United States District Court, S.D. New York
Attorneys for Plaintiffs By: Gideon Orion Oliver, Esq., Elena
L. Cohen, Esq., Michael Decker, Esq.
Attorney for Defendants ZACHARY CARTER, Corporation Counsel
of the City of New York, By: Ashley Garman, Esq.
W. SWEET U.S.D.J.
John Maguire ("Maguire"), Mike Poletto
("Poletto" and, together with Maguire, the
"Officers"), and the City of New York
("NYC" and, collectively with the Officers, the
"Defendants") have moved to stay proceedings before
the Court as to the remaining claims brought by Plaintiffs
Anika Edrei ("Edrei"), Shay Horse
("Horse"}, James Craven ("Craven"),
Keegan Stephan ("Stephan"), Michael Nusbaum
("Nusbaum"}, and Alexander Appel
("Appel") (collectively, the
"Plaintiffs") pending the outcome of
Defendants' interlocutory appeal on the issue of the
Officers' qualified immunity defense. As set forth below,
the motion is granted.
factual background and prior proceedings of this matter have
been set forth in the Court's previous decision granting
in part and denying in part Defendants' motion to dismiss
Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint ("FAC").
See Edrei v. City of N.Y., No. 16 Civ. 1652 (RWS),
2017 WL 2367992, at *l-*3 (S.D.N.Y. May 31, 2017).
Familiarity is assumed. The following summary retells
portions of prior proceedings as are relevant to the instant
March 3, 2016, Plaintiffs commenced this action. (Dkt. No.
1.) On August 1, 2016, Plaintiffs filed their FAC. (Dkt. No.
21.) On October 24, 2016, Defendants moved to dismiss
Plaintiffs' FAC, (Dkt. No. 35), which on May 31, 2017,
the Court granted in part and denied in part, (Dkt. No. 53}.
Specifically, the Court denied Defendants' motion as to
Plaintiffs' claims of excessive force as to the Officers,
municipal liability as to NYC for failure to properly train,
and state law claims for assault and battery as to the
Officers. (See id., at 40.)
30, 2017, Defendants' filed notice of an interlocutory
appeal on the issue of the Officers' qualified immunity
defense. (Dkt. No. 57.)
5, 2017, Defendants moved to stay all proceedings before this
Court pending resolution of its interlocutory appeal. (Dkt.
No. 58.) On August 2, 2017, Defendants' instant motion
was heard and marked fully submitted.
Motion to Stay is Granted
light of their interlocutory appeal, Defendants' have
moved to stay all proceedings before this Court as to
Plaintiffs' claims because of the claims' factual and
legal interconnectedness. Defendants argue a stay is
warranted either because the issue of the Officers'
qualified immunity automatically divested the Court of
jurisdiction pending that appeal's resolution or, in the
alternative, that Defendants' interlocutory appeal merits
a discretionary stay. Plaintiffs appear not to argue that
while the law supports Defendants' claim to a
point-namely, that this Court has been divested of
jurisdiction as to the Officers' excessive force claim
due to their appeal regarding federal qualified immunity-such
authority cannot be stretched to the length that Defendants
collateral order doctrine is an exception to the general rule
that interlocutory orders are not appealable as a matter of
right; as a general rule, the doctrine is limited to
"trial court orders affecting rights that will be
irretrievably lost in the absence of an immediate
appeal." Richardson-Merrell Inc. v. Roller, 472
U.S. 424, 430-31 (1985). "[O]rder[s] rejecting the
defense of qualified immunity at either the dismissal stage
or the summary judgment stage" are examples of the
limited sort "subject to [interlocutory] appeal."
Betances v. Fischer, 140 F.Supp.3d 294, 301
(S.D.N.Y. 2015} (quoting Behrens v. Pelletier, 516
U.S. 299, 307 (1996)), aff'd, 837 F.3d 162 (2d Cir.
2016). The "filing of a notice of appeal only Mivests
the district court of its control over those aspects of the
case involved in the appeal.'" Jin Zhao v. State
Univ. of N.Y., 613 F.App'x 61, 62 (2d Cir. 2015)
(quoting Griggs v. Provident Consumer Disc. Co., 459
U.S. 56, 58 (1982)). As appeals under the collateral order
doctrine are to be, by definition, "completely separate
from the merits of the action, " such appeals do
"not generally divest the district court of jurisdiction
over issues not under consideration in the appeal."
City of N.Y. v. Beretta U.S.A. Corp., 234 F.R.D. 46,
50 (E.D.N.Y. 2006); see also N.Y.S. Nat. Org, for Women
v. Terry, 886 F.2d 1339, 1350 (2d Cir. 1989) (noting
that "the filing of a notice of appeal only divests the
district court of jurisdiction respecting the questions
raised and decided in the order that is on appeal").
starting point, this authority establishes that a stay as to
Plaintiff's excessive force claims against the Officers
pending Defendants' federal qualified immunity claim is
merited. See In re S. Afr. Apartheid Litig., No. 02
Civ. 4712 (SAS), 2009 WL 5183832, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. July 7,
2009} (citing Beretta, 234 F.R.D. at 50) (noting
that qualified immunity interlocutory appeals automatically
divest district court jurisdiction over that issue). On this
point, Plaintiffs do not argue otherwise.
surviving state law claims against the Officers should
similarly be stayed. Although Plaintiffs have noted that the
legal requirements as to federal and state qualified immunity
defenses are not identical, at their root, both can turn on
the "reasonableness" of the actions and, as here,
Plaintiffs' state claims could be heavily connected with
"the same facts that form the heart of the federal
claims." Jones v. Parmley, 465 F.3d 46, 64 (2d
Cir. 2006) (citing Simpkin v. City of Troy, 224
A.D.2d 897, 898, 638 N.Y.S.2d 231, 232 (3d Dep't 1996))
(noting the relationship between federal and state qualified
immunity and that reasonableness was "at the center of
the district court's Fourth Amendment excessive force
analysis"). As there will likely ...