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Brown v. Moralles

United States District Court, E.D. New York

November 18, 2014

GEORGE BROWN, Plaintiff,
v.
RALPHAEL MORALLES, the Superintendent, NASSAU COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY, FREEPORT POLICE DEPARTMENT, 1ST BALDWIN PRECINCT, SERGIO/INCORPORATED VILLAGE OF FREEPORT DEP'T: THE VILLAGE INSPECTORS, PAMELA ROBINSON, KATHLEEN M. RICE, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY, ATM REAL ESTATE, FREEPORT FIRE DEPARTMENT, Defendants. GEORGE BROWN, Plaintiff,
v.
RALPHAEL MORALLES, the Superintendent, NASSAU COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY, FREEPORT POLICE DEPARTMENT, 1ST BALDWIN PRECINCT, SERGIO/INCORPORATED VILLAGE OF FREEPORT DEP'T: THE VILLAGE INSPECTORS, PAMELA ROBINSON, KATHLEEN M. RICE, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY, ATM REAL ESTATE, FREEPORT FIRE DEPARTMENT, DETECTIVE KAMMSKI, 1ST BALDWIN PRECINCT, FIRE MARSHALL JOE, FREEPORT FIRE DEPARTMENT, OFFICER DIXON, FREEPORT POLICE DEPARTMENT, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

SANDRA J. FEUERSTEIN, District Judge.

On July 15, 2013, incarcerated pro se plaintiff George Brown ("plaintiff' or "Brown") filed a complaint against the Freeport Police Department ("Freeport Police") and the Nassau County District Attorney ("D.A.") which was assigned docket number 13-civ-4047. [Case No. 13-civ-4047 Docket Entry No. I (the "First Complaint")]. A second complaint was filed on November 20, 2013 against the Freeport Police and the D.A. as well as Ralphael Moralles/the Superintendent ("Moralles"); 1st Baldwin Precinct ("First Precinct"); Sergio/Incorporated Freeport Village Department ("Sergio"); the Freeport Fire Department, Pamela Robinson ("Robinson") and ATM Real Estate and was assigned docket number 13-civ-6514. [Case No. 13-civ-6514 Docket Entry No. I (the "Second Complaint")]. On February 28, 2014, plaintiff filed a third complaint [Case No. 14-cv-1382 Docket Entry No. I (the "Third Complaint")] accompanied by an application to proceed in forma pauperis [Case No. 14-civ-1382 Docket Entry No.2]. On May I, 2014, plaintiff filed his fourth in forma pauperis complaint [Case No. 14-civ-2932 Docket Entry No. I (the "Fourth Complaint")]. On June 4, 2014, plaintiff filed an application for the appointment of counsel to represent him in each of his cases. [Case No. 14-civ-1382 Docket Entry No. 8; Case No. 14-civ-2932 Docket Entry No. 6 (collectively, the "Motions to Appoint Counsel")].

For the reasons that follow, Third Complaint and the Fourth Complaint are consolidated with the First Complaint and the Second Complaint for all purposes and shall proceed under the docket number of his First Complaint, 13-civ-4047 (the "Lead Case"). All papers filed shall henceforth bear only the Lead Case docket number and Third Complaint (assigned docket number 14-civ-1382) and the Fourth Complaint (assigned docket number 14-civ-2932), shall be administratively closed. In addition, plaintiff's Section 1983 claims seeking release from custody in the Third Complaint are sua sponte dismissed without prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) and 1915A(b)(1) for failure to state a claim for relief; plaintiff's Section 1983 claims seeking damages in the Third Complaint and the Fourth Complaint are stayed pending the termination of the underlying criminal proceedings against him; and plaintiff's Section 1983 claims against Moralles, Robinson and ATM Real Estate in the Third Complaint and the Fourth Complaint are sua sponte dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) and 1915A(b)(1) for failure to state a claim for relief. Finally, the Motions to Appoint Counsel are denied without prejudice.

