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Molina v. Correction Officer Saraireh

United States District Court, S.D. New York

October 30, 2017

ARTHUR R. MOLINA, Plaintiff,
v.
CORRECTION OFFICER SARAIREH, SHIELD NO. 1580; and CO. SANTORA, SHIELD NO. 1598, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          VINCENT L. BRICCETTI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Arthur R. Molina, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging defendants violated his constitutional rights while he was incarcerated at Westchester County Jail, by failing to protect him from attack by another inmate.

         Now pending is defendants' motion to dismiss the amended complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). (Doc. #37).

         For the reasons set forth below, the motion is GRANTED.

         This Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

         BACKGROUND

         For purposes of ruling on a motion to dismiss, the Court accepts all factual allegations of the amended complaint as true, and draws all reasonable inferences in plaintiffs favor.

         On March 8, 2016, while plaintiff was an inmate at Westchester County Jail, he was attacked by another inmate, "[M]r. [T]ucker, " who had recently been moved from the Special Housing Unit ("SHU") to the cell next to plaintiffs. (Am. Compl. at 4).

         In particular, plaintiff alleges Mr. Tucker wanted to be moved from the cell block in which he was housed to another location. Plaintiff alleges unnamed corrections officers told Mr. Tucker that "because he just came from the [SHU] and was on key-lock[, ] only the warden c[ould] move him." (Am. Compl. at 4). On March 8, as plaintiff entered the "rec/yard" he heard Mr. Tucker "yelling up to the third floor window talking to some inmates." (Id.). As plaintiff began to "walk the yard, " he heard another inmate on the third floor tell Mr. Tucker to "attack someone in the yard" because this would ensure Mr. Tucker would be moved to another cell block. (Id.). Plaintiff alleges he looked for corrections officers, but "the two officers were no where [sic] in the rec/yard and only one correction officer was in the hallway of the building." (Id.). According to plaintiff, as he continued to walk in the recreation yard, "[M]r. [T]ucker came up from behind [him] and beg[a]n to attack" plaintiff. (Id.).

         Plaintiff alleges he "took multiple blows to the head and face and black[ed] out" with a concussion. (Am. Compl. at 4). He alleges he "awo[ke] to find the attacker being held on the wall by CO. [S]antora with no other C.O.s in si[ght]." (Id. at 4-5).

         Plaintiff commenced this action by filing a complaint on May 9, 2016, alleging (i) corrections officers Saraireh and Santora failed to protect him against inmate attack, (ii) Westchester County was liable to him under Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658 (1978), and (iii) liberally construed, additional state law violations. (Doc. #1). By Opinion and Order dated April 28, 2017, the Court dismissed plaintiffs complaint, but granted him leave to amend the claim that corrections officers Saraireh and Santora violated his constitutional rights by failing to protect him against the inmate attack. (Doc. #33). On May 30, 2017, plaintiff filed his amended complaint, which is the subject of the instant motion to dismiss. (Doc. #34).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Standard of Review

         In deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the Court evaluates the sufficiency of the operative complaint under the "two-pronged approach" articulated by the Supreme Court in Ashcroftv. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009). First, plaintiffs legal conclusions and "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, " are not entitled to the assumption of truth and are thus not sufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss. Id. at 678; Hayden v. Paterson, 594 F.3d 150, 161 (2d Cir. 2010). Second, "[w]hen there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should ...


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