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Joshua S. Price v. City of New York

August 30, 2012

JOSHUA S. PRICE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CITY OF NEW YORK, DEFENDANT.



OPINION

Plaintiff, Joshua S. Price, is an inmate formerly housed at the Northern Infirmary Command, a New York City Department of Correction ("DOC") facility on Rikers Island. Plaintiff brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that he was served food that made him sick for several days.

Defendant, the City of New York, moves to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6).

The motion is granted.

The Complaint

Plaintiff alleges that during the afternoon meal at the Northern Infirmary Command on July 2, 2011, he received food that smelled bad. Plaintiff further alleges that he complained to an officer, but that the officer said nothing was wrong with the food. He states that he had no choice but to eat the food. Plaintiff apparently ate the food.

On July 3, 2011, plaintiff allegedly became ill with severe stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, and lightheadedness. He alleges that he was sick until July 8, 2011, that he was largely unable to move during his illness due to pain and diarrhea, and that he missed a court appearance as a result.

Plaintiff states that he filed a grievance with the correctional facility regarding his claim. According to plaintiff, the result of his grievance was "nothing they have not responded." Plaintiff further states that he sent his grievance to Albany.

Plaintiff filed his complaint on July 23, 2011. He seeks financial compensation for his pain and suffering in the amount of $50,000. On October 19, 2011, the court granted plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis. Plaintiff originally named as defendant "New York City Department of Correctional Services Food Administration." In an order of service dated October 25, 2011, the court stated that it was unclear whether such an entity exists but found that it was clear that plaintiff intended to sue the City of New York. As such, the court dismissed the New York City Department of Correctional Services Food Administration and added the City of New York as a defendant. On January 12, 2012, defendant moved to dismiss the complaint under Rule 12(b)(6). On January 24, 2012, defendant filed a certificate of service certifying that the motion papers had been served on plaintiff. To date, plaintiff has not responded to the motion.

Discussion

To survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Fed. R. of Civ. Proc., a complaint must plead sufficient facts to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677-78 (2009). Where a plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the complaint is held to a less stringent standard, and the court must construe the plaintiff's pleadings liberally. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Pabon v. Wright, 459 F.3d 241, 248 (2d Cir. 2006). In deciding a motion under Rule 12(b)(6), a court must accept as true the facts alleged in the complaint, drawing all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor, and may consider documents attached to the complaint, incorporated by reference into the complaint, or known to and relied on by the plaintiff in bringing the suit. ATSI Commc'ns, Inc. v. Shaar Fund, Ltd., 493 F.3d 87, 98 (2d Cir. 2007).

A motion under Rule 12(b)(6) should be granted where "the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief." Goldman v. Belden, 754 F.2d 1059, 1065 (2d Cir. 1985) (internal quotations omitted). It should also be granted where an affirmative defense or other reason barring relief is apparent from the face of the complaint. Conopco, Inc. v. Roll Int'l et al., 231 F.3d 82, 86-87 (2d Cir. 2000).

Defendant argues that the complaint should be dismissed because: (i)

plaintiff has not exhausted his administrative remedies; (ii) plaintiff concealed deposits into his inmate account on his application to proceed in forma pauperis, warranting dismissal under 28 U.S.C. ยง 1915(a)(1); (iii) plaintiff has failed to sufficiently allege a constitutional violation; (iv) plaintiff's claims for compensatory damages are barred by Section 1997e(e) of the Prison Litigation Reform Act as he alleges ...


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