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Escalera v. Complex

United States District Court, E.D. New York

June 20, 2017

WILLIAM ESCALERA, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
AMKC-95-ANNA M. KROSS COMPLEX; MS. MINGO, DEP'T. COMMC'N.; CAPTAIN CRUZ; C.O. AZIZ; and CITY OF NEW YORK, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          ROSLYNN R. MAUSKOPF, United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff William Escalera, Jr., presently incarcerated at the Robert N. Davoren Complex (“RNDC”), located on Rikers Island, brings this pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Escalera's request to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 is granted. For the reasons stated below, Escalera's complaint is dismissed against defendants the Anna M. Kross Center AMKC-95 (“AMKC”), [1] and Deputy Commissioner Mingo.

         BACKGROUND

         Escalera alleges that on March 20, 2016, while in custody at the RNDC, he was involved in an altercation with a fellow inmate. (Compl. (Doc. No. 1) at 3).[2] Escalera alleges that he was working on the suicide prevention unit when an inmate asked Escalera to bring him some food. (Id. at 4). After Escalera provided the requested food, an argument ensued, and a Captain directed them to quiet down. (Id.) Although Escalera's allegations are difficult to decipher, he seems to allege that he was struck in the head by a different inmate, and that Escalera hit him back. (Id.) Escalera further alleges that a captain and other correction officers “continuously sprayed [him with] toxins.” (Id.) Escalera seeks monetary damages.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         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 employee of a governmental entity.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Upon review, a district court shall dismiss a prisoner complaint sua sponte if the complaint is “frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.” Id. § 1915A(b); see Abbas v. Dixon, 480 F.3d 636, 639 (2d Cir. 2007); Liner v. Goord, 196 F.3d 132, 134 n.1 (2d Cir. 1999) (noting that under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, sua sponte dismissal of frivolous prisoner complaints is not only permitted but mandatory).

         At the pleadings stage, the Court must assume the truth of “all well-pleaded, nonconclusory factual allegations” in the complaint. Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., 621 F.3d 111, 123 (2d Cir. 2010) (citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). A complaint 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 (2007).

         It is axiomatic that pro se complaints are held to less stringent standards than pleadings drafted by attorneys, and that the Court is required to read the plaintiff's pro se complaint liberally and interpret it as raising the strongest arguments it suggests. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9 (1980); Sealed Plaintiff v. Sealed Defendant #1, 537 F.3d 185, 191-93 (2d Cir. 2008).

         DISCUSSION

         In order to state a § 1983 claim, a plaintiff must allege (1) that the challenged conduct was “committed by a person acting under color of state law, ” and (2) that such conduct “deprived [the plaintiff] of rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States.” Cornejo v. Bell, 592 F.3d 121, 127 (2d Cir. 2010) (quoting Pitchell v. Callan, 13 F.3d 545, 547 (2d Cir. 1994)). Section 1983 does not create any independent substantive right, but rather, is a vehicle to “redress . . . the deprivation of [federal] rights established elsewhere.” Thomas v. Roach, 165 F.3d 137, 142 (2d Cir. 1999).

         I. Improper Parties

         The Anna M. Kross Center

         The AMKC is a New York City Department of Correction facility on Rikers Island. As an agency of the City of New York, AMKC cannot be sued independently. Lauro v. Charles, 219 F.3d 202, 205 n.2 (2d Cir. 2000); see, e.g., Bromfield v. New York State, No. 15-CV-3529 (CBA), 2016 WL 2917611, at *3 (E.D.N.Y. May 18, 2016); Johnson v. New York Dep't of Correction, No. 15-CV-640 (CBA), 2015 WL 4884880, at *2 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 13, 2015); N.Y.C. Charter, Ch. 16, § 396. Accordingly, Escalera's claim against the AMKC is dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

         Deputy ...


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