United States District Court, N.D. New York
HENRY E. PITTMAN, also known as Abdus Sabury Fateen Akbary Pittman, Plaintiff,
JEFFREY J. LOW, Assistant District Attorney; JOSEPH STANZIONE, District Attorney; JOHN LYLES, Sergeant at Catskill Police Dept.; ANGELO F. SCATUCCO, Public Defender; ZACHARY P. HALPERIN, Assistant Public Defender; DAVID R. DARLING, Chief, Catskill Police Dept.; DANIEL WAER, Sergeant; RONALD FRASCELLO; MICHAEL J. SPITZ, Superintendent; DAVON ANDREWS, Staff Member and Correctional Officer; NORAH AHEARN, Staff Member and Correctional Officer, Defendants.
E. PITTMAN Plaintiff, pro se
MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER
D'Agostino, U.S. District Judge:
December 9, 2016, pro se Plaintiff Henry E. Pittman
("Plaintiff") filed a complaint pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983") against eleven
named Defendants. See Dkt. No. 1 at 2-4. On January
13, 2017, Plaintiff filed a letter motion seeking an
injunction against Greene County Jail and Columbia County
Jail. See Dkt. No. 6. On February 8, 2017,
Magistrate Judge Daniel J. Stewart issued a
Report-Recommendation and Order recommending that
Plaintiff's claims against certain Defendants be
dismissed with prejudice, and that Plaintiff's remaining
claims be dismissed with leave to replead. See Dkt.
No. 10 at 10. Judge Stewart also recommended that
Plaintiff's motion for injunctive relief be denied.
See Id. On March 13, 2017, Plaintiff filed another
motion seeking injunctive relief, this time against Columbia
County Jail alone. See Dkt. No. 14.
before the Court are Plaintiff's two motions seeking
injunctive relief, see Dkt. Nos. 6, 14, and Judge
Stewart's Report-Recommendation and Order, see
Dkt. No. 10.
is currently incarcerated at Columbia County Jail, though he
was incarcerated at Greene County Jail when he filed his
complaint. See Dkt. No. 5. Plaintiff claims that on
March 23, 2016, he was at his friend's house when
officers arrived and questioned his friends. See
Dkt. No. 1 at 6. Defendant Officer Daniel Waer then
questioned Plaintiff and discovered that Plaintiff possessed
a small bag of marijuana, three small bags allegedly
containing cocaine, and various prescription pills. See
id. On March 29, 2016, Plaintiff attended a preliminary
hearing where Defendant Sergeant John Lyles testified that
Plaintiff possessed cocaine. See id. On September
15, 2016, Plaintiff attended a grand jury proceeding
accompanied by Defendant Zachery Halperin, a public defender.
See id. at 6-7. Plaintiff was indicted in County
Court shortly thereafter. See Id. at 7. On November
10, 2016, Plaintiff received a substance report from
Defendant Halperin, which indicated that no controlled
substances were found in the plastic bag containing powder
that Plaintiff previously had in his possession. See
id.; Dkt. No. 1-3 at 13. Plaintiff claims that
Defendants Joseph Stanzione, the District Attorney, and
Ronald Frascello, a Catskill Police Department Lieutenant,
were aware of the results of the substance report, yet the
indictment still charged Plaintiff with possessing cocaine.
See Dkt. No. 1 at 7.
also alleges that officials at Greene County Jail interfered
with Plaintiff's ability to file his complaint. See
Id. at 7-8. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant
Superintendent Michael Spitz limited Plaintiff's ability
to copy materials and use a notary and that Defendant
Correctional Officer Norah Ahrean refused to accept
Plaintiff's grievances regarding the interference with
the filing of his complaint. See Id. Similarly,
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant staff member Dawn Andrews
refused to sign a document related to Plaintiff's inmate
account. See Id. at 8.
Standard of Review
reviewing a complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), courts
are guided by the applicable requirements of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure provides that a pleading must contain "a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2).
While Rule 8(a) "does not require 'detailed factual
allegations, ' . . . it demands more than an
unadorned" recitation of the alleged misconduct.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)) (other citation omitted).
survive dismissal for failure to state a claim, a party need
only present a claim that is "plausible on its
face." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. "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." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citation
omitted). In determining whether a complaint states a claim
upon which relief may be granted, "the court must accept
the material facts alleged in the complaint as true and
construe all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's
favor." Hernandez v. Coughlin, 18 F.3d 133, 136
(2d Cir. 1994) (citation omitted). However, "the tenet
that a court must accept as true all of the allegations
contained in a complaint is inapplicable to legal
conclusions." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Moreover,
"[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice." Id. (citation omitted).
reviewing a report and recommendation, a district court
"may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the
findings or recommendations made by the magistrate
judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). When a party
makes specific objections to a magistrate judge's report,
the district court engages in de novo review of the
issues raised in the objections. See id.; Farid
v. Bouey, 554 F.Supp.2d 301, 307 (N.D.N.Y. 2008). When a
party fails to make specific objections, the court reviews
the magistrate judge's report for clear error. See
Farid, 554 F.Supp.2d at 307; see also Gamble v.
Barnhart, No. 02-CV-1126, 2004 WL 2725126, *1 (S.D.N.Y.
Nov. 29, 2004). Plaintiff has not filed objections in this
litigant's failure to file objections to a magistrate
judge's report and recommendation, even when that
litigant is proceeding pro se, waives any challenge
to the report on appeal. See Cephas v. Nash, 328
F.3d 98, 107 (2d Cir. 2003) (holding that, "[a]s a rule,
a party's failure to object to any purported error or
omission in a magistrate judge's report waives further
judicial review of the point" (citation omitted)). A
pro se litigant must be given notice of this rule;
notice is sufficient if it informs the litigant that the
failure to timely object will result in the waiver of further
judicial review and cites pertinent statutory and civil rules
authority. See Frank v. Johnson, 968 F.2d 298, 299
(2d Cir. 1992); Small v. Sec'y of Health and Human
Servs., 892 F.2d 15, 16 (2d Cir. 1989) (holding that a
pro se party's failure to object to a report and
recommendation does not waive his right to ...