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Ahearn v. Brachowicz

United States District Court, S.D. New York

July 10, 2014

SEAN AHEARN, Plaintiff,
v.
MARIA BRACHOWICZ, THE CITY OF NEW YORK, THE NEW YORK CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT, DETECTIVE JARRET BROWN, individually and in his official capacity, and POLICE OFFICERS JOHN DOES #1-10, individually and in their official capacity, Defendants.

Robert Wallace Georges, Esq., The Law Office of Robert W. Georges, Esq., New York, NY, for Plaintiff.

Ira S. Newman, Esq., Law Off. I.S. Newman, Great Neck, NY, Anthony Patrick Consiglio, Esq. Law Office of Michael G. O'Neill, New York, NY, Robert S. Powers, Esq., Law Office of Robert S. Powers, North Babylon, NY, Sonia Haejin Lee, Esq., Drinker Biddle & Reath, LLP, New York, NY, Suzanna Publicker Mettham, Assistant Corporation Counsel, NYC Law Department, New York, NY, for Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER

SHIRA A. SCHEINDLIN, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Sean Ahearn brings this suit against Maria Brachowicz under New York state law for false arrest, malicious prosecution, defamation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.[1] Ahearn also brings claims against Detective Jarret Brown, the City of New York, and John Does #1-10 ("the City Defendants") under Section 1983 of Title 42 of the United States Code ("Section 1983") raising both federal and pendant state law claims.[2] Ahearn alleges that the City of New York is liable for all claims against Detective Brown because Detective Brown was acting "pursuant to the customs, usages, practices, procedures, and the rules of the City of New York and New York City Police Department."[3] Maria Brachowicz and the City Defendants both move to dismiss the Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Furthermore, because Ahearn only brings state law claims against Maria Brachowicz, Brachowicz argues that she was improperly joined under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20 and that the Court should not exercise supplemental jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1367 for the pendant state law claims.[4] For the reasons set forth below, the City Defendants' motion to dismiss the federal claims against them is granted. The state claims against Brachowicz and the City Defendants are remanded to state court.

II. BACKGROUND

A. The Parties

Sean Ahearn is a twenty-seven year old U.S. citizen, who is a resident of Suffolk County, New York[5] Defendant, Maria Brachowicz is a Columbia University dental student, who was born in Brazil, and is a resident of New York City.[6] Defendant, the City of New York, is a municipal corporation which exists under the laws of the State of New York.[7] Jarret Brown and "John Does" #1-10 are police officers who act under the supervision of the New York City Police Department.[8]

B. The Incident Leading to Ahearn's Arrest

Ahearn met Brachowicz on an online dating website in early March 2013.[9] On March, 26, 2013, Ahearn and Brachowicz met in person and went out for dinner on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.[10] During their time together on March 26, 2013, Ahearn and Brachowicz engaged in consensual sexual intercourse.[11] On March 29, 2013, Brachowicz visited Ahearn at his home in Long Island.[12] While Brachowicz had originally intended to return to Manhattan that weekend, she instead stayed with Ahearn until Monday, April 1, 2013.[13] During this weekend, Ahearn and Brachowicz engaged in consensual sexual intercourse and recreational drug use.[14]

Between April 1, 2013 and April 7, 2013, Ahearn and Brachowicz exchanged frequent text messages.[15] In these text messages, Ahearn and Brachowicz discussed their feelings towards each other and their sexual experience over the weekend.[16] At the same time, Brachowicz also texted Ahearn that she was deciding whether to date Ahearn or another person who she referred to as a previous boyfriend.[17] During this week, Ahearn informed Brachowicz that he had contacted her previous boyfriend on social media to insult him and to tell him that he was currently in a relationship with Brachowicz.[18]

On April 7, 2013, Ahearn and Brachowicz agreed to meet each other at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Lower Manhattan.[19] During their time at the hotel, Ahearn and Brachowicz had sex and took pictures on Ahearn's cell phone.[20] Ahearn also admits that during their time at the hotel, both he and Brachowicz took Ecstasy.[21] On April 8, 2013, Ahearn and Brachowicz ate breakfast at the hotel and then shared a taxi to Pennsylvania Station where they went their separate ways.[22] In the evening of April, 8, 2013, Brachowicz told Ahearn that she needed to focus on school and wanted to end their relationship.[23]

About a week later, Brachowicz called Ahearn and asked if he would be willing to meet her at a restaurant on the Upper West Side on April 26, 2013.[24] At around the same time, Brachowicz contacted the New York City Police Department claiming that on April 7, 2013, she engaged in sexual intercourse with Ahearn against her will at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.[25] Ahearn contends that Brachowicz falsely made those statements to the New York City Police Department so she would not have to reveal to her former boyfriend that she engaged in consensual sex and voluntary drug use with Ahearn.[26]

C. The Arrest

On April 26, 2013, Brachowicz lured Ahearn to a restaurant on the Upper West Side under the false pretenses of a dinner date.[27] Instead of having dinner, Ahearn was arrested and taken into custody by two members of the New York City Police Department.[28] Ahearn was informed at the precinct that Brachowicz had accused him of giving her illicit drugs and having sexual intercourse with her against her will.[29] Ahearn told the officers that the sexual intercourse was consensual and that Brachowicz did nothing involuntarily.[30] Ahearn further alleges that he voluntarily handed over his cell phone to the officers.[31] The cell phone contained the text messages exchanged between Ahearn and Brachowicz, and the pictures taken of Ahearn and Brachowicz during their stay at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on April 7-8, 2013.[32] Ahearn asked the police officers to look at the cell phone, believing that the evidence on the phone was exculpatory.[33] The police officers refused to look at the cell phone and took Ahearn to Manhattan Central Booking to continue processing his arrest.[34]

D. Arraignment and Dismissal

On April 28, 2013, Ahearn was arraigned on the felony offense of Facilitating a Sex Offense with a Controlled Substance (P.L. §130.90 (1) and (2)) and Rape in the Third Degree (P.L. § 130.25 (1)).[35] Bail was set and Ahearn was held in custody until he made bail on April 29, 2013.[36] Ahearn alleges that during his three days in custody he was threatened numerous times and told that he would be "jumped" by other inmates.[37] On June 14, 2013, after the District Attorney had reviewed ...


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