United States District Court, S.D. New York
OPINION AND ORDER
Vincent L. Briccetti United States District Judge.
Derrick Lorick, Jr., brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 against defendants The City of Beacon (the
“City”) and police detective Richard Sassi, Jr.,
asserting claims for malicious prosecution.
the Court are defendants' motions to dismiss the amended
complaint under Rule 12(b)(6). (Docs. ##31, 34).
following reasons, the City's motion is GRANTED, and
Sassi's motion is DENIED.
Court has subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §
deciding the pending motion, the Court accepts as true all
well-pleaded factual allegations in the amended complaint and
draws all reasonable inferences in plaintiff's favor.
alleges on September 24, 2011, Sassi and “other”
City of Beacon police officers arrested him. (Am. Compl.
¶ 12). Plaintiff alleges Sassi said he had a warrant for
plaintiff's arrest, but that was untrue. Shortly
thereafter, plaintiff was arraigned on felony charges of
Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree,
and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the
Third Degree. (Id. ¶ 14).
time, plaintiff was on parole related to a previous offense.
He alleges Sassi knew this and knew arresting plaintiff would
“caus[e] [him] to be deprived of his liberty for a long
period.” (Am. Compl. ¶ 76).
case was presented to a grand jury, which indicted plaintiff.
Plaintiff alleges his prosecution before the grand jury was
“solely based upon . . . Sassi's testimony.”
(Am. Compl. ¶ 42). Plaintiff further alleges Sassi
testified before the grand jury that he observed plaintiff
sell drugs to a confidential informant. Plaintiff alleges
this was untrue and that he did not possess or sell drugs to
anyone. Plaintiff alleges Sassi was having an affair with the
confidential informant to whom plaintiff allegedly sold
23, 2013, the Dutchess County District Attorney's office
moved to dismiss the indictment because it determined Sassi
was not a credible witness. In particular, Sassi was
suspended with pay in October 2012 (and later convicted of a
misdemeanor offense) for falsely reporting an incident in an
25, 2013, the judge presiding over plaintiff's criminal
case granted the motion to dismiss “in the interest of
justice.” (Raimondi Dec'l at Ex. G).
deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the Court evaluates the
sufficiency of the operative complaint under the
“two-pronged approach” articulated by the Supreme
Court in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679
(2009). First, plaintiff's legal conclusions and
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, ” are
not entitled to the assumption of truth and are thus not
sufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss. Id. at
678. Second, “[w]hen there are well-pleaded factual
allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then
determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement
to relief.” Id. at 679.
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the allegations in the
complaint must meet a standard of “plausibility.”
Id. at 678. A claim is facially plausible
“when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows
the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant
is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id.
“The plausibility standard is not akin to a
‘probability requirement, ' but it asks for more
than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
argue plaintiff has failed to state a claim for malicious
prevail on a claim for malicious prosecution under Section
1983, “a plaintiff must show a Fourth Amendment
violation and establish the elements of a malicious
prosecution claim under state law.” Roberts v.
Babkiewicz, 582 F.3d 418, 420 (2d Cir. 2009) (quoting
Fulton v. Robinson, 289 F.3d 188, 195 (2d Cir.
2002)). To state a viable claim for malicious prosecution
under New York law, plaintiff must show (1) initiation and
continuation of criminal process against plaintiff; (2)
termination of the proceeding in plaintiff's favor; (3)
lack of probable cause; and (4) actual malice as a motivation
for defendants' actions. Jocks v. Tavernier, 316
F.3d 128, 136 (2d Cir. 2003).
the second, third, and fourth elements are in dispute here.
The Court will consider each in turn.
Termination of Proceeding in ...