United States District Court, S.D. New York
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
G. Koeltl United States District Judge.
plaintiff, Aitabedellah Salem, brings this action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Monell v. Department of Social
Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978), alleging that his Fourth
and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated while he was
held in pretrial detention by the New York City Department of
Correction (the "DOC") at the Anna M. Kross Center
(the "AMKC") at Rikers Island and when he was
strip-searched upon exiting and entering the facility on his
way to and from court appearances. Salem has named as
defendants the City of New York, Joseph Ponte, the
Commissioner of the New York City Department of Correction,
and four John Doe defendants -- a Warden, Assistant Warden,
Tour Commander, and Captain -- in their individual and
official capacities. Salem alleges claims of false
imprisonment, unreasonable searches, denials of substantive
and procedural due process, respondeat superior, failure to
train, and municipal liability.
pending before the Court is the defendants' motion to
dismiss Salem's Amended Complaint pursuant to Rule
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the
following reasons, the motion to dismiss is granted. However,
because this is the first motion to dismiss, Salem's
claims are dismissed without prejudice to Salem's filing
any amended complaint.
deciding a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the
allegations in the complaint are accepted as true, and all
reasonable inferences must be drawn in the plaintiff's
favor. McCarthy v. Dun & Bradstreet Corp., 482
F.3d 184, 191 (2d Cir. 2007). The Court's function on a
motion to dismiss is "not to weigh the evidence that
might be presented at a trial but merely to determine whether
the complaint itself is legally sufficient." Goldman
v. Belden, 754 F.2d 1059, 1067 (2d Cir. 1985). The Court
should not dismiss the complaint if the plaintiff has stated
"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 has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged."
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). While
the Court should construe the factual allegations in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff, "the tenet that a
court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in
the complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions."
may also consider documents incorporated by reference in the
complaint as well as documents the plaintiff either had in
the plaintiff's possession or had knowledge of and upon
which the plaintiff relied in bringing suit. See Cortec
Indus., Inc. v. Sum Holding L.P., 949 F.2d 42, 48 (2d
Cir. 1991). "A court may [also] take judicial notice of
the records of state administrative procedures, as these are
public records, without converting a motion to dismiss to one
for summary judgment." Evans v. N.Y. Botanical
Garden, No. 02-cv-3591, 2002 WL 31002814, at *4
(S.D.N.Y. Sept. 4, 2002); see also Zapotocky v. CIT Bank,
N.A., No. 17-cv-6377, 2018 WL 3104090, at *2 (S.D.N.Y.
June 22, 2018).
following facts are taken from Salem's Amended Complaint
and are assumed to be true for the purposes of this motion to
November 21, 2014, Salem was arrested for stealing a coat.
The following day, on November 22, 2014, Salem was arraigned
in New York Criminal Court and charged with Assault in the
Second Degree and Petit Larceny, under docket number
2014NY088542. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 46-49. At the
arraignment, the court also addressed two additional cases
with charges pending against Salem under docket numbers
2014NY088543 and 2014NY017648. The court set bail at $25, 000
each on docket numbers 2014NY088542 and 2014NY088543 for a
total of $50, 000. Am. Compl. ¶ 50. The cases with
docket numbers 2014NY088542 and 2014NY088543 were adjourned
to November 26, 2014, and the court sentenced Salem to time
served for the case with docket number 2014NY017648. Am.
Compl. ¶¶ 51-52. Following the arraignment, Salem
was transferred to the AMKC at Rikers Island for pretrial
detention. Am. Compl. ¶ 48.
November 26, 2014, Judge Gilbert Hong reduced Salem's
bail under docket number 2014NY088542 to $1.00 and adjourned
the case to February 11, 2015. Judge Hong also adjourned
Salem's case under docket number 2014NY088543 to November
28, 2014. Salem was not produced in court on November 26,
2014, and neither his defense attorney nor employees of the
DOC informed him that his bail had been reduced. Am. Compl.
November 28, 2014, Judge Melissa Crane presided over the
adjourned proceeding under docket number 2014NY088543. Judge
Crane ordered Salem's immediate release on his own
recognizance on the 2014NY088543 case because the district
attorney's office failed to convene a grand jury within
one hundred and forty four hours, as required by New York
Criminal Procedure Law § 180.80. Am. Compl. ¶¶
56-59. Salem was not produced in court on November 28, 2014,
and his attorney waived Salem's appearance without
Salem's knowledge or consent. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 56,
60. The case under docket number 2014NY088543 was adjourned
to February 11, 2015, which was the same as the date set for
the next hearing in the 2014NY088542 case. Am. Compl. ¶
received notice of Judge Crane's order to release Salem
under docket number 2014NY088543 by fax on November 28, 2014.
Am. Compl. ¶ 65. The DOC has enacted procedures that its
officers must follow to process court orders, as outlined in
its General Office Manual. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 109,
92-93. However, Salem remained in custody because his $1.00
bail in 2014NY088542 had not been paid. Am. Compl.
January 15, 2015, Judge Felicia A. Menin ordered that Salem
be produced for a conference in New York Criminal Court on
January 21, 2015, regarding the 2014NY088543 case. Am. Compl.
¶¶ 68-69; Am. Compl. Ex. E. Although the DOC
received this order and marked it "Satisfied,"
Salem was not produced in New York Criminal Court on January
21, 2015. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 69-70; Am. Compl. Ex. E.
Rather, on January 21, 2015, Salem's attorney - Stephen
Pokart of the Legal Aid Society - appeared in court, again
waiving Salem's appearance without Salem's knowledge.
Am. Compl. ¶ 74.
February 11, 2015, Judge Lisa Sokoloff presided over a
hearing in the case under docket number 2014NY088542. That
day, Salem was brought from Rikers Island to the Criminal
Court but held in the court's "holding pen,"
rather than being produced in front of Judge Sokoloff. Pokart
appeared on Salem's behalf and, again, waived his
appearance. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 75-79; Am. Compl. Ex. G,
at 2. Judge Sokoloff adjourned the 2014NY088542 case to May
28, 2015, and continued the $1.00 bail condition. Am. Compl.
¶ 81. Salem returned to Rikers Island, where he was
subject to a strip search. Am. Compl. ¶ 78. Salem was
subject to a strip search each time he left Rikers Island to
attend court and when he returned to Rikers Island after
court. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 222-24.
his detention at the AMKC, Salem requested information from
corrections officers and defense attorneys as to the status
of his cases. None informed him of the reduction in bail in
the 2014NY088542 case or the order of release in the
2014NY088543 case. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 82-85.
April 15, 2015 at 12:00 p.m., Salem's $1.00 bail under
docket number 2014NY088542 was paid. Am. Compl. ¶¶
86, 191. Salem was released from custody at 4:11 p.m. that
same day. Am. Compl. ¶ 191.
August 9, 2016, Salem was convicted of Assault in the Second
Degree and Petit Larceny in the 2014NY088542 case following a
trial. Salem was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of five
years followed by a period of five years' post-release
supervision. Noble Decl. Ex. 3. In calculating Salem's
sentence, the DOC credited him the time he spent in pretrial
detention from November 22, 2014, through April 15, 2015,
when his $1.00 bail was paid. Noble Decl. Ex. 4, at 2-3.
Salem has not challenged the validity of his convictions in
the 2014NY088542 case.
contends that the defendants willfully ignored multiple court
orders and failed to ensure DOC employees properly followed
the procedures required to comply with court orders,
resulting in his alleged unlawful detention in violation of
his constitutional rights. Am. Compl. ¶ 91.