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Doggett v. City of New York

United States District Court, Second Circuit

November 12, 2013

WILLIAM DOGGETT, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF NEW YORK, Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER

KATHERINE POLK FAILLA, District Judge.

Plaintiff William Doggett, proceeding pro se, initiated this action on April 3, 2012, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and New York State law, alleging claims for false arrest and illegal search against "John Doe arresting officer, " and claims for false prosecution and negligence against various New York State judges and an assistant district attorney. Plaintiff subsequently dropped his claims for false arrest and illegal search, while the Court dismissed Plaintiff's claims against the state court judges and prosecutor for malicious prosecution and negligence, leaving the City of New York (the "City") as the only remaining Defendant. Defendant City now moves to dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim. For the reasons discussed in the remainder of this Opinion, Defendant's motion is granted.

BACKGROUND

A. Factual Background

In considering this motion, the Court is limited to the facts stated in the Complaint and the documents incorporated by reference therein. Int'l Audiotext Network, Inc. v. Am. Tel. & Tel. Co., 62 F.3d 69, 72 (2d Cir. 1995) (per curiam) ("[T]he complaint is deemed to include any [ ] documents incorporated in it by reference." (quoting Cortec Indus., Inc. v. Sum Holding L.P., 949 F.2d 42, 47 (2d Cir. 1991))). The Court may also consider matters of which judicial notice may be taken under Fed.R.Evid. 201, including public records such as arrest reports, indictments, and criminal disposition data. Kramer v. Time Warner Inc., 937 F.2d 767, 773-75 (2d Cir. 1991) (holding that a court may consider matters of which judicial notice may be taken under Fed.R.Evid. 201); see also Awelewa v. New York City, No. 11 Civ. 778 (NRB), 2012 WL 601119, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 23, 2012) (observing that judicial notice may be taken of arrest reports, criminal complaints, indictments, and criminal disposition data (citing Wims v. New York City Police Dep't, No. 10 Civ. 6128 (PKC), 2011 WL 2946369, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. July 20, 2011))). Where the Court takes judicial notice, it does so "in order to determine what statements [the public records] contained... not for the truth of the matters asserted." Roth v. Jennings, 489 F.3d 499, 509 (2d Cir. 2007) (internal quotation marks and emphases omitted) (quoting Kramer, 937 F.3d at 774).

The following facts are taken from Plaintiff's Complaint ("Compl."), Amended Complaint ("Am. Compl."), and the materials attached thereto, which included materials from the criminal case filed against Plaintiff in New York County Criminal Court and assigned Docket No. 2009NY00896.

1. The February 1, 2009 Arrest

Plaintiff alleges that he and a co-defendant were arrested on February 1, 2009, for the sale of a controlled substance. (Compl. 6). Plaintiff further alleges that in the course of the arrest, Plaintiff was illegally searched. ( Id. 7-8).[1] Among other things, Plaintiff alleges he was strip-searched at the police station shortly after his arrest. (Id.).

2. The Subsequent Criminal Prosecution of Plaintiff

Plaintiff alleges that on or about March 9, 2009, his criminal defense attorney, Assistant District Attorney William Mason, Judge Koenderson, and "all defendants" conspired to "secret[ly]... convert the misdemeanor complaint." (Compl. 2, 9). Plaintiff alleges that the "Defendants mention[ed] moved a non-hearsay based misdemeanor complaint influencing the process, acting like they had true jurisdiction to convert the complaint, (2009NY008916) without maintain[ing] the integrity of the process." ( Id. 1).

Plaintiff alleges at various points in the Complaint and Amended Complaint that the criminal action was dismissed on March 28, 2011, April 18, 2011, and April 18, 2012. (Compl. 3; Am. Compl. 20, 23). The Certificate of Disposition indicates that the action was dismissed on March 28, 2011, pursuant to New York's speedy trial statute, C.P.L. § 30.30. (Compl. 8; Am. Compl. 31).

B. The Instant Action

Plaintiff filed this action on April 3, 2012, alleging claims of false arrest and illegal search against "John Doe arresting officer." (Dkt. #2; Compl. 1). Plaintiff also alleged that he was maliciously prosecuted by A.D.A. William Mason, and Judges Koenderson, Mella, Gerstein, and Mandelbaum; Plaintiff asserted negligence claims against those Defendants as well. (Compl. 3.) The City was also named as a Defendant. ( Id. 1). By Order dated April 20, 2012, the Honorable Andrew L. Carter, the United States District Judge then assigned to the case, dismissed the claims against A.D.A. Mason and Judges Koenderson, Mella, Gerstein, and Mandelbaum sua sponte. (Dkt. #7).

Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on June 28, 2012, which omitted claims against "John Doe arresting officer"; reasserted claims against the City; reinstated claims against A.D.A. Mason and Judges Koenderson, Mella, Gerstein, and Mandelbaum; and added for the first time Judge Amaker as a defendant. (Dkt. #10; Am. Compl. 1). Judge Carter dismissed all defendants named ...


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