United States District Court, S.D. New York
GLENN P. BUTLER, Plaintiff,
POLICE OFFICER JOAQUIM BRITO and COUNTY OF WESTCHESTER, Defendants.
Antoinette L. Williams Antoinette L. Williams, P.C. Pelham,
New York Counsel for Plaintiff.
T. Carey Robert F. Meehan, Westchester County Attorney White
Plains, New York Counsel for Defendants.
OPINION & ORDER
Glenn P. Butler asserts claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
arising out of his arrest by Defendant Police Officer Joaquim
Brito. Before the Court is the Motion to Dismiss of
Defendants Brito and the County of Westchester (the
“County”). (Doc. 28.) For the reasons stated
below, Defendants' Motion is GRANTED.
accept as true the facts, but not the conclusions, set forth
in Plaintiff's Amended Complaint (“AC”).
December 13, 2014, Plaintiff had pulled his car over on a
grassy area near the Hutchinson River Parkway and the Cross
County Parkway in Mount Vernon, New York. (AC ¶
He had not been in an accident. (Id. ¶ 17.)
While Plaintiff and his passenger were outside of the car,
Defendant Brito approached them. (See Id. ¶
10.) Defendant ordered Plaintiff and the passenger back into
Plaintiff's car, and ordered Plaintiff to drive following
Defendant in his car. (Id. ¶ 11.) Plaintiff
followed Defendant to another area where there was a DWI
check point, of which Plaintiff was not aware because it was
not visible from the shoulder where he had pulled over.
(Id. ¶ 12.) Defendant accused Plaintiff of
trying to avoid the checkpoint, which Plaintiff disputed, and
Defendant then accused Plaintiff of “busting his
balls.” (Id. ¶ 13.)
arrested Plaintiff and charged him with a violation of New
York Vehicle & Traffic Law (“VTL”)
1194(1)(b),  which Plaintiff contends is not a
“legally cognizant [sic] offense”
standing alone. (Id. ¶ 14.) At the scene,
Plaintiff was handcuffed and subjected to a pat down.
(Id. ¶ 33.) Plaintiff was never charged with a
crime related to driving while intoxicated. (See Id.
being taken into custody, Plaintiff submitted to a
breathalyzer test. (Id. ¶ 17.) Plaintiff
alleges that Defendant claimed at some unspecified time that
Plaintiff refused a breathalyzer test, even though Defendant
stated in a supporting deposition that Plaintiff did submit
to such test. (Id. ¶ 15.) Plaintiff alleges
that, while in custody, he was subjected to a search that was
“much more intrusive” than the pat down on the
side of the road. (Id. ¶ 33.) Defendant
allegedly told Plaintiff that the ticket would be dismissed,
and that he arrested Plaintiff because Plaintiff was
“busting his balls” and giving Defendant a hard
time about submitting to a breathalyzer test. (Id.
2, 2015, a Mount Vernon City Judge dismissed Plaintiff's
traffic ticket, concluding that “the refusal to submit
to a breath test pursuant to [VTL] § 1194(1)(b) is not a
cognizable offense.” (Id. ¶ 20.)
date of the traffic stop, Plaintiff was working for Con
Edison. (Id. ¶ 24.) His job required as a
condition of employment that he report any arrests or traffic
infractions, and after doing so he was suspended and
ultimately terminated. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that
Defendant knew about Plaintiff's suspension and
termination. (Id. ¶ 25.)
commenced this action by filing a complaint on December 11,
2015. (Doc. 1.) On April 28, 2016, Defendants submitted a
pre-motion letter arguing that Plaintiff's complaint
should be dismissed: (1) for failure to timely serve
Defendants; (2) for failure to file a notice of claim; (3)
because probable cause existed to arrest Plaintiff, rendering
his arrest and search valid; and (4) because he failed to
state a claim for municipal liability against the County.
(Doc. 3.) Plaintiff responded on May 16, 2016, arguing that
his failure to serve the complaint should be excused, and
disputing that probable cause existed based on the
complaint's allegations. (Doc. 7.)
19, 2016, the parties appeared for a conference to discuss
Defendants' arguments. I explained to Plaintiff that
boilerplate allegations regarding the County would not
survive a motion to dismiss. Plaintiff clarified that he was
not alleging any state-law claims and was separately
challenging his arrest and the search pursuant to his arrest.
11, 2016, Plaintiff filed the AC, which asserted claims under
42 U.S.C. § 1983 for unlawful search and false arrest,
and a claim under Monell v. Department of Social Services
of the City of New York, 436 U.S. 658 (1978), asserting
municipal liability against the County. (AC ¶¶