United States District Court, E.D. New York
For Sophia Chinemerem Ihuo Eze, Plaintiff: Andrew J. Spinnell, Law Offices of Andrew J. Spinnell, LLC, New York, NY.
For City University of New York at Brooklyn College, Karen Lee Gould, as President of the City University of New York at Brooklyn College, Brooklyn College Campus and Community Safety Services (BCCSS), Director Donald Wenz, Deputy Director Ursula G. Chase, Lieutenant Harry Gomez, Lieutenant Cynthia Hunter, Liaison Officer Robert Scott, Coordinator of Honors Academy, Advisor Jaime Weiss, Michele Munoz, Milga Morales, as Dean of Student Affairs Of Brooklyn College Brooklyn College Campus and Community Safety Services (BCCSS), Defendants: Charles Ethan Enloe, Steven Leon Banks, N.Y.S. Office of the Attorney General, New York, NY.
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
MARGO K. BRODIE, United States District Judge.
Plaintiff commenced this action against Defendants the City University of New York at Brooklyn College (" Brooklyn College" ), Brooklyn College Campus and Community Safety Services, Donald Wenz, Harry Gomez, Cynthia Hunter, Robert Scott, Jaimie Weiss, Michele Munoz, Milga Morales, John Doe security officers 1-4, and Jane Doe security officers 1-4, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law alleging violations of her rights arising from her detention at BCCCSS's office and her subsequent involuntary confinement at a psychiatric hospital. (Docket Entry No. 1.) Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on September 9, 2011. On October 18, 2011, Defendants moved to dismiss this action in its entirety. (Docket Entry No. 22.) On December 27, 2011, the Honorable Judge John Gleeson denied Defendants' motion as to Plaintiff's § 1983 claim against Scott and Munoz arising from her detention and transportation to the hospital but granted the motion in all other respects. Eze v. City Univ. of New York at Brooklyn Coll., No. 11-CV-2454, 2011 WL 6780652 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 27, 2011). On August 22, 2013, Scott and Munoz moved
for summary judgment. (Docket Entry No. 65.) On October 9, 2013, the Court referred the motion to the Honorable Cheryl L. Pollak for a report and recommendation. On March 13, 2014, Judge Pollak filed a report and recommendation (" R& R" ) recommending that the Court grant Defendant's motion for summary judgment based on qualified immunity. (Docket Entry No. 81.) Plaintiff filed objections on March 27, 2014. (Docket Entry No. 83.) For the reasons discussed below, the Court declines to adopt the R& R and denies Defendants' motion for summary judgment.
Plaintiff was a student at Macaulay Honors College at Brooklyn College, a senior college of the City University of New York, from the fall of 2007 through the fall of 2008. (Defs. 56.1 ¶ ¶ 1-2; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 1.) In December 2008, Scott was employed at Brooklyn College as Coordinator of the Honors Academy, a unit that houses several honors programs including Macaulay Honors College. (Defs. 56.1 ¶ 3; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 2.) Munoz is a licensed psychologist and certified psychoanalyst, and she has been a part-time employee at Brooklyn College since January 2006. (Defs. 56.1 ¶ ¶ 4-5; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 2.)
Between November 24, 2008 and December 2, 2008, Scott and other officials at Brooklyn College received emails from a friend of Plaintiff's family, Brenda Henry-Offor, which expressed concerns about the state of Plaintiff's mental health and requested assistance. (Defs. 56.1 ¶ ¶ 6-8; Pl. 56.1 ¶ ¶ 1-2.)
On November 24, 2008, Henry-Offor forwarded an email to Scott and Dr. Gunja SenGupta, Director of the Macaulay Honors College, that Henry-Offor had received from Plaintiff's mother Mary Eze. (Defs. 56.1 ¶ 9; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 3.) Plaintiff's mother expressed concern about " FRIGHTENING UNCO[O]RDINATED REMARKS" that Plaintiff had posted on Facebook and stated that she feared that Plaintiff might harm herself. (Defs. 56.1 ¶ 9; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 3; Nov. 24, 2008 Email, annexed to Scott Decl. as Ex. A.) Plaintiff denies that this email included a plea for Henry-Offor to take action. (Pl. 56.1 ¶ 9.) In the November 24, 2008 email, Mary Eze stated, inter alia, " Pls [sic] something has to be done fast[.] Is she on therapy already? Are there any medications? Pls [sic] we are scared she is alone Night [sic] can be very bad." (Nov. 24, 2008 Email.)
On November 29, 2008, Henry-Offor wrote Scott and SenGupta expressing her own concern about Plaintiff's mental state based on statements Plaintiff made to Henry-Offor. (Defs. 56.1 ¶ 10; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 1.) Henry-Offor stated that Plaintiff informed her, inter alia, that friends were taping their conversations with Plaintiff, Plaintiff wanted to hire a private detective to find a blog her former roommates kept putting up and taking down and Plaintiff's landlord installed a monitoring system in Plaintiff's room so that men upstairs could see her. (Defs. 56.1 ¶ 10; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 1.) Henry-Offor also stated that she had called New York City's 311 service and was advised that " Brooklyn College should call for ambulance service for [Plaintiff] and have them take her to the Emergency Room for evaluation and help." (Defs. 56.1 ¶ 11; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 1.)
On December 1, 2008, Henry-Offor emailed Scott and SenGupta reporting that Plaintiff calls her " constantly to report that there are two guys above her who spy on her and makes jokes about her." (Defs. 56.1 ¶ 12; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 1.)
On December 2, 2008, at 9:49 a.m., Henry-Offor emailed Scott, SenGupta, Sally Robles, Acting Director of the Brooklyn College Personal Counseling Center (the " Counseling Center" ), and Jacqueline Williams, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, stating that she had spoken with Plaintiff the night before about Plaintiff's former roommates and that she believed that Plaintiff wanted the " two young women punished." (Defs. 56.1 ¶ 13; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 1.) At 10:44 a.m., Henry-Offor emailed the same parties and expressed that she hoped someone at Brooklyn College could " help with escorting [Plaintiff] and getting the information to health professionals." (Defs. 56.1 ¶ 14; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 1.) Later that day, Robles wrote to Morales, Dean of Student Affairs, recommending that Plaintiff be transported to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. (Defs. 56.1 ¶ 15; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 2.) After receiving Robles's email, Morales initiated a telephone conference with Scott, Ursula Chase, Deputy Director of the Department of Campus and Community Safety Services (" Campus Security" ), and Pamela Pollack, an attorney employed at Brooklyn College. (Defs. 56.1 ¶ 16; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 2.) During the telephone conference, Morales and Chase discussed the need to have Plaintiff seen by staff in the Counseling Center or sent for a psychiatric evaluation. (Defs. 56.1 ¶ 17; Pl. 56.1 ¶ 2.) During the afternoon, ...