Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Santos v. Barber

United States District Court, W.D. New York

December 15, 2017

MELINDA SANTOS, Plaintiff,
v.
CHRITOPHER J. BARBER, CITY OF ROCHESTER, ROCHESTER POLICE DEPARTMENT, and MICHAEL CIMINELLI, Defendants.

          For Plaintiff: David Stern, Esq. Elliott, Stern & Calabrese, LLP

          For the Defendants: Patrick Beath, Esq.

          DECISION AND ORDER

          CHARLES J. SIRAGUSA, United States District Judge

         INTRODUCTION

         This civil rights case alleging, inter alia, excessive force by the arresting officer, is before the Court on the defendants' motion seeking partial dismissal of the complaint. For the reasons stated below, the defendants' application, ECF No. 2, is granted.

         BACKGROUND

         During the very early morning hours of May 8, 2016, Melinda Santos (“Santos”) was on Gregory Street in Rochester, New York. She had been attacked and was sitting on the ground. Rochester city police officer Christopher J. Barber (“Barber”) responded, and Santos alleges that he grabbed her shoulder and back side, lifted her in the air above his waist, violently swung her counterclockwise, and slammed her face down onto the concrete sidewalk. She further states that Barber then dropped down on top of her kneeing her in her lower back and forcefully pulled her arms around her back and handcuffed her. She claims Barber did this without any justification, since she had not engaged in any unlawful activity. Compl. ¶¶ 16-17. Santos heard her neck crack as her body landed on the hard concrete pavement, and, as a result, she suffered breaks to her third and fourth vertebrae requiring surgery to internally fix and fuse the vertebrae. Compl. ¶ 25. Santos further contends that Barber filed a false accusatory information charging her with disorderly conduct in order to shield himself from liability, embarrassment, charges of misconduct, and in an attempt to mislead the prosecutor. Compl. ¶ 27- 28.

         Santos filed a verified complaint (the “Complaint”) in New York State Supreme Court, Monroe County, on May 8, 2017, which the defendants have removed to this Court. The Complaint lists 11 causes of action alleging: (1) police brutality in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983; (2) false imprisonment in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983; (3) a Monell[1] claim against the city of Rochester, Rochester Police Department, and Chief of Police Michael Ciminelli pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983; (4) violation of Santos' right to equal protection under article I, section 11 of the New York State Constitution; (5) assault and battery; (6) false arrest and imprisonment; (7) negligence; (8) negligent hiring; (9) punitive damages; (10) intentional infliction of emotional distress; (11) prima facie tort.

         The defendants, all represented by the Corporation Counsel, have moved to dismiss the following causes of action: (3) a Monell claim against the City of Rochester, Rochester Police Department, and Chief of Police Michael Ciminelli pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983; (4) violation of Santos' right to equal protection under article I, section 11 of the New York State Constitution; (7) negligence; (8) negligent hiring; (9) punitive damages; (10) intentional infliction of emotional distress; (11) prima facie tort.

         STANDARDS OF LAW

         Motion to Dismiss

         The general legal principles concerning motions under Rule 12(b)(6) are well settled:

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, in order to give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests. While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level, on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in fact).

Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007); see also, ATSI Communications, Inc. v.

         Shaar Fund, Ltd., 493 F.3d 87, 98 (2d Cir. 2007) (“To survive dismissal, the plaintiff must provide the grounds upon which his claim rests through factual allegations sufficient ‘to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.'”) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly) (footnote omitted).

         When applying this “plausibility standard, ” the Court is guided by “two working principles”:

First, although a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint, that tenet is inapplicable to legal conclusions, and threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice. Second, only a complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a motion to dismiss, and determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief will be a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.

Harris v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). “[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not shown-that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009) (citation omitted). “The application of this ‘plausibility' standard to particular cases is ‘context-specific, ' and requires assessing the allegations of the complaint as a whole.” Pension Ben. Guar. Corp. ex rel. St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers Retirement Plan v. Morgan Stanley Inv. Management Inc., 712 F.3d 705, 719 (2d Cir. 2013) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).[2]

         Section ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.