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Omor v. City of New York

United States District Court, S.D. New York

February 27, 2015

SOLO OBI OMOR, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF NEW YORK, HRA POLICE OFFICER THERESA GREEN, SHIELD 1929, HRA POLICE LIEUTENANT EDGAR ROSARIO, and HRA POLICE SERGEANT DEBORAH DARRISAN-METE, SHIELD 601, Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER

RONNIE ABRAMS, District Judge.

Pro se Plaintiff Solo Obi Omar brings this action against Defendants City of New York ("City"), Sergeant Deborah Darrison-Mete, Lieutenant Edgar Rosario, and Police Officer Theresa Green claiming violations of the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, Tenth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. At the core of these claims is Plaintiffs dissatisfaction with the City, which he blames for his unemployment and status in society. Plaintiff also alleges various claims relating to his April 10, 2013 arrest, which occurred after he refused to leave the Human Resources Administration ("HRA") when he was denied the amount of financial assistance to which he felt entitled. Before the Court is Defendants' motion for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is granted in its entirety.

BACKGROUND[1]

On April 10, 2013, Plaintiff visited the HRA in Bronx, New York, seeking financial assistance to pay his rent of $892.93 per month. (Defendants' L. Civ. R. 56.1 Statement ("Def. 56.1") ¶¶ 1, 2.) HRA staff informed Plaintiff that the HRA could provide Plaintiff with only $215.00 in assistance. (Id. ¶ 2.) Not satisfied with that amount, Plaintiff refused to give up his seat or leave the premises after HRA staff asked him to do so. (Id. ¶¶ 3-5.) The HRA supervisor called security and Sergeant Darrisaw-Mete and Officer Green arrived to assist the staff. (Id. ¶ 6.) Refusing still to leave the premises, Plaintiff was placed under arrest for trespass, handcuffed, and escorted by the officers to an office on the ground floor of the HRA building. (Id. ¶¶ 8-9.)

At around 5:00 p.m., Plaintiff asked the officers to use the men's restroom. (Id. ¶ 11.) The officers, both female, told him that they would find a male officer to escort him to the restroom. (Id. ¶ 12.) Plaintiff purportedly has poor bladder control from his pre-existing diabetes and, approximately 30 minutes after asking to use the restroom, he urinated on himself. (Id. ¶ 13.) At approximately 6:00 p.m., Lieutenant Rosario, a male officer, arrived to escort Plaintiff to the restroom. (Id. ¶ 15.)

While in the restroom, Plaintiff asserts that Lieutenant Rosario probed Plaintiff's anus with his finger to search for drugs; specifically, he claims that he felt "something sharp" go in his anus and that he did not see any other object in the area that could have caused the pain. (Id. ¶¶ 15-16; Oma Dep. at 52.)

When Plaintiff returned from the restroom, Sergeant Darrisaw-Mete informed Lieutenant Rosario that Plaintiff was the subject of an outstanding arrest warrant for disorderly conduct. (Id. ¶¶ 18, 20.) Lieutenant Rosario then transported Plaintiff to New York County Criminal Court, where Plaintiff pleaded guilty to the disorderly conduct offense before the Hon. Erika Edwards. (Id. ¶¶ 19-20.)

As a result of the arrest, Plaintiff was handcuffed for a total of four to five hours; he claims that this caused him pain and made his wrists swell. (Id. ¶¶ 21-24.)

Plaintiff also asserts that certain property he had with him at the time of the arrest-ink pens, highlighters, and a passport-was confiscated and never returned to him. (Id. ¶ 25.) He concedes, however, that he made no effort to retrieve the property after his arrest. (Id. ¶ 26.)

In addition to his claims regarding the arrest, Plaintiff also faults the City for not providing him with a job or training the HRA officers, and claims that the City violated his Thirteenth Amendment rights because no matter how "educated... how high [his] level" was, because he was an African-American, the City would provide him only a government benefits card. (Id. ¶¶ 27-28; Omor Dep. at 94.) He asserts that this treatment suggested that the City considered him as "not an American." (Omor Dep. at 94.)

I. Procedural History

Plaintiff filed this action in forma pauperis on April 11, 2013. (Dkt. 1.) Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on April 29, 2014 (Dkt. 7), and a Second Amended Complaint ("SAC") on July 22, 2013 (Dkt. 15). This is the third of six actions that Omor filed in this district during the last ten years, and the second of three § 1983 actions he filed in 2013.[2]

At the close of discovery in this case, Defendants filed the instant motion, seeking summary judgment on Plaintiffs claims for false arrest, deliberate indifference to medical needs, excessive force, unlawful search, and deprivation of property, and, as against the City, for failure to train and other miscellaneous allegations. (Dkt. 46.)[3] In support of their motion, Defendants submitted excerpts of Plaintiffs deposition testimony as well as New York City Criminal Court records. (Nam Decl. Exs. B, C.) For reasons unknown (and somewhat perplexing) to the Court, however, Defendants did not submit affidavits or testimony from the individual Defendants.

Plaintiff submitted a sworn affidavit and memorandum of law, as well as copies of excerpts from his own deposition transcript. (Dkt. 52.) Although Plaintiff did not submit a responsive L. Civ. R. 56.1 statement with his opposition, courts afford pro se litigants "special solicitude, " particularly at the summary judgment stage. Jackson v. Fed. Exp., 766 F.3d 189, 195 (2d Cir. 2014) (quoting Ruotolo v. IRS, 28 F.3d 6, 8 (2d Cir. 1994)). Accordingly, a pro se plaintiff is entitled to receive notice that he or she must respond to a defendant's motion for summary judgment with evidence, or risk the dismissal of his claims. See L. Civ. R. 56.2; Ruotolo, 28 F.3d at 8. Here, Plaintiff received the required notice under L. Civ. R. 56.2 (Dkt. 47), but nonetheless failed to submit a responsive statement or otherwise contravene Defendants' statement in his opposition. Thus, the facts in Defendants' statement may be deemed admitted. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(2); Jackson, 766 F.3d at 194 (citing Jones v. Lamont, No. 05 Civ. 8126 (LAK), 2008 WL 2152130, at *l (S.D.N.Y. 2008), aff'd, 379 Fed.App'x 58 (2d Cir. 2010) (granting summary judgment in pro se § 1983 case)). In light of Plaintiffs prose status, however, the Court will liberally construe his submissions to raise any disputes or discrepancies they suggest as to Defendants' portrayal of the facts.

Plaintiff does not specify the legal bases for his claims in either the SAC or his Opposition to the Motion for Summary Judgment; nor does he contest Defendants' generous reading of the SAC. The Court will therefore construe the claims in the SAC consistent with Defendants' interpretation.

Plaintiffs' submissions, moreover, contain virtually no substantive analysis; his arguments are often nonsensical and the submissions are replete with inappropriate references to the parties and counsel of record in this case. Plaintiff's Affidavit, for instance, not only contains extraneous references to Elliot Spitzer, Dominique S. Kahn, China, and the Garden of Eden, among others, but also includes crude comments and baseless insults directed at Defendants' counsel. Similarly, Plaintiffs Memorandum of Law veers illogically between brief discussions of constitutional claims-including but not limited to the claims asserted here-and completely unrelated topics, such as ...


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