United States District Court, E.D. New York
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER
LASHANN DeARCY HALL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Elawame Wahid brings the instant action against Defendants
Officers Dennis Mogelnicki, Humberto Mantuano, and Adam
Abdulla, Detectives Denis Broderick, David Beutel, Joseph
Faivus, and Sergeant Edward Swenson (collectively,
“Defendants”). Plaintiff alleges that he was
falsely arrested, falsely imprisoned, and deprived of
property without due process of law in violation of 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Defendants move to dismiss the complaint
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
Plaintiff has not opposed the motion.
the relevant period, Plaintiff was a resident of Astoria,
Queens. (Compl. 11, ECF No. 10.) On May 4, 2012, three
individuals allegedly broke into Plaintiff's apartment
and assaulted and robbed him. (Id.) Plaintiff
alleges that two of the assailants escaped through the
apartment window, but the third fell onto a knife while
trying to escape. (Id.) Defendants Mogelnicki and
Mantuano arrived at the scene and saw the third
assailant's body on the floor. (Id. at 12.)
Mogelnicki and Mantuano placed Plaintiff under arrest.
(Id.) Plaintiff alleges that, upon his arrest, the
officers took $6, 370, as well as his phone, tablet, wallet,
and passport. (Id.) Plaintiff was later given a
receipt that did not account for the allegedly confiscated
possessions or his money. (Id.) On April 4, 2016,
Plaintiff was convicted at trial of murder in the second
degree. (Ceriello Decl. Ex. D, ECF No. 43-4.)
withstand a motion to dismiss, a complaint “must
contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is facially plausible when the
alleged facts allow the court to draw a “reasonable
inference” of a defendant's liability for the
alleged misconduct. Id. While this standard requires
more than a “sheer possibility” of
defendant's liability, id., “[i]t is not
the Court's function to weigh the evidence that might be
presented at a trial” on a motion to dismiss.
Morris v. Northrop Grumman Corp., 37 F.Supp.2d 556,
565 (E.D.N.Y. 1999). Instead, “the court must merely
determine whether the complaint itself is legally sufficient,
and, in doing so, it is well settled that the court must
accept the factual allegations of the complaint as
true.” Id. (internal citation omitted).
as here, the plaintiff is proceeding pro se, courts are
“obliged to construe the plaintiff's pleadings
liberally.” Giannone v. Bank of Am., N.A., 812
F.Supp.2d 216, 219-20 (E.D.N.Y. 2011) (quoting McKluskey
v. N.Y. State Unified Court Sys., No. 10-cv-2144, 2010
WL 2558624, at *2 (E.D.N.Y. June 17, 2010)). Because pro se
litigants are entitled to a liberal construction of their
pleadings, their complaints should be read to “raise
the strongest arguments that they suggest.” Sykes
v. Bank of Am., 723 F.3d 399, 403 (2d Cir. 2013)
(quoting Triestman v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 470
F.3d 471, 474 (2d Cir. 2006)). A pro se complaint,
“however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.” Sealed Plaintiff v. Sealed
Defendant, 537 F.3d 185, 191 (2d Cir. 2008) (quoting
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007)). This
rule is “particularly so when the pro se plaintiff
alleges that [his] civil rights have been violated.”
Id. (citing McEachin v. McGuinnis, 357 F.3d
197, 200 (2d Cir. 2004)). Accordingly, “the dismissal
of a pro se claim as insufficiently pleaded is appropriate
only in the most unsustainable of cases.” Rios v.
Third Precinct Bay Shore, No. 08-cv-4641, 2009 WL
2601303, at *2 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 20, 2009).
Plaintiff's § 1983 False Arrest and False
move to dismiss Plaintiff's false arrest and false
imprisonment claims on the basis that Plaintiff's April
6, 2016 conviction bars those claims. (Defs.' Mem. 4, ECF
No. 44.) A person who has been convicted of the crime for
which he was arrested cannot state a claim for false arrest.
Johnson v. Pugh, No. 11-cv-385, 2013 WL 3013661, at
*2 (E.D.N.Y. June 18, 2013) (citing Cameron v.
Fogarty, 806 F.2d 380, 388-89 (2d Cir. 1986)); see
also McFadden v. New York, No. 10-cv-141, 2011 WL
6813194, at *4 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 28, 2011) (collecting cases)
(“Courts in the Second Circuit routinely dismiss [false
arrest] claims where the plaintiff's conviction has not
been overturned or otherwise invalidated.”). Because
Plaintiff was ultimately convicted for murder in the second
degree based on the events underlying this case, the officers
had probable cause to arrest him. Therefore, Plaintiff fails
to state a claim for false arrest, and the Court dismisses
this claim. So, too, must the Court dismiss Plaintiff's
false imprisonment claim. See Cameron, 806 F.2d at
387 (rule barring convicted plaintiff from pursuing false
arrest claims is “equally applicable” to false
Plaintiff's Deprivation of Property Claim
also move to dismiss Plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment
deprivation of property claim because Plaintiff has failed to
show that any interference with his property was authorized
or that state remedies were inadequate. (Defs.' Mem. 5.)
Deprivation of property by a state actor, whether done
intentionally or negligently, will not support a due process
claim redressable under § 1983 if “adequate state
post-deprivation remedies are available.” Davis v.
New York, 311 F. App'x 397, 400 (2d Cir. 2009)
(quoting Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 533 (1984))
(dismissing deprivation of property claim under § 1983
where defendants failed to deliver package to inmate because
other state remedies were available).
addressing this issue have dismissed federal claims for
deprivation of property without due process of law, reasoning
that New York has adequate state post-deprivation remedies.
That is, a plaintiff may bring a state law claim for
negligence, replevin or conversion with the Court of Claims.
Love v. Coughlin, 714 F.2d 207, 208-09 (2d Cir.
1983) (affirming dismissal of inmate's claim that
property was taken by correctional officers because “no
civil rights action lies if the state provides an adequate
compensatory remedy” and noting that New York's
Court of Claims provided adequate post-deprivation remedies);
David v. N.Y.P.D. 42nd Precinct Warrant Squad, No.
02-cv-2581, 2004 WL 1878777, at *5 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 23, 2004)
(dismissing plaintiff's claim for deprivation of property
without due process because New York provides an adequate
post-deprivation remedy in the form of state law causes of
action for negligence, replevin, or conversion). Further,
Plaintiff has not pleaded any facts that would indicate that
the deprivation was authorized or the result of an
established state procedure. David, 2004 WL 1878777,
at *5 (dismissing claim in part because plaintiff failed to
show that the deprivation of his property ...