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Perros v. County of Nassau

United States District Court, E.D. New York

February 24, 2017

ALEXANDER PERROS, THOMAS DELLE, NICHOLAS LENOCI, VICTOR PATALANO, RONALD LANIER and IBRAHIM ZAHRAN Collectively on Behalf of All Persons Similarly Situated and/or Sheriffs Department Former Personnel Unfairly Denied Proper "Recommendation for Consideration of Application for Pistol License for Retiring Peace [Police Officer" Forms and/or "Good Guy Letters" Following Retirement, Due to Injury and/or Disability, Plaintiffs,
v.
COUNTY OF NASSAU, NASSAU COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT, NASSAU COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT, and MICHAEL SPOSATO, in his Individual and Official Capacities, Defendants.

          LAW OFFICES FREDERICK K. BREWINGTON, FREDERICK K. BREWINGTON, ESQ. Attorneys for Plaintiffs

          CARNELL T. FOSKY, NASSAU COUNTY ATTORNEY RALPH J. REISSMAN, DEPUTY COUNTY ATTORNEY Attorneys for Defendants

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          LEONARD D. WEXLER, United States District Judge

         Before the Court is the Defendants' motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Plaintiffs oppose the motion. For the following reasons, Defendants' motion is granted in part and denied in part.

         BACKGROUND

         The relevant facts can be summarized as follows: Plaintiffs, Alexander Perros ("Perros"), Thomas Delle ("Delle"), Nicholas Lenoci ("Lenoci"), Victor Patalano ("Patalano"), Ronald Lanier ("Lanier") and Ibrahim Zahran ("Zahran") (collectively, "Plaintiffs"), are all former Corrections Officers or Deputy Sheriffs who were employed by the Nassau County Sheriffs Department (the "Sheriffs Department") for a number of years before retiring on disability due to injuries suffered in the course of their duties as Sheriffs Department employees. Following their retirement, Plaintiffs each applied to the Sheriffs Department for a "good guy letter, " which would allow them to possess and carry pistols as retirees. Plaintiffs' applications for good guy letters were all denied by Defendant Sheriff Michael Sposato ("Sposato"), on the grounds that Plaintiffs were injured and/or disabled for medical reasons at the time of their retirement.

         Plaintiffs commenced this putative class action on September 28, 2015, and amended their Complaint, as of right, on November 9, 2015. The First Amended Complaint alleges that Defendants violated Plaintiffs' 2nd Amendment, due process and equal protection rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiffs further allege that Defendants discriminated against them on the basis of disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12132, and the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794. Finally, Plaintiffs assert a claim for municipal liability, as well as state law claims for gross negligence and tortious interference with prospective contractual advantage.

         Defendants move to dismiss Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint in its entirety, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons discussed below, the Court finds that Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint fails to state a claim for violation of their due process and Second Amendment rights. In addition, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have failed to state a claim for disability discrimination, and tortious interference with prospective contractual advantage and gross negligence. The Court finds, however, that Plaintiffs have met their burden with respect to their equal protection and municipal liability claims.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Legal Standard

         "To survive a motion to dismiss [pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6)], a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iabal. 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twomblv. 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). "Facial plausibility" is achieved when the "the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal. 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twomblv. 550 U.S. at 556). As a general rule, the court is required to accept as true all of the allegations contained in the complaint, see Iqbal. 556 U.S. at 678; Kassner v. 2nd Ave. Delicatessen. Inc.. 496 F.3d 229, 237 (2d Cir. 2007), and to "draw[] all reasonable inferences in the plaintiffs favor." Troni. 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79670, at *5 (quoting In re NYSE Specialists Sec. Litig.. 503 F.3d 89, 95 (2d Cir. 2007)).

         However, "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements ... are not entitled to the assumption of truth." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79 (citation omitted); see also Twombly. 555 U.S. at 555 (stating that the Court is "not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation"). "While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations, " which state a claim for relief. Iqbal. 556 U.S. at 679. A complaint that "tenders 'naked assertion[s]' devoid of'further factual enhancement'" will not suffice. Iqbal. 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twomblv. 555 U.S. at 557).

         II. The NCPD and NCSD are not Suable Entities

         As Defendants correctly point out in their motion, and Plaintiffs concede in their opposition, Defendants Nassau County Police Department and Nassau County Sheriffs Department are not suable entities. It is well-established that "[u]nder New York law, departments that are merely administrative arms of a municipality do not have a legal identity separate and apart from the municipality and, therefore, cannot sue or be sued." Davis v. Lvnbrook Police Dep't. 224 F.Supp.2d 463, 477 (E.D.N.Y. 2002) (citing cases). Accordingly, the Nassau County Police Department and the Nassau County Sheriffs Department are hereby dismissed from this action.

         III. The Due Process and ...


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