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Murdock v. Legal Aid Society

United States District Court, E.D. New York

January 6, 2015

EDDIE MURDOCK, Plaintiff,
v.
LEGAL AID SOCIETY; CINDY D'AMBRA; P. SPIKE KAUFMAN; ASSIGNED COUNSEL DEFENDERS PLAN OF NASSAU COUNTY; GLENN F. HARDY; DEVANE AND GRODER; JEFFREY GRODER; and KATHLEEN M. RICE, NASSAU COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY, Defendants.

Eddie Murdock, pro se Nassau County Correctional Center East Meadow, NY, For Plaintiff.

Gregg D. Weinstock, Esq., Garbarini & Scher, P.C., Legal Aid, D'Ambra, and Kaufman, New York, NY, for Defendants.

John P. McEntee, Esq., Farrell Fritz, P.C., Uniondale, NY, for defendants Assigned Counsel Defenders Plan.

Andrew Seth Kowlowitz, Esq., Eric D. Mercurio, Esq., Furman Kornfeld & Brennan LLP, New York, NY, for defendants Hardy

Michael Anthony Miranda, Esq., Brian S. Condon, Esq., Miranda Sambursky Slone Sklarin Verveniotis LLP, Mineola, NY, for Defendants Devane and Groder, and Groder.

Thomas Lai, Esq., Nassau County Attorney's Office, Mineola, NY, DA Rice.

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

JOANNA SEYBERT, District Judge.

Plaintiff Eddie Murdock, currently incarcerated and proceeding pro se, commenced this action on January 23, 2014 pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Nassau County District Attorney, Kathleen M. Rice ("District Attorney Rice"), and his former criminal defense attorneys-Legal Aid Society, Cindy D'Ambra, P. Spike Kaufman, Assigned Counsel Defenders Plan of Nassau County, Glenn F. Hardy, Devane and Groder, and Jeffrey Groder (collectively, "Defendants"). Plaintiff claims that Defendants deprived him of his rights to due process and a speedy trial in connection with a criminal case against him in New York State Supreme Court. Defendants move to dismiss the Complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Docket Entries 17, 24, 37, 38, 46.) For the following reasons, Defendants' motions to dismiss are GRANTED.

BACKGROUND[1]

On May 6, 2013, Plaintiff was arrested and charged with grand larceny in Nassau County. (Compl. at 5[2].) In this action, Plaintiff contends that his court-appointed criminal defense attorneys violated his rights to due process and a speedy trial by consenting, without his knowledge and/or consent, to adjournments requested by District Attorney Rice. (Compl. at 5-6.) He claims that this conduct constitutes a conspiracy between his attorneys and District Attorney Rice to deprive him of his constitutional rights in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Compl. at 5-6.) The Court also liberally construes the Complaint to assert legal malpractice claims under state law against Plaintiff's former attorneys.

The Complaint seeks: (1) monetary damages; (2) a declaration that "the policies and practices [of adjourning Plaintiff's criminal case] violate [his] due process rights" and "constitute a conspiracy against [his] due process rights"; and (3) an injunction "enjoining[, ] prohibiting[, ] and restraining defendants from waiving [his] rights... without his knowledge or consent...." (Compl. at 8-9.) Defendants all move to dismiss the Complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Docket Entries 17, 24, 37, 38, 46.)

DISCUSSION

The Court will first address the applicable legal standard before turning ...


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