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Varela v. City of Troy

United States District Court, N.D. New York

May 22, 2014

RAFAEL VARELA, Plaintiff,
v.
THE CITY OF TROY et al., Defendants.

Rafael Varela, Pro Se, Troy, NY, for the Plaintiff.

The City of Troy City of Troy, Corporation Counsel, IAN H. SILVERMAN, ESQ., Department of Law Troy, NY., Pattison, Sampson Law Firm DONALD J. SHANLEY, ESQ., Troy, NY, Office of Joshua A. Sabo, JOSHUA A. SABO, ESQ., Troy, NY, The Troy Police Department, and Ronald L. Epstein Pattison, Sampson Law Firm, DONALD J. SHANLEY, ESQ., Troy, NY, Office of Joshua A. Sabo, JOSHUA A. SABO, ESQ., Troy, NY, for the Defendants.

MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

GARY L. SHARPE, Chief Judge.

I. Introduction

Plaintiff pro se Rafael Varela commenced this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that defendants City of Troy, Troy Police Department, and Sgt. Ronald L. Epstein (collectively, "Troy Defendants")[1] violated his Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, along with various New York common law claims.[2] (Compl., Dkt. No. 1, Attach. 1 at 2-38.) Before the court is Troy Defendants' motion for summary judgment, (Dkt. No. 113), and Varela's motions for reconsideration, to stay deportation proceedings, and to reopen discovery, (Dkt. No. 118).[3] For the reasons that follow, Troy Defendants' motion is granted and Varela's motions are denied.

II. Background[4]

Varela's complaint asserts several causes of action against Troy Defendants, most of which stem from six arrests effectuated between 2006 and 2008. (Troy Defs.' Statement of Material Facts (SMF) ¶¶ 33-43, Dkt. No. 113, Attach. 1.) Most of the arrests were the result of domestic disputes involving Varela and his ex-wife, Kyra Garrigue, whom he divorced in 2008, and Varela allegedly violating orders of protection procured by Garrigue. ( Id. ¶¶ 34, 38, 42.) All of the arrests pertaining to Varela's claims were effectuated by the Troy Police Department-some specifically by Epstein-and some were effectuated pursuant to warrants issued by Troy Police Court.[5] ( Id. ¶¶ 35-38, 40, 42-43.)

The County of Rensselaer moved for summary judgment on October 1, 2012, (Dkt. No. 95), but Troy Defendants did not. In its January 3, 2014 Memorandum-Decision and Order, the court granted the County's motion for summary judgment and dismissed all of Varela's claims against it. (Dkt. No. 110.) As relevant here, the court held that Varela's federal claims relating to his first, second, and third arrests were time barred, and most of his state law claims were barred because he failed to file a timely notice of claim.[6] ( Id. at 13-15.) The court also dismissed Varela's remaining federal claims against the County for failure to prove that the County maintained an unconstitutional custom, policy, or practice. ( Id. at 15-17); see Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs. of City of N.Y., 436 U.S. 658, 694 (1978). Despite the expiration of the dispositive motion deadline, (Dkt. No. 84), the court also granted the Troy Defendants fourteen days from the date of the Memorandum-Decision and Order to file a dispositive motion, (Dkt. No. 110 at 25-26), which is now pending, (Dkt. No. 113).

III. Standard of Review

The standard of review pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 is well established and will not be repeated here. For a full discussion of the standard, the court refers the parties to its decision in Wagner v. Swarts, 827 F.Supp.2d 85, 92 (N.D.N.Y. 2011), aff'd sub nom. Wagner v. Sprague, 489 F.Appx. 500 (2d Cir. 2012).

IV. Discussion

A. Varela's Motion for Reconsideration

Varela has filed a motion for reconsideration, requesting that the court reconsider its dismissal of his claims asserted against the County. (Dkt. No. 118 at 3-6.) Varela's motion is denied.

As an initial matter, Varela's motion is untimely. Under the Local Rules of Practice in this District, a motion for reconsideration must be filed no later than fourteen days after the entry of the challenged order. See N.D.N.Y. L.R. 7.1(g). Here, the court's Memorandum-Decision and Order dismissing Varela's claims against the County was issued on January 3, 2014, (Dkt. No. 110), and Varela's motion for reconsideration was not filed until April 2, 2014, (Dkt. No. 118), well in excess of the fourteen-day time period. Despite Varela's failure to comply with the Local Rules of Practice, the court has nevertheless considered his motion.

"A court may justifiably reconsider its previous ruling if: (1) there is an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) new evidence not previously available comes to light; or (3) it becomes necessary to remedy a clear error of law or to prevent manifest injustice." Johnson v. Lynn-Caron, No. 9:11-CV-0386, 2012 WL 3888175, at *4 (N.D.N.Y. Sept. 7, 2012) (citations omitted); see also Doe v. N.Y.C. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 709 F.2d 782, 789 (2d Cir. 1983). Upon review, Varela's motion falls short of the standard required for reconsideration. He does not point to a change in the controlling law, offer new evidence, or articulate a clear error of ...


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