I. Procedural Background

As noted above, plaintiff's First Complaint was filed on July 15, 2013 against the Freeport Police and the D.A. alleging civil rights violations by law enforcement officials relating to plaintiff's November 5, 2012 arrest and subsequent prosecution. See generally First Campl. By order dated October 9, 2014 in the first action [Case No. 13-civ-4047 Docket Entry No.6 (the "October Order")]: (I) plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis was granted; (2) plaintiff's Section 1983 claims seeking release from custody were sua sponte dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) and 1915A(b)(1) for failure to state a claim for relief, without prejudice to filing a petition seeking a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, et seq.; (3) plaintiff's Section 1983 claims seeking damages were stayed pending the termination of the underlying criminal proceedings against him; and (4) the first action was administratively closed with leave to reopen within two (2) weeks of the termination of the underlying criminal proceedings against plaintiff. See October Order at 5-6.

On November 20, 2013, plaintiff filed the Second Complaint against the Freeport Police and the D.A. as well as Moralles, the First Precinct, Sergio, the Freeport Fire Department, Robinson and A TM Real Estate also alleging civil rights violations by law enforcement officials relating to plaintiff's November 5, 2012 arrest and subsequent prosecution. See generally Second Compl. By Memorandum and Order dated January 23, 2014 in the second action [Case No. 13-civ-6514 Docket Entry No. 7 (the "January Order")]: (I) plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis was granted; (2) the First Complaint and the Second Complaint were consolidated for all purposes; (3) plaintiff's Section 1983 claims seeking release from custody in the second action were sua sponte dismissed without prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) and 1915A(b)(1) for failure to state a claim for relief; (4) plaintiff's Section 1983 claims seeking damages in the Second Complaint were stayed pending termination of the underlying criminal proceedings against him; and (5) plaintiff's Section 1983 claims against Moralles, Robinson and ATM Real Estate were sua sponte dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) and 1915A(b)(1) for failure to state a claim for relief. See January Order at 5-14.

For the reasons that follow, Third Complaint and the Fourth Complaint are consolidated with plaintiff's First Complaint and Second Complaint for all purposes and shall proceed under the docket number of the Lead Case, 13-civ-4047.

II. Factual Background

Plaintiff's four (4) complaints allege that on November 5, 2012 plaintiff walked into the incinerator room on the first floor of the building in which he resides after smelling smoke coming from that room. First Complaint, Second Complaint, Third Complaint, and Fourth Complaint (collectively, the "Complaints" or "Compls." at ¶ IV)). Subsequently, Moralles, the superintendent of the building, entered the incinerator room and asked plaintiff about the fire, allegedly assuming that plaintiff had started the fire. Handwritten Statements ["Stat."] Annexed to First and Second Complaint at I; Third Compl. ¶ IV; Fourth Compl. ¶ IV. Plaintiff told Moralles that he did not know anything about a fire, left the incinerator room and went to his apartment. Id Shortly after plaintiff entered his apartment, "Nassau police with the Freeport Police" arrived, forced their way in and searched the apartment without a warrant. Compls. ¶ IV; Stat. to First and Second Complaint, at 1-2. Plaintiff alleges he was arrested without explanation, transported by "Nassau County police" to the First Precinct and subsequently imprisoned. Compls. ¶ IV; Stat. to First and Second Complaint, at 2.

In the first action, plaintiff alleges that he has been imprisoned for a period of eight (8) months "without NO [sic] indictment." Stat. to First Complaint, at 2. In the Second Complaint, plaintiff alleges that he has been imprisoned for a period of twelve (12) months and was finally indicted on September 17, 2013. Stat. to Second Complaint, at I. In the Third Complaint, plaintiff claims to have been incarcerated "since 15 Months and Next month in March 2014 It'll [sic] be my 2 years, that I'll also be incarcerated at Nassau County Jail. Third Compl. at 5. Plaintiff explains in the Third Complaint that "Right Now I'm going to Court for my Pre Trial hearing on Thursday, March 6, 2014. It'll be about my false statement, that I've did [sic] signed [sic] And Also saying A video statement on Monday night, November 5, 2012 At the 1st Baldwin Precinct." Id. In the Fourth Complaint, plaintiff alleges that "[r]ight now, I've been incarcerated since 17½ months or almost 18 months." Fourth Compl. at 6.

