United States District Court, E.D. New York
ROBERT JONES; REGINALD WASHINGTON; and those similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
BILL DeBLASIO, “Mayor” County Executive, City of New York, Municipal Corporation; JASON TURNER, Commissioner for the City of New York, Human Resources Administration "HRA"; JO-ANN B. BARHART, Commissioner for the City of New York, Social Security Income Administration "SSI"; ALPHONSO JACKSON, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development "HUD"; VICKI BREEN, Commissioner of Housing Preservation and Development "HDP"; GARY D. RODNEY, President Housing Development Co. "HDC"; MARITZA SILVA FARRELL, AFFORDABLE RENT CO.; JOHN/JANE DOE, Commissioner City of New York, Department of Social Services "DSS"; RICK DAVIS, Rockaway House LLC; and ANTHORNEY DOE, Rockaway House LLC, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. MATSUMOTO United States District Judge.
Jones (“Jones”), and Reginald Washington
(“Washington”) bring this pro se action as a
purported “class action, ” pursuant to a
multitude of statutes. For the reasons discussed below, the
complaint is dismissed and plaintiffs are granted thirty (30)
days from the entry of this Order to file a third amended
complaint as set forth below.
Jones commenced this action in the Southern District of New
York on August 7, 2015. (ECF No. 1, Complaint.) The matter
was transferred to the Eastern District of New York on August
11, 2015. (ECF No. 2, Transfer Order.) Jones filed an Amended
Complaint on March 4, 2016, in which Reginald Washington was
added as a plaintiff and Rockaway House LLC, Three-Quarter
House was removed as a defendant. (ECF No. 9, Amended
Complaint.) Because Washington had failed to sign the Amended
Complaint filed on March 4, 2016, plaintiffs refiled the
Amended Complaint on March 30, 2016 with the necessary
signatures. The court granted Jones's motion to proceed
in forma pauperis on March 21, 2016, and
Washington's motion to proceed in forma pauperis
on March 31, 2016.
January 15, 2015, plaintiff Jones was paroled from state
custody and obtained housing in Brooklyn, New York at the
Rockaway House LLC, which manages residences known as
three-quarter houses. (ECF No. 12, Am. Compl. ¶ 15.) The
temporary shelter was located at 367 Howard Ave., Brooklyn,
N.Y. 11233. (Id. ¶ 16.) On January 17, 2015,
Jones sought “more suitable” housing with
Rockaway House LLC, at 949 Hendrix Street, Brooklyn, N.Y.,
11207. Jones was required to participate in a daily
outpatient substance abuse and mental health treatment
program. (Id. ¶¶ 22-23.) During his time
at Rockaway House LLC, he suffered injuries on his hands,
feet, neck, back, and face due to continued exposure to bed
bugs, toxic black mold, sewage flooding in the basement, and
exposed high-voltage electrical wires. (Id.
¶¶ 44-45.) The Human Resources Administration
Department of Social Services paid for his housing.
(Id. ¶ 30.)
March 12, 2015, Jones was arrested by the New York Police
Department for an alleged burglary. (Id.
¶¶ 31-34.) Because Jones was unable to post bail
while in custody, he was evicted from Rockaway House on May
21, 2015, for failure to pay rent and attend his abuse
treatment session. (Id. ¶¶ 35-36.) During
his eviction, he lost an Apple laptop computer, a shearling
jacket, three cell phones, a JVC camcorder, a Nikon camera,
other clothing, boots, shirts, pants, and legal papers
because they were not stored properly when he was evicted.
(Id. ¶ 39.)
and Washington also allege that they were denied the ability
to lease low income public access housing that they were
entitled to, because of discrimination based on their race,
color, and economic status. (Id. ¶¶
49-52.) Plaintiffs assert that Bill DeBlasio, Jason Turner,
Jo-Ann B. Barhart, Alphonso Jackson, Vicki Been, the John Doe
Commissioner of the Department of Social Services, Maritza
Silva Farrell, Gary Rodney, Rick Davis and Anthorney Doe
refused to provide housing to plaintiffs on the grounds of
their race. (Id. ¶¶ 6-9, 116-173.)
Plaintiffs assert that defendants acquiesced in a policy and
custom of refusing to lease properties to individuals based
on their race and color. Id.
also separately alleges a § 1983 claim against Rick
Davis and Anthorney Doe based on the conditions of, and his
eviction from, Rockaway House LLC. Additionally, Jones
asserts violations of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C.
§§ 3601, et seq., Homeless Assistance Act
of 1987, 42 U.S.C. §§ 11301, et seq., the
Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§
12101, et seq., and the Rehabilitation Act, 29
U.S.C. §§ 701. He also alleges state law claims,
including wrongful eviction. Plaintiffs seeks punitive and
compensatory damages, and immediate housing.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), a district court shall
sua sponte dismiss an in forma pauperis
action at any time if the court determines that the action
“(i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a
claim on which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary
relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief.” Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, a district court
“shall review, before docketing, if feasible or, in any
event, as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in
a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a
governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental
entity” and dismiss any portion of the complaint that
“is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be grated.” 28 U.S.C. §
reviewing the complaint, the court must construe the
pleadings of pro se plaintiffs liberally. See
Sealed Plaintiff v. Sealed Defendant # 1, 537 F.3d 185,
191 (2d Cir. 2008). The court is particularly mindful of this
when the pleadings allege civil rights violations.
McEachin v. McGuinnis, 357 F.3d 197, 200 (2d Cir.
2004). Pro se complainants “need only give the
defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.” Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 570 (2007)). However,
pro se plaintiffs must still allege sufficient facts
to “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. “A
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff ...