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Planavsky v. Broome County

United States District Court, N.D. New York

December 8, 2014

DANNY R. PLANAVSKY, Plaintiff,
v.
BROOME COUNTY; DEBRA A. PRESTON, Individually and as Broome County Executive; KEVIN P. KEOUGH, individually and as Director of Real Property Taxes and as Enforcement Officer of Broome County; and RICHARD R. BLYTH, as Broome County Clerk, Defendants.

LESLIE N. REIZES, ESQ., REIZES LAW FIRM, CHARTERED, Boynton Beach, Florida, Attorneys for Plaintiff.

ROBERT G. BEHNKE, ESQ., OFFICE OF THE BROOME COUNTY ATTORNEY, Edwin L. Crawford County Office Building Binghamton, New York, Attorneys for Defendants.

MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

FREDERICK J. SCULLIN, Jr., Senior District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Currently before the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and to cancel the Notice of Lis Pendens that Plaintiff filed in this action. See Dkt. No. 13. Plaintiff opposes this motion. See Dkt. No. 14.

II. BACKGROUND

On June 12, 2012, the Broome County Court issued an Order granting summary judgment to Defendant Broome County with respect to its tax claims on two properties that Plaintiff owned. See Dkt. No. 1, Complaint at ¶ 8 & Exhibit "A" attached thereto. Plaintiff appealed from that Order on June 17, 2012. See id. at ¶ 9. On June 20, 2012, the Broome County Court entered a show cause order, providing that, "pending the hearing on said application further proceedings in this special proceeding be and are stayed...." See id. at ¶ 10 & Exhibit "B" attached thereto. On June 21, 2012, in direct contravention of the terms of the show cause order and the stay contained therein, Defendants caused a deed to Plaintiff's property to be recorded in the office of the Broome County Clerk. See id. at ¶ 11 & Exhibit "C" attached thereto.

Based on these factual allegations, Plaintiff asserts two counts. In Count One, he asserts that, pursuant to New York Real Property Law § 329, he is entitled to judgment declaring the deed that Defendants filed in the office of the Broome County Clerk to be void and invalid and to have that deed canceled of record as to the properties at issue. See id. at ¶ 13. In Count Two, Plaintiff contends that, "[i]n violation of the stay provided for in the June 20, 2012 order of the Broome County Court..., the [D]efendants have deprived [P]laintiff of his property without due process and have taken his property without compensation, all in violation of the Constitution of the United States." See id. at ¶ 15. Plaintiff seeks "a judgment against all the [D]efendants except the County Clerk for actual and exemplary damages in the amount of two million dollars." See id. at WHEREFORE Clause.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Jurisdictional issue

Defendants argue that this Court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's state-law claim (Count One) because Plaintiff was a citizen of New York when he filed his complaint.

Defendants are mistaken. Although Count One of Plaintiff's complaint is a state-law claim, there is no dispute that Count Two of Plaintiff's complaint is a federal Constitutional claim, over which the Court has original jurisdiction. There is also no dispute that Plaintiff's state-law claim and federal Constitutional claim are part of the same case or controversy. Therefore, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a), because this Court has original jurisdiction over Count Two, this Court has supplemental jurisdiction over Count One. Accordingly, the Court concludes that it has subject matter jurisdiction over this action.

B. Plaintiff's federal claim - Count Two

Plaintiff claims that Defendants took his property without due process and without just compensation. Both of these ...


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