In the Second Complaint, plaintiff additionally alleges that Sergio, a Village inspector, and a fire marshal from the First Precinct "were at [his] Apartment at the Time [of his November 5, 2012 arrest]." Stat. to Second Complaint, at I. According to plaintiff, he was: (i) "forced to Confessed [sic] by The Authorities And Coecresion [sic] by Them tool [sic] as well[;]" (2) "frustrated...Intimidated[] [and] Manipulated by them for having [him] to signed [sic] a statement that were [sic] False And Going on video to say a False statement At The First Precinct[;]" and (3) "Scared!' [him] To say That [he] did The Arson 2nd Degree." Id Plaintiff alleges that he "finally remembered" that "[t]he Authorities" threatened "to have their unknown People to retaliate [against him]" if he filed a civil rights complaint against them. Id. In addition, the Second Complaint alleges, inter alia : (1) that "these cops from the (F]irst Precint [sic] stared at (plaintiff], While [he] was using their Mens Bathroom[, ]" (Stat. to Second Complaint, at 2); (2) that "[t]hese Nassau County cops Have done Sexual Harassment to [him] and Racist, Because [he is] An African Black American[, ]" ( Id. ); (3) that he has been discriminated against by the "Authorities" and the D.A. because of his race and diagnosis of mental illness (Second Compl. ¶ V); and (4) that he has been "Persecuted and Retaliated" against by the police because Moralles told them that he is "a Gay Homosexual." Id.

In the Second Complaint, plaintiff also alleges that as he was entering his apartment building on October 2, 2012, Robinson, another tenant in the building, tried to spray him with pepper spray and her son "snucked [sic] Behind [him], To put a big bruise on the Right side of [his] face." Stat. to Second Complaint, at 3. Plaintiff alleges that the Freeport Police "took (f]orever(, ]" ( id. ) to arrive after he called them, in "retaliation against [him] from... Moralles And The ATM Real Estate that owns the Building[, ]" ( id. ), and that before they arrived, Robinson "ha(d] told all the tenant neighbors outside... To tell the cops[] That They didn't saw (sic] What had happened." Id. Plaintiff alleges that the police did not let him press charges against Robinson's son "[b]ecause [he] Didn't have any witnesses on [his] side And It [sic] wasn't no camera in the building." Stat. to Second Complaint, at 4. In addition, plaintiff alleges that he had previously told Robinson he was "[l]ockup [sic] back in 2002 for setting A cardboard dumpster on fire" ( id. ) and that Robinson "backstabbed [him] in the face for no Reason" ( id. ) by telling the police that he had been "locked up for Arson several years ago in Rikers Island." Id. According to plaintiff, when he was arrested on November 5, 2012 and charged with arson in the second degree, the police told him "That This is another reason why... [he] gotten blame!' [sic]... Because [he had] a Previous Record For The Same thing." Id.

