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Vasquez v. Rockland County

United States District Court, S.D. New York

January 31, 2017

KIM VASQUEZ, Plaintiff,

          Kim Vasquez Fishkill, NY Pro Se Plaintiff.

          Ari Isaac Bauer, Esq. Catania, Mahon, Milligram & Rider, PLLC Newburgh, NY Counsel for Defendant

          OPINION & ORDER

          KENNETH M. KARAS, District Judge.

         Pro se Plaintiff Kim Vasquez (“Plaintiff”), currently an inmate at Downstate Correctional Facility, brings this Action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendant Rockland County (“Defendant”). Plaintiff alleges that Defendant violated Plaintiff's rights under the First, Fifth, Eighth, Twelfth, and Fourteenth Amendments during the 10 days Plaintiff was incarcerated at Rockland County Jail. (See Am. Compl. 5 (Dkt. No. 6).) Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that he was sexually assaulted, denied a change of clothing, denied access to law library material, given inadequate medical treatment due to the falsification of medical records, and retaliated against when he attempted to file a grievance. (Id. at 3.) Before the Court is Defendant's Motion To Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint. (See Mot. To Dismiss (Dkt. No. 27).) For the following reasons, Defendant's Motion is granted.

         I. Background

         A. Factual Background

         Plaintiff was first transferred to Rockland County Jail on June 23, 2015 and placed on precautionary watch, (see Am. Compl. 2), despite notifying the facility that he was not suicidal, (id.).[1] After being released from precautionary watch, Plaintiff was transferred to the A-Wing of the facility where he was subjected to a search by a correctional officer (“C.O.”). (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that during the course of the search, he was ordered to remove his clothing and was “sexually groped by this C.O. in [Plaintiff's] private area.” (Id. at 3.) Plaintiff requested to speak to a sergeant about being sexually assaulted. (Id.) While reporting the incident, the sergeant told Plaintiff to “stand up, be quiet, and turn around, ” (id.), and Plaintiff was then handcuffed and placed on suicide watch, (id.). Plaintiff alleges that some unidentified prison official “falsif[ied] [his] medical documents, ” (id. at 5), claiming that Plaintiff was “suicidal and that [he] [made] a prior attempt to injure [himself], ” (id. at 3). Plaintiff asserts that the New York State Office of Mental Health “misdiagnosed” him because the “falsifying o[f] [his] psychological records . . . misle[]d” the medical staff. (Id.)

         Plaintiff further asserts that during “the entire 10 days” he was at Rockland County Jail, he was “denied a second change of clothes, ” (id.), and that “everyday [he] was in [the] facility [he] requested access to law library material and was not provided with any, ” (id.). Plaintiff also alleges that during his time at Rockland County Jail, he “was denied [his] right to observe the month of Ramadan” and could not “pray[] and break[] . . . the fast for [his] Muslim religion.” (Id.) Plaintiff further avers that “[he] was . . . [not] permitted to submit grievances, ” (id.), and that he was retaliated against for “attempting to inform” prison officials about the alleged abuses, (id.). Plaintiff requests relief “i[n] the form of monetary compensation in the dollar amount of one quabillion dollars U.S. currency.” (Id. at 5.)

         B. Procedural History

         Plaintiff filed his original Complaint against the Rockland County Sherriff's Department on November 12, 2015. (Dkt. No. 2.) On December 14, 2015, Plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis was granted. (Dkt. No. 4.) On January 20, 2016, then-Chief Judge Loretta A. Preska issued an Order To Amend, dismissing five out of six of Plaintiff's asserted claims as duplicative of those asserted in other pending actions. (See Order To Amend 2-6 (Dkt. No. 5).)[2]As to Plaintiff's remaining claim, Judge Preska liberally construed Plaintiff's Complaint “as raising First Amendment retaliation, access-to-courts, and free exercise claims.” (Id. at 9.) The Order To Amend stated that Plaintiff had “not provided sufficient facts to state a claim on any of these bases, ” (id.), but granted Plaintiff “an opportunity to amend [his] complaint to address the deficiencies” identified, (id. at 12). The Order To Amend instructed Plaintiff to:

a) give the names and titles of all relevant persons;
b) describe all relevant events, stating the facts that support Plaintiff's case[, ] including what each defendant did or failed to do;
c) give the dates and times of each relevant event or, if not known, the approximate date and time of each relevant event;
d) give the location where each relevant event occurred;
e) describe how each defendant's acts or omissions violated Plaintiff's rights and describe the injuries Plaintiff suffered; and
f) state what relief Plaintiff seeks from the Court, such as money damages, injunctive relief, or declaratory relief.

(Id. at 13-14.) The Order to Amend further provided that “[e]ach individual defendant must be named in the caption” and that “[a]ny defendants named in the caption must also be discussed in Plaintiff's statement of claim.” (Id. at 13 n.7.) The Order also stated that “[i]f Plaintiff does not know the name of a defendant, he may refer to that individual as ‘John Doe' or ‘Jane Doe' in both the caption and the body of the amended complaint.” (Id. at 13.)

         Plaintiff filed his Amended Complaint on February 4, 2016. (Dkt. No. 6.) Defendant filed the instant Motion To Dismiss and accompanying memorandum of law on July 21, 2016. (Mem. of Law in Supp. of Mot. To Dismiss on Behalf of Def. Rockland Cty. ...

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