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Bukowski v. Spinner

United States District Court, E.D. New York

April 28, 2017


          For Plaintiff: Joyelle Bukowski, pro se

          For Defendants: Hon. Jeffrey Arlen Spinner Ralph Pernick, Deputy Attorney General New York State Attorney General Mary Beth Daniels Matthew K. Flanagan, Esq., Catalano, Gallardo & Petropoulos, LLC, Dennis M. Brown, Lori Towns, Joanne Merrihue, and Kathleen Turner Brian C. Mitchell, Deputy County Attorney Suffolk County Department of Law, Philip J. Castrovinci & Mady Philip J. Castrovinci, Esq. Castrovinci & Mady, Attorneys at Law One Edgewood Avenue,

          Adam Saylor No appearance.


          JOANNA SEYBERT, U.S.D.J.

         On February 13, 2017, pro se plaintiff Joyelle Bukowski (“Plaintiff”) filed a Complaint in this Court pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (“Section 1983”) against the Hon. Jeffrey Arlen Spinner, New York State Family Court, Suffolk County (“Judge Spinner”); Mary Beth Daniels, Law Guardian (“Daniels”); Dennis M. Brown, Suffolk County Attorney (“Brown”); Lori Towns (“Towns”), Joanne Merrihue (“Merrihue”), Kathleen Turner (“Turner”), Stephanie Stevenson (“Stevenson”), Philip J. Castrovinci & Mady[1] (“Castrovinci”), and Adam Saylor (“Saylor” and collectively, “Defendants”), accompanied by an application to proceed in forma pauperis.

         On March 20, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion to withdraw her pending application to proceed in forma pauperis and paid the $400 filing fee. (See Docket Entries 6-7.) Given the payment of the filing fee, Plaintiff's motion to withdraw her request to proceed in forma pauperis is GRANTED. However, for the reasons that follow, the Complaint is sua sponte DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3).


         Plaintiff's Complaint is submitted on a Section 1983 complaint form and seeks to challenge rulings made in an underlying state court child custody case, including an unfavorable opinion granting sole custody of her son to Saylor, the father of her child. More specifically, Plaintiff complains that her child was removed from her home on June 20, 2016 pursuant to a warrant issued by Judge Spinner in violation of her Fourth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. (Compl. ¶ II.B and at 5, 11.) Temporary custody was awarded to the child's father, Saylor, and a restraining order was entered against Plaintiff that permitted her to have supervised visitation with her son for one hour per week “at a CPS detention center.” (Compl. at 5, 8.) Plaintiff also claims that, as of November 23, 2016, Judge Spinner removed all visitation and Plaintiff has not seen her son since that time. (Compl. at 5.)

         Plaintiff alleges that Saylor “has been abusive and negligent” and that the child's law guardian, Daniels, was “not trouble[d]” by these actions. (Compl. at 5.) Plaintiff claims that caseworkers Towns and Merrihue “lambasted” Plaintiff in their report to Judge Spinner and she lost custody of her son. (Compl. at 5, 8.) According to the Complaint, Plaintiff called 911 to report that she believed her son had been sexually abused while in Saylor's care and, as a result, she has been characterized by Castrovinci, Sayor's attorney in the underlying Family Court matter, and the CPS attorneys as “unstable.” (Compl. at 6.) Plaintiff complains that she has been subjected to “unfounded” charges of neglect by CPS and the individuals involved in the underlying family court matter--Castrovinci and “the chorus of CPS caseworkers . . . orchestrated by a compliant Judge alligned [sic] against [Plaintiff].” (Compl. at 8.) Plaintiff describes that what has happened to her and her son “is heinous, unconscionable, fascist and psychopathic. No institution of this government has the right to act as terrorists.” (Compl. at 9.)

         As a result of the foregoing, Plaintiff claims that “monetary injuries have been substantial--loans, inability to seize on job opportunities” and seeks, inter alia, an order restoring custody of her son and prohibiting Saylor from visitation for two years “as the family relationship is fully restored and visitation thereafter at the discretion solely of the mother.” (Compl. at 8-9.) Plaintiff also seeks to recover an award of actual and punitive damages. (Compl. at 9.)

         Defendants Judge Spinner, Daniels, Brown, Towns, Merrihue, Turner, Stevenson, and Castrovinci have filed letters requesting a pre-motion conference for the purpose of moving to dismiss the Complaint. (See Docket Entry Nos. 10-11, 15-16.) Plaintiff has filed opposition. (See Docket Entry Nos. 13-14.) Given the dismissal of the Complaint for the reasons set forth below, the Defendants' requests for a pre-motion conference are DENIED AS THEY ARE NOW MOOT.


         I. Standard of Review

         The Court is required to read a pro se plaintiff's Complaint liberally and construe it to raise the strongest arguments it suggests. See, e.g., McEachin v. McGuinnis, 357 F.3d 197, 200 (2d Cir. 2004). Irrespective of whether they are drafted pro se, all complaints must plead sufficient facts to “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1974, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (citations omitted). The plausibility standard requires “more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. at 678; accord Wilson v. Merrill Lynch & Co., 671 F.3d 120, 128 (2d Cir. 2011). While “‘detailed factual ...

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