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L.H. v. County of Livingston

United States District Court, Second Circuit

October 16, 2013

L.H., Individually, and as Parent and Guardian of T.D., and T.D. Plaintiffs,
v.
COUNTY OF LIVINGSTON, THOMAS E. MORAN, AND LINDSAY P. QUINTILONE Defendants,

DECISION AND ORDER

MICHAEL A. TELESCA, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiffs, L.H., individually, and as parent and guardian of T.D., and T.D., (collectively, "Plaintiffs"), bring this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 ("§ 1983") and New York state law against Defendants Livingston County ("the County"), Thomas E. Moran, individually and in his official capacity as the former District Attorney of Livingston County ("Moran"), and Lindsay P. Quintilone, individually and in her official capacity as a former Assistant District Attorney of Livingston County ("Quintilone")(collectively, "Defendants"). Plaintiffs allege claims for false arrest, malicious prosecution, violations of due process, negligent training and supervision, and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress in connection with T.D.'s allegedly unlawful arrest and prosecution on charges of abusing his younger half-sister. Defendants move to dismiss Plaintiffs' complaint in its entirety against all Defendants. Plaintiffs oppose the motion. For the reasons discussed herein, the Court grants in part and denies in part Defendants' motion to dismiss.

BACKGROUND

The following facts are taken from the Plaintiffs' amended complaint. (Docket no. 7.) On November 8, 2010, T.D., a minor at all relevant times, was accused by his step-mother of abusing his half-sister ("Complainant") while he was visiting his family at his father's home. T.D.'s step-mother made a complaint to the New York State Police and commenced a proceeding in Monroe County Family Court. Family Court issued a "stay away" Order of Protection against T.D. in favor of his step-mother and all of T.D.'s half-siblings.

Following the complaint made to the New York State Police, ADA Quintilone interviewed the Complainant to make a video recording of her testimony to present to a Livingston County grand jury. Quintilone interviewed Complainant twice on December 10, 2010 and twice on December 17, 2010. Complainant did not implicate T.D. in the first three sessions. Prior to the fourth session, Quintilone told the Complainant that her mother was watching her through a one-way mirror, and she twice told her that her mother could hear her. Complainant's mother then knocked on the mirror to make her presence known to the Complainant. She knocked on the mirror again midway through the fourth session. Complainant then provided inculpatory testimony accusing T.D. sexually abusing her. Following this session, a promise of ice cream was made to Complainant.

In addition to allowing Complainant's mother to watch her daughter testify, an investigator from the New York State Police and a social worker were also present in the adjoining room watching Complainant give her grand jury testimony. Plaintiffs allege that this is prohibited by state law which requires grand jury proceedings, including the videotaping of the testimony of a child, to be conducted in secret.

Plaintiffs also allege that Quintilone presented the tapes out of order to the grand jury, by presenting the fourth session first, and advised the grand jury that the fourth session was the only relevant testimony. The grand jury indicted T.D. with two counts of Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree and one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child. T.D. was arrested on March 3, 2011. On March 8, 2011, T.D. was released on bail and an Order of Protection against T.D. in favor of all persons under fifteen years of age was issued, prohibiting T.D. from attending school.

Because of the irregularities in obtaining Complainant's testimony and in the grand jury proceedings, the criminal charges against T.D. were dismissed on July 7, 2011.

Based on these facts, Plaintiffs allege the following nine causes of action against the Defendants: malicious prosecution under state law and § 1983, false arrest under § 1983, negligent training and supervision under state law and § 1983, violations of due process under state law and § 1983, and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress under state law.

DISCUSSION

To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a complaint must plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." See Ruotolo v. City of New York , 514 F.3d 184, 188 (2d Cir.2008) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). In considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court "must accept as true all allegations in the complaint and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party.'" See Vietnam Ass'n for Victims of Agent Orange v. Dow Chem. Co. , 517 F.3d 104, 115 (2d Cir.2008) (quoting Gorman v. Consol. Edison Corp. , 488 F.3d 586, 591-92 (2d Cir.2007)). However, the court may disregard a plaintiff's "legal conclusions, deductions or opinions couched as factual allegations." See, e.g., In re NYSE Specialists Sec. Litig. , 503 F.3d 89, 95 (2d Cir.2007) (citation omitted).

A. General Municipal Law § 50-e Notice of Claim

New York General Municipal Law § 50-e (1)(a) requires that "[i]n any case founded upon tort where a notice of claim is required by law as a condition precedent to the commencement of an action or special proceeding against a public corporation... the notice of claim shall... be served in accordance with the provisions of this section within ninety days after the claim arises." Plaintiffs' state law claims for negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent training and supervision, and violations of due process are subject to the notice of claim requirements. See e.g. Dzwonczyk v. Syracuse City Police Dept. , 710 F.Supp.2d ...


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