United States District Court, S.D. New York
GEORGE WEAVER; VERA NASEVA; LUZ CONCEPCIÓN; LUIS FLORES, each on their own behalf and collectively on behalf of all others similarly-situated; FIGHT FOR NYCHA, Plaintiffs,
THE NEW YORK CITY HOUSING AUTHORITY; GREGORY RUSS, Chair and CEO; THE CITY OF NEW YORK; BILL DE BLASIO, Mayor of the City of New York; GALE BREWER, individually as President of the Borough of Manhattan and acting, collectively, by and through her aide, BRIAN LEWIS, Defendants.
ORDER OF DISMISSAL
COLLEEN MCMAHON CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
for NYCHA and Plaintiffs Weaver, Naseva, Concepcion, and
Flores bring this action pro se. They bring this
action on their own behalf and “on behalf of all others
similarly-situated.” (ECF 11, at 1.) They describe
their operative pleading as an “Amended Class Action
Complaint.” (Id.) By order dated November 20,
2019, the Court directed Plaintiffs Weaver, Naseva,
Concepcion, and Halasa, within thirty days, to each complete,
sign, and submit a separate in forma pauperis
(“IFP”) application. In the alternative,
Plaintiffs could pay the relevant fees to bring this action.
November 25, 2019, Fight for NYCHA and Plaintiffs Weaver,
Naseva, and Concepcion each filed an IFP
application. Two days later, Plaintiff Flores filed a
letter in which he asserted that Fight for NYCHA “is
the correct plaintiff, not its coordinating committee
members. This means Marni Halasa and Louis Flores, as
coordinating committee members[, ] should not be filing IFP
applications on behalf of Fight for NYCHA.” (ECF 10).
The letter also noted that Plaintiff Flores “is a
correct co-plaintiff, as a result, he has filed a personal
IFP application.” (Id.)
December 2, 2019, Plaintiffs Weaver, Naseva, Concecpion,
Flores, and Fight for NYCHA filed an amended complaint. On
that same date, Plaintiffs filed an amended application for
an order to show cause for a preliminary injunction and
temporary restraining order (ECF 12), and Plaintiff Flores
filed a declaration in support of that application (ECF 13).
December 6, 2019, the Court granted the IFP applications of
Plaintiffs Flores, Weaver, Naseva, and Concepcion.
December 11, 2019, Halasa filed a declaration. (ECF 18.) Five
days later, Plaintiff Flores filed a letter in which he makes
additional disclosures with regard to his IFP application and
seems to request an extension of time for Halasa to comply
with the Court's November 20, 2019 order. (ECF
reasons set forth below, the Court dismisses this action.
Court must dismiss an IFP complaint, or any portion of the
complaint, that is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a
claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); see Livingston v. Adirondack
Beverage Co., 141 F.3d 434, 437 (2d Cir. 1998). The
Court must also dismiss a complaint when the Court lacks
subject-matter jurisdiction. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
the law mandates dismissal on any of these grounds, the Court
is obliged to construe pro se pleadings liberally,
Harris v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009), and
interpret them to raise the “strongest [claims] that
they suggest, ” Triestman v. Fed. Bureau
of Prisons, 470 F.3d 471, 474 (2d Cir. 2006) (internal
quotation marks and citations omitted, emphasis in original).
But the “special solicitude” in pro se
cases, id. at 475 (citation omitted), has its limits
- to state a claim, pro se pleadings still must
comply with Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
which requires a complaint to make a short and plain
statement showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.
United States Supreme Court has held that under Rule 8, a
complaint must include enough facts to state a claim for
relief “that is plausible on its face.” Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A claim
is facially plausible if the plaintiff pleads enough factual
detail to allow the Court to draw the inference that the
defendant is liable for the alleged misconduct. In reviewing
the complaint, the Court must accept all well-pleaded factual
allegations as true. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009). But it does not have to accept as true
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, ” which are essentially just legal conclusions.
Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
After separating legal conclusions from well-pleaded factual
allegations, the Court must determine whether those facts
make it plausible - not merely possible - that the pleader is
entitled to relief. Id. at 678-79.
bring this action on behalf of themselves and others
similarly situated - they seek to proceed as a class action.
They assert claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1437d(j)(3) and 24
C.F.R. § 5.703(c), (d)(1), and (g), as well as under
state law. They also assert that the defendants have violated
their federal constitutional rights. They seek injunctive,
declaratory, and other relief.
Weaver, Naseva, and Concepcion allege that they are residents
of apartment buildings in Manhattan that are owned and
operated by the New York City Housing Authority
(“NYCHA”), a public housing authority created by
state law. Plaintiff Flores alleges that he has applied for
NYCHA housing. Fight for NYCHA alleges that it “is an
unincorporated association of tenants, activists, and
artists, who oppose any privatization of public housing
assets.” (ECF 11, at 8.) Fight for NYCHA also alleges
that it is “managed by its Co[o]rdinating
Committee” and that Flores and Halasa are the members
of that committee. (Id.)
sue (1) NYCHA, (2) Gregory Russ, NYCHA's Chairman and
Chief Executive Officer, (3) the City of New York, (4) Bill
De Blasio, the Mayor of the City of New York, (5) Gale
Brewer, the Manhattan Borough President, and (6) Brian Lewis,
Brewer's aide. They allege that an unspecified previous
settlement agreement regarding NYCHA funding “is
inadequate to provide NYCHA residents with decent and safe
housing.” (Id. at 12.) They oppose Mayor De
Blasio's alleged plans to privatize one third of NYCHA
housing, rezone public housing campuses, demolish public
housing buildings, and sell the air rights of public housing
buildings. They assert that Mayor De Blasio has created the
Mayor's NYCHA Working Group (“Working Group”)
“to counteract” their protests of his plans and
to advance his plans. (Id. at 14.) And they state
that “[t]here was no democratic process followed for
the formation of” the Working Group. (Id.)
allege that Working Group meetings have been kept secret and
have taken place in unknown locations that have been closed
to NYCHA residents and the public at large. They assert that
“[b]y conducting closed-door [Working Group] meetings .
. . Defendants and other elected Government officials and/or
their representatives have deprived Plaintiffs . . . from
having any participation in discussions about the possible
disposition and development of public housing assets.”
(Id. at 15.) Plaintiffs also assert that the Working
Group has instituted a “gag rule, ” which
prevents its members from speaking publicly about the Working
Group meetings. (Id.) They further assert ...