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McClinton v. Henderson

United States District Court, E.D. New York

May 19, 2014


Plaintiff proceeds pro se.

Defendants are represented by Eric T. Shniederman, Attorney General of the State of New York, by Daniel Scott Hallak, Assistant Attorney General, Hauppauge, NY.


JOSEPH F. BUNCO, District Judge.

Pro se plaintiff Charles McClinton brings this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against defendants Parole Officer Bill Henderson ("Henderson"), Parole Officer Pendarvis ("Pendarvis"), Parole Officer Mastronardi ("Mastronardi"), Parole Officer Torres ("Torres"), and Senior Parole Officer Erickson ("Erickson") (collectively, "defendants"), alleging violations of his Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights in connection with his arrest and imprisonment for a parole violation in 2013. Plaintiff also apparently alleges that the revocation of his supervised release violates the Double Jeopardy and Ex Post Facto Clauses of the Constitution. He seeks damages and injunctive relief. Defendants move to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), arguing that the causes of action are barred on the basis of sovereign and qualified immunity, and because plaintiff has pleaded guilty to violating the conditions of his supervised release. For the following reasons, the Court grants the motion in its entirety. The Court also sua sponte dismisses the claim under the Double Jeopardy Clause and Ex Post Facto Clause.[1]


A. Factual Background

The Court takes the following facts from the amended complaint, exhibits attached thereto, and judicially noticeable items.[2] These are not findings of fact by the Court; instead, the Court assumes these facts to be true for purposes of deciding the pending motion and construes them in a light most favorable to plaintiff, the non-moving party.

Defendants are state parole officers. ( See Amended Complaint ("AC") ¶¶ 4-8.) On Friday, May 24, 2013, plaintiff was conditionally released from Fishkill Correctional Facility at approximately 1 p.m. ( Id. ¶ 9.) He then headed to Suffolk County. ( Id. ¶ 11.) Plaintiff alleges that he tried to reach the Suffolk County Department of Social Services ("DSS") and his parole officer, Pendarvis, throughout the day, but nobody answered. ( Id. ¶ 12.) Plaintiff was told to call DSS in Hauppauge as part of his release conditions. ( See Housing Resources, AC Ex. B (handwritten note).) On May 28, 2013, plaintiff was arrested at the parole office in Bohemia, New York, for failing to comply with the conditions of his release-contacting DSS in Hauppauge. ( See AC ¶¶ 14-16.) Plaintiff claims the arrest was improper because, among other things, he tried to call DSS and the Bohemia office. ( Id. ¶¶ 23-24.)

The Court notes, however, that the allegations are somewhat unclear. Plaintiff clearly acknowledges that he had to contact DSS and his parole officer.[3] ( E.g., id. ¶¶ 23-24.) However, plaintiff claims that defendants are liable because they were punishing him for sentences that he had completed years earlier. ( E.g., id. ¶¶ 25.) His causes of action thus sound in false arrest and cruel and unusual punishment. ( See id. ¶¶ 16, 36, 37.) Plaintiff also alleges that defendants violated his rights under the Ex Post Facto Clause and the Double Jeopardy Clause. ( Id . ¶ 36.)

At the preliminary violation hearing on June 3, 2013, plaintiff pleaded not guilty to the violation. (Preliminary Violation Hearing Decision and Summary, AC Ex. A.) During the hearing, the hearing officer found probable cause because plaintiff had failed to go to DSS for housing. ( Id. ) Further, the documentary evidence submitted by defendants-paperwork from the Division of Parole-demonstrates that plaintiff pleaded guilty to violating his post-release supervision sentence at his final parole revocation hearing on August 6, 2013, and he received a sentence of one year incarceration. (Parole Revocation Decision Notice, Declaration of Daniel S. Hallak ("Hallack Decl.") Ex. B, at 2.) The Parole Revocation Decision Notice states that plaintiff failed to go to DSS for housing on May 24, 2013. ( Id. at 3.)

B. Procedural Background

Plaintiff filed his complaint on June 5, 2013, and filed the amended complaint on July 16, 2013. Defendants requested a premotion conference on September 5, 2013. The Court granted the motion on December 9, 2013. Defendants moved to dismiss on January 2, 2014. Plaintiff's opposition was due by February 3, 2014. After the Court, in an abundance of caution, granted plaintiff an extension of time to oppose, plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment on March 17, 2014, which the Court, as noted supra, shall construe as his opposition to the motion to dismiss. Defendants never replied.


In reviewing a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the Court must accept the factual allegations set forth in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. See Cleveland v. Caplaw Enters., 448 F.3d 518, 521 (2d Cir. 2006); Nechis v. Oxford Health Plans, Inc., 421 F.3d 96, 100 (2d Cir. 2005). "In order to survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint must allege a plausible set of facts sufficient to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.' Operating Local 649 Annuity Trust Fund v. Smith Barney Fund Mgmt. LLC, 595 F.3d 86, 91 (2d Cir. 2010) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 ...

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