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Brinn v. Syosset Public Library

United States District Court, E.D. New York

October 29, 2014

JOSHUA BRINN, Plaintiff,
v.
SYOSSET PUBLIC LIBRARY, MORRIS DUFFY ALONSO & FALEY, UTICA NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY, JUDITH LOCKMAN, Director of the Syosset Public Library, in her individual and professional capacity, ROBERT GLICK, Trustee of the Syosset Public Library, in his individual and professional capacity, Defendants

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Joshua Brinn, Plaintiff, Pro se, Plainview, NY.

For Syosset Public Library, Defendant: Richard Granofsky, LEAD ATTORNEY, New York, NY; Thomas A. Catalano, Lester, Schwab, Katz & Dwyer, LLP, New York, NY.

For Morris Duffy Alonso & Faley, Defendant: Mercedes Colwin, LEAD ATTORNEY, Gordon & Rees LLP, New York, NY; Aneta Sudol, Irene Amanda Schembri, Marie Ann Hoenings, L'Abbate, Balkan, Colavita & Contini, LLP, Garden City, NY; Peter L. Contini, L'abate, Balkan, Colavita & Contini, L.L.P., Garden City, NY.

For Richard Granofsky, Director of the Syosset Public Library, in her individual and professional capacities, Robert Glick, Trustee of the Syosset Public Library, in his individual and professional capacities, Defendants: Richard Granofsky, LEAD ATTORNEY, New York, NY; Thomas A. Catalano, Lester, Schwab, Katz & Dwyer, LLP, New York, NY.

For Utica National Insurance Company, Interested Party: Sherri N. Pavloff, LEAD ATTORNEY, Farber Brocks & Zane LLP, Garden City, NY.

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OPINION AND ORDER

Sandra J. Feuerstein, United States District Judge.

Defendants Syosset Public Library, Judith Lockman and Robert Glick (" Library defendants" ) and defendant law firm Morris Duffy Alonso & Faley (" Morris Duffy" ) have filed motions for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (" FRCP" ) 56. For the following reasons, both defendants' motions are GRANTED and plaintiff's complaint is dismissed.

I. Background

A. Facts

Plaintiff pro se Joshua Brinn (" plaintiff" ) was employed as an attorney by defendant law firm Morris Duffy from March 2006 until April 16, 2008. Law Firm 56.1(a) Stmt. ¶ ¶ 1, 2. Andrea Alonso (" Alonso" ) is Morris Duffy's managing partner. Id. at ¶ 8. Kevin Faley (" Faley" ) is a partner at Morris Duffy with management duties. Id. at ¶ 9. Kevin Mahon (" Mahon" ) is a partner at Morris Duffy. Id. at ¶ 10.

Defendant Judith Lockman (" Lockman" ) is Director of the Syosset Public Library (Library" ). Lib. 56.1(a) Stmt. ¶ 4. Defendant Robert Glick (" Glick" ) is a Library Trustee. Law Firm 56.1(a) Stmt. ¶ 5. Utica National Insurance Company (" Utica" ) was the Library's insurer during the relevant time period and was also one of Morris Duffy's clients.[1] Id. at ¶ ¶ 4, 6. Betty Winkler (" Winkler" ) was a casualty claims specialist for Utica. Id. at ¶ 7.

Plaintiff has patronized Syosset Public Library (" Library" ) approximately once or twice a week since childhood. Lib. Def. 56.1(a) Stmt. ¶ 2. On September 29, 2007, an incident occurred at the library involving

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plaintiff and a library employee. Id. at ¶ 3. By letter dated October 15, 2007, the library's attorney, William Cullen, advised plaintiff that Director Lockman had suspended his library privileges for one (1) year based upon four (4) instances of inappropriate behavior. Dec. Catalano, Exh. F. The letter advised plaintiff that he had a right to protest the suspension to the Library's Board of Trustees (" Board" ) and included a copy of the Library's Policy of Maintenance of Public Order at Library Premises. Id. On November 16, 2007 and by letter addressed to the Board's president Lorraine Trachtman, plaintiff objected to the suspension and asked the Board to reverse its decision. Id. at Exh. G. By letter dated December 14, 2007, plaintiff again wrote to Ms. Trachtman and requested a formal hearing to appeal the one (1) year suspension. Id. at Exh. H. By letter dated December 21, 2007, Cullen wrote to plaintiff and advised that the request was denied because: (1) it was untimely; and (2) plaintiff did not reside in the Syosset Central School District. Id. at Exh. I. By letter dated January 5, 2008, plaintiff argued that his time to appeal should be extended because the Library had been closed for renovations. Id. at Exh. J.

At a Board meeting held on January 8, 2008, it was determined that plaintiff should be heard on the suspension and Glick was authorized to contact plaintiff. Lib. Def. 56.1(a) Stmt. ¶ ¶ 6, 7. After the meeting and while plaintiff was on Library grounds despite the suspension, Glick introduced himself and advised plaintiff that he was an attorney at which time plaintiff told Glick he was an attorney with Morris Duffy. Dec. Glick ¶ ¶ 12-14.[2] Glick mentioned that he knew managing partner Alonso through local professional organizations. Id. at ¶ 15. Glick advised plaintiff that the Board would promptly respond to his January 5, 2008 letter. Id. at ¶ 16.

Following that meeting, Glick discovered that plaintiff had filed a notice of claim against the library and called plaintiff at work to remind him of their conversation and to invite plaintiff to a Board meeting if plaintiff agreed to withdraw the notice of claim. Id. at ¶ 18. According to Glick, plaintiff stated he would consider the offer. Id. at ¶ 19. Plaintiff denies that Glick invited him to a board meeting, but concedes that Glick wanted the notice of claim withdrawn. Plt. 56.1(b) Stmt. ¶ 11. Not having heard from plaintiff, Glick called Alonso, advised her of the situation and requested that she ask plaintiff to return his call. Dec. Glick ¶ 21. Glick also spoke with Morris Duffy partner Kevin Mahon who also agreed to speak to plaintiff about returning Glick's calls. Law Firm 56.1(a) Stmt. ¶ 12; Dec. Contini, Exh. D (Glick Deposition) p. 68. Alonso advised plaintiff that he could not continue to work for Morris Duffy and sue the Library because Utica, ...


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