuit Judges.

UPON CONSIDERATION WHEREOF, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that the judgment of the District Court is AFFIRMED.

Plaintiff-Appellant Grace Amaker ("Amaker") appeals from a final judgment entered December 6, 2010, following a jury trial in the Northern District of New York. We assume the parties' familiarity with the underlying facts and the procedural history of the case.

Amaker commenced this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action on January 16, 2008, against the New York State Department of Corrections, Clinton County, David Hardin, and Randall J. Cumm, alleging various violations of her federal rights stemming from her arrest for Promoting Prison Contraband in the Second Degree. Amaker subsequently amended her complaint to add defendants Andrew J. Wylie ("Wylie") and Timothy G. Blatchley ("Blatchley"), the District Attorney and an Assistant District Attorney, respectively, for Clinton County, NY. Amaker alleged that Wylie and Blatchley deprived her of her civil rights by charging her with Promoting Prison Contraband in the Second Degree and subsequently elevating the charge to Promoting Prison Contraband in the First Degree in retaliation for Amaker's refusal to plead guilty to the lesser charge.

On December 8, 2008, the District Court dismissed the official-capacity claims against Wylie and Blatchley on the basis of sovereign immunity, and dismissed the individual-capacity claims against them on the basis of absolute prosecutorial immunity. On January 26, 2010, the District Court entered summary judgment in favor of Randall J. Cumm, but allowed Amaker to try her claims of false arrest and malicious prosecution against the remaining defendant, David Hardin.*fn2 After a trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the remaining defendant. The Clerk entered a final judgment against Amaker on December 6, 2010.

Appellate Jurisdiction

According to her Notice of Appeal, Amaker specifically appeals from "a January 26, 2010 Memorandum-Decision and Order in the action, dismissing defendants Andrew J. Wylie and Timothy G. Blatchley, in their individual and official capacity on the grounds that 'Plaintiff has not produced any direct evidence of malice on the part of defendants Wylie and Blatchley,' prior to the final judgment in this action, dated December 6, 2010." Notice of Appeal, Amaker v. N.Y. State Dep't of Corr. Servs., No. 08-cv-00058 (N.D.N.Y. Dec. 29, 2010), ECF # 62. However, Amaker's claims against Wylie and Blatchley had already been dismissed at the time of the January 26, 2010, Order and the December 6, 2010, Judgment.

Wylie and Blatchley argue that Amaker's failure to refer to the December 8, 2008, Order that dismissed her claims against them precludes our review of this appeal. We have observed that "our appellate jurisdiction 'depends on whether the intent to appeal from [a] decision is clear on the face of, or can be inferred from, the notice of appeal.'" Sahu v. Union Carbide Corp., 548 F.3d 59, 65-66 (2d Cir. 2008) (quoting New Phone Co. v. City of New York, 498 F.3d 127, 131 (2d Cir. 2007) (alteration in Sahu)). Here, the Notice of Appeal identifies the December 6, 2010, Judgment, which itself states that "[p]ursuant to Defendants Clinton County, Andrew Wylie and Timothy Blatchley's . . . motion to dismiss . . . the plaintiff's . . . amended complaint was dismissed in its entirety against [them]."

Judgment, Amaker v. N.Y. State Dep't of Corr. Servs., No 08-cv-00058 (N.D.N.Y. Dec. 6, 2010), ECF # 60. Therefore, we conclude that we have jurisdiction because it can be fairly inferred that Amaker in fact appeals from the December 8, ...


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