United States District Court, E.D. New York
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
K. BRODIE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Clifton Halsey, proceeding pro se, filed the
above-captioned action on November 23, 2016, and an Amended
Complaint on April 3, 2017, in the Southern District of New
York, against Defendants Physician Shiptz, Licensed Nurse
Practitioner Stewart,  New York City Health and Hospital Corp.
(“HHC”), and the City of New York (the
“City”), pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. (Compl., Docket Entry No. 1; Am. Compl.,
Docket Entry No. 6.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendants
violated his constitutional rights by being deliberately
indifferent to his serious injuries. (Compl. 4-5.) For the
reasons discussed below, the Court dismisses Plaintiff's
claims against the City. Plaintiff's claims against
Physician Shpitz and Nurse Stewart shall proceed.
Court assumes the truth of the factual allegations in the
Amended Complaint for the purposes of this Memorandum and
Order. In light of Plaintiff's pro se status,
the Court also considers and assumes the truth of the factual
allegations in the two letters Plaintiff submitted in support
of the Amended Complaint.
claim arises from the injuries he received when he slipped
and fell while being held at the Brooklyn Detention Complex.
(Compl. 2.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Shpitz
and Stewart did not document his true injuries,
(id.), and were deliberately indifferent to his
serious injuries, (Am. Compl. 4). Plaintiff seeks, among
other relief, $1, 000, 000 in damages. (Id. at 5.)
Standard of review
complaint must plead “enough facts to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A claim is
plausible “when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Matson v. Bd. of Educ., 631 F.3d 57, 63 (2d Cir.
2011) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009)). Although all allegations contained in the complaint
are assumed to be true, this tenet is “inapplicable to
legal conclusions.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. In
reviewing a pro se complaint, the court must be
mindful that a plaintiff's pleadings should be held
“to less stringent standards than formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam) (quoting Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104-105 (1976)); see Harris v.
Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009) (noting that even
after Twombly, the court “remain[s] obligated
to construe a pro se complaint liberally”).
Nevertheless, the Court is required to dismiss sua
sponte an in forma pauperis action if it
“(i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a
claim on which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary
relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); see also
Abbas v. Dixon, 480 F.3d 636, 639 (2d Cir. 2007).
Section 1983 claims against the City
section 1983, individuals may bring a private cause of action
against persons “acting under color of state law”
to recover money damages for deprivations of their federal or
constitutional rights. Matusick v. Erie Cty. Water
Auth., 757 F.3d 31, 55 (2d Cir. 2014) (quoting 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983). To sustain a claim for relief under section
1983, a plaintiff must show “the violation of a right
secured by the Constitution and laws of the United
States” and that “the alleged deprivation was
committed by a person acting under color of state law.”
Vega v. Hempstead Union Free Sch. Dist., 801 F.3d
72, 87-88 (2d Cir. 2015) (citations and internal quotation
marks omitted); see also Cornejo v. Bell, 592 F.3d
121, 127 (2d Cir. 2010).
municipality, like the City of New York, can be liable under
section 1983 only if a plaintiff can demonstrate “(1)
an official [municipal] policy or custom that (2) cause[d]
the plaintiff to be subjected to (3) a denial of a
constitutional right.” Torraco v. Port Auth. of
N.Y. & N.J., 615 F.3d 129, 140 (2d Cir. 2010)
(quoting Wray v. City of New York, 490 F.3d 189, 195
(2d Cir. 2007)). In general, proof of a single incident of
unconstitutional activity is not sufficient to impose
liability on a municipality unless a plaintiff can establish
that the incident occurred pursuant to one of the following:
(1) a formal policy officially endorsed by the municipality;
(2) actions or decisions made by municipal officials with
decision-making authority; (3) a practice so persistent and
widespread that it constitutes a custom of which policymakers
must have been aware; or (4) a failure by policymakers to
properly train or supervise their subordinates, such that the
policymakers exercised “deliberate indifference”
to the rights of the plaintiff and others encountering those
subordinates. See Iacovangelo v. Corr. Med. Care,
Inc., 624 Fed.Appx. 10, 13- 14 (2d Cir. 2015) (formal
policy officially endorsed by the municipality);
Matusick, 757 F.3d at 62 (widespread and persistent
practice); Carter v. Inc. Vill. of Ocean Beach, 759
F.3d 159, 164 (2d Cir. 2014) (failure to train amounting to
deliberate indifference); Jones v. Town of E. Haven,
691 F.3d 72, 81 (2d Cir. 2012) (policymaking official's
“express” or “tacit” ratification of
low-level employee's actions).
does not allege any unconstitutional policy or custom that
would confer municipal liability. (See Compl.; Am.
Compl.) Accordingly, the Court dismisses Plaintiff's
section 1983 claims against the City for failure to state a
claim on which relief may be granted, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
reasons set forth above, the Court dismisses Plaintiff's
claims against the City of New York. No summons shall issue
as to this Defendant and the Court directs the Clerk of Court