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Raymond Prince v. Philip D. Heath & T. Bowers

June 27, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Paul Oetken, District Judge:


Raymond Prince, the plaintiff pro se, filed his initial complaint in this action on July 25, 2011. (Dkt. No. 2.) An amended complaint followed on September 29, 2011. (Dkt. No. 8 ("Compl.").) In it, Plaintiff alleges that he made a certain request of Philip D. Heath and T. Bowers ("Defendants") and that they failed to respond as Plaintiff argues they were required to do by the Interstate Agreement on Detainers ("IAD"). (Id. at 2.)*fn1 On January 5, 2012, Defendants moved to dismiss the amended complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted. (Dkt. No. 12.) For the reasons discussed below, Defendants' motion will be granted.

I. Subject Matter Jurisdiction

This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this case under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 because "the [Interstate] Detainer Agreement is a congressionally sanctioned interstate compact the interpretation of which presents a question of federal law." Cuyler v. Adams, 449 U.S. 433, 442 (1981).

II. Background*fn2

Plaintiff alleges that, while he was incarcerated at Sing Sing Correctional Facility ("Sing Sing"), he "became aware of a warrant remaining lodged against him from the State of South Carolina." (Compl. at 4.) Plaintiff attached to his opposition to the instant motion a warrant signed by New York Governor David Paterson. (Warrant of David A. Paterson, Governor ("Paterson Warrant"), appended to Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, Dkt. No. 20 ("Pl.'s Opp."), at 13.)

The Paterson Warrant states that it had "been represented to me, DAVID A. PATERSON, Governor of the State of New York, by the Governor of the State of South Carolina that RAYMOND PRINCE . . . is a fugitive from justice and stands charged in that State with the crime of Murder . . . ." (Id.) The Paterson Warrant goes on to state that South Carolina's Governor had demanded that Paterson cause Plaintiff to be delivered to agents of the Sheriff's Department of Charleston County, South Carolina and that the South Carolina Governor's "demand [was] accompanied by an Affidavit sworn before a Magistrate and a Warrant issued thereon." (Id.) The Paterson Warrant instructs the New York City Police Commissioner and "any other police officer in the State of New York" to "arrest and secure [Raymond Prince]" and "deliver [him] into the custody of the said agent(s)." (Id.)

Plaintiff also attached to his opposition a document labeled Inmate Overview, which lists various information about Plaintiff and identifies him as a "fugitive from the State or [sic] Sough [sic] Carolina." (Inmate Overview, appended to Pl.'s Opp. at 11.) The Paterson Warrant and Plaintiff's Inmate Overview are deemed integral to Plaintiff's amended complaint and are thus considered by the Court in analyzing the instant motion.

Plaintiff alleges that he "initiated a request for final disposition in relation to this warrant in accordance with Article III(B) of New York Criminal Procedure Law § 580.20. Said request, dated December 1, 2010, was [a] written request made by plaintiff to Defendant Heath." (Compl. at 4.) Plaintiff further alleges that Heath failed to act on Plaintiff's request "and instead forwarded plaintiff's request to Defendant Bowers, who, by memorandum dated December 15, 2010, declined to notify the prosecuting office in South Carolina of plaintiff's request for final disposition of the lodged warrant." (Id.)

Plaintiff alleges that Defendants' actions were in violation of the IAD and, as a result, violated his rights to a speedy trial under the U.S. Constitution's Sixth Amendment and to due process, equal protection, and access to the courts under the Fourteenth Amendment. (Id.) Plaintiff seeks money damages for these alleged violations. (Id. at 5.)

III. Legal Standard

On a motion to dismiss a complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the Court accepts the complaint's factual allegations as true and draws inferences only in the plaintiff's favor. See Cleveland v. Caplaw Enters., 448 F.3d 518, 521 (2d Cir. 2006). Nevertheless, to survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citation omitted).

"Pro se status does not . . . excuse a plaintiff from compliance with the pleading standards of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure." Jenkins v. New York City Dep't of Educ., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130815, at *7-8 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 9, 2011). At the same time, pro se complaints are held to less stringent standards than pleadings drafted by attorneys, and the court must read the plaintiff's pro se complaint liberally and interpret it as raising the strongest arguments it suggests. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 ...

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