Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Douglas Paul Belasco v. Town of Greece

November 8, 2012

DOUGLAS PAUL BELASCO, PLAINTIFF,
v.
TOWN OF GREECE, MERRITT RAHN, FORMER CHIEF OF POLICE, INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY, TODD BAXTER, CURRENT CHIEF OF POLICE, OFFICERS DAVE ROBBINS; WILSON; GREEN; DAVID MANCUSO, JOSE RODRIGUEZ & B.M. GOATER; SERGEANT ROBINSON; CAPTAIN CHATTERTON; ALL IN THEIR INDIVIDUAL CAPACITIES, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael A. Telesca United States District Judge

DECISION and ORDER

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Douglas Paul Belasco, ("Belasco") brings this action against defendants Town of Greece ("Greece" or the "Town") and several police officers employed by the Town claiming that his civil rights were violated by the Town and the named individual defendants. Specifically, Belasco alleges that he was retaliated against by the defendants for exercising his First Amendment rights; was subjected to excessive use of force by defendants Robbins, Green, Wilson, Mancuso, Rodriguez, and Goater in connection with separate incidents in which he was arrested; was subjected to assault and battery by defendants Rodriguez and Goater, and was subjected to negligent and intentional infliction of emotional harm by Rodriguez and Goater.

On June 19, 2012, plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint purporting to substitute nine defendants for the "John Doe" defendants that were named in the Original Complaint. Plaintiff also purports to add three causes of action against defendants Rodriguez and Goater. Defendants now move to dismiss plaintiff's Amended Complaint on grounds that the plaintiff failed to timely identify the named defendants, and has failed to state a cause of action against the named defendants. For the reasons set forth below, I grant in-part and deny in-part defendants' motion to dismiss.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff filed his original Complaint on September 9, 2009, in which he alleged that police officers from the Town of Greece, New York, abused their authority in conducting a search of his home, and then retaliated against him by arresting him and physically abusing him after he publicly criticized the Police Department and demanded answers as to why he had been targeted by the Police. In the original Complaint, plaintiff failed to identify any individual defendants other than Merritt Rahn, and instead listed several "John Doe" defendants. By Order of the Court dated December 12, 2010, plaintiff was given a deadline of January 10, 2011 to amend the Complaint to identify the John Doe officers. See December 12, 2010 Letter Order (Docket item no. 14) Although plaintiff moved to identify the John Doe officers on January 6, 2011, (Docket item no. 15) plaintiff later withdrew that motion. (Docket item no. 19) Following plaintiff's withdrawal of the motion, Magistrate Judge Payson issued an Order advising plaintiff's counsel Christina Agola that if she wished to amend the Complaint to identify the John Doe defendants, she would have to show good cause for failing to do so in a timely manner. Id.

Approximately 17 months after the deadline for identifying the John Doe defendants had passed, and approximately two-and-a-half years after the Complaint was filed, on June 19, 2012, plaintiff amended his Complaint to add three additional causes of action, and replace the John Doe defendants with nine identified defendants. In addition to the causes of action for retaliation and excessive use of force in connection with two separate arrests, plaintiff added causes of action for negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and assault and battery.

Defendants move to dismiss plaintiff's Amended Complaint on grounds that plaintiff has failed to state a cause of action against the individual defendants, and plaintiff may not revive untimely claims against individual defendants.*fn1 Specifically, defendants claim that the attempt to Amend the Complaint to add defendants Robbins, Green, Wilson, Mancuso and Robinson is untimely, and must be denied on grounds that plaintiff failed to timely identify these defendants as required under the Court's Scheduling Orders, and has failed to show good cause for failing to comply with the Court's Scheduling Orders. Defendants also seek dismissal of plaintiff's claims against defendants Baxter, Robinson, and Chatterton on grounds that plaintiff failed to timely identify these defendants, and has failed to allege the personal involvement of these defendants in any alleged violation of plaintiff's constitutional rights. Finally, defendants seek dismissal of all claims against defendant Rahn on grounds that plaintiff has failed to establish Rahn's personal involvement in any alleged violation of plaintiff's rights.

For the reasons set forth below, I grant defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's claims against defendants Robbins, Green, Wilson, Mancuso, Rodriguez, Goater Baxter, Robinson, and Chatterton on grounds that plaintiff failed to timely identify these defendants, and has failed to show good cause for his failure to comply with this Court's scheduling Order directing plaintiff to identify these defendants no later than January 10, 2011.

DISCUSSION

I. Legal Standards for evaluating a Motion to Dismiss

Defendant moves to dismiss plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure an claiming that plaintiff's claims are untimely, (and therefore this court lacks jurisdiction over them) and that she has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. When evaluating a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court must ascertain, after presuming all factual allegations in the pleading to be true and viewing them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, whether or not the plaintiff has stated any valid ground for relief. Ferran v. Town of Nassau, 11 F.3d 21, 22 (2d Cir. 1993), cert. denied 513 U.S. 1014 (1994). The court may grant a Rule 12(b)(6) motion only where "`it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.'" Allen v. WestPoint-Pepperell, Inc., 945 F.2d 40, 44 (2d Cir. 1991) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957)). "This rule applies with particular force where the plaintiff alleges civil rights violations or where the complaint is submitted pro se." Chance v. Armstrong, 143 F.3d 698, 701 (2d Cir. 1998).

II. Defendants are Entitled to Dismissal of the Causes of Action against the Nine Previously Unidentified Individual Defendants.

Plaintiff contends that the defendants' motion to dismiss claims against defendants Robbins, Wilson, Green, Mancuso, Rodriguez, Goater and Robinson is improper because defendants fail to assert, no less establish, that the Amended Complaint fails to state a cause of action against these ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.