In the third action, plaintiff also claims that the "cops had flipped a quarter on the floor Inside their office at the 1st Baldwin Precinct and Have said! [sic] If the quarter does Lands [sic] on Heads that means! [sic] I've won! And If it falls on Tales [sic], that means! [sic] I'll have lose! [sic]. Stat. to Third Complaint, at 5. According to plaintiff, [t]hey were playing dice with money, Like their [sic] were also gambling money on the Floor." Id. Plaintiff explains, "I am refiling Again to sue for definition [sic] of character, because of the Superintendent Raphael Moralles for pressing the charges against me and Blaspheming! [sic] me" That He've [sic] thought! [sic] I did the Arson." Id. Plaintiff claims to have been slandered by Moralles for "accusing me for something, [sic] that I've [sic] didn't do at All." Id. Plaintiff alleges that he is suing "Kathleen M. Rice for not having any kind of patience! [sic] and not understanding the reason why, [sic] I've signed a False Statement and Saying a video statement at the I" Baldwin Precinct." Id. Plaintiff is "suing Kathleen M. Rice for $20 Billion Dollars. Also for False Incarceration at Nassau County Correctional Center, and for Having the District Attorney to keep me in prison! [sic] still for 15 months." Id. According to plaintiff, Moralles "always stay [sic] drunk all the time... All of these defendants will definately! [sic] leave me alone! After all of this Triple civil rights complaint Lawsuit. Once! [sic] the Nassau District Attorney find me innocent! First with my case. [sic] Which right now, I have Arson 2nd Degree, because the Authorities made me confessed [sic] by signing a False Statement and saying a video statement." Id. at 7. Plaintiff alleges that the "cops didn't also even have [n]o [p]atience! [sic] For me to explained!' [sic] All of my side of the story of what happened! [sic] That night on Monday, November 5, 2012." Id. at 8. Plaintiff also claims that Moralles would "go to help an [sic] Hispanic tenant or White tenant" skipping over plaintiff because plaintiff is Black and on social security disability and received social services food stamps. Id. In the fourth action, plaintiff also claims defendants "were hurting [his] reputation [sic] defaming, By having [him] also [sic] to make false and harmful statements, so as to hurt [his] reputation [sic] of slander and libel." Stat. to Fourth Complaint, at 6.

In the section of the form complaint asking plaintiff to describe his injuries and state the medical treatment he received, plaintiff wrote: (I) the word "None" in the First complaint (First Compl. ¶IV.A); (2) nothing in the Second Complaint, i.e., he left that section of the complaint blank (Second Compl. ¶ IV.A); and (3) "No Injuries And No Medical Treatment" in Third Complaint and the Fourth Complaint. Third and Fourth Compls. ¶ IV.A. In the First Complaint, plaintiff seeks to recover damages in the amount of "$1, 000, 00" for the time he has spent in jail and to be released from custody. First Compl. ¶V; Stat. to the First Complaint, at 2. In the Second Complaint, plaintiff seeks to recover damages in the amount of five million dollars ($5, 000, 000.00) "for all the Persecution And Pain[, ]" and to be discharged or released from prison. Second Compl. ¶ V; Stat. to the Second Compl., at 2. In the Third Complaint, plaintiff seeks to recover damages in the amount of "$20 Billion Dollars for Definition [sic] Of Character, Because Ralphael Moralles the Superintendent had pressed the charges against me and "Blaspheming! Me, that He've thought! I did the Arson." Third Compl. ¶ V. Plaintiff also seeks to recover a damages award in the amount of $20 billion against "Kathleen M. Rice for not having any kind of patience! And not understanding the reason why I've signed a false statement and saying a video statement at the I'' Baldwin Precinct." Id. Finally, the Fourth Complaint seeks to recover a damages award of $100 million. Fourth Compl. ¶ V.

III. Discussion

A. Consolidation

Rule 42(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that "[i]f actions before the court involve a common question of law or fact, the court may... consolidate the actions; or[] issue any other orders to avoid unnecessary cost or delay." Fed.R.Civ.P. 42(a); Devlin v. Transp. Commc'ns Int'l. Union, 175 F.3d 121, 130 (2d Cir. 1999). District courts have broad discretion to determine whether consolidation is appropriate, Johnson v. Celotex Corp., 899 F.2d 1281, 1284-85 (2d Cir. 1990), and may consolidate actions under Rule 42(a) sua sponte. See Devlin, 175 F.3d at 130. Consolidation "should be prudently employed as a valuable and important tool of judicial administration...invoked to expedite trial and eliminate ...


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