Guzman v. The City of New York et al, No. 1:2010cv01048 - Document 15 (S.D.N.Y. 2010)

Court Description: MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER, that the claims against Johnson are dismissed. FURTHER that the plaintiff may file any amended complaint by January 14, 2011. If the plaintiff believes that the pleading of additional facts will cure deficiencies ident ified in the Defendants' December 13 letter, the plaintiff should include those facts in the amended pleading. FURTHER that in the event the plaintiff does not file an amended pleading by January 14, the Defendants' motion to dismiss must be filed no later than January 21. The plaintiff's opposition to that motion shall be due by February 18. The Defendants' reply, if any, shall be due March 4. FURTHER that either party may request an extension of the briefing schedule for the motion. A deadline will be extended if the party demonstrates that its pursuit of the action has been diligent and that there is a good reason for extending the deadline. (Signed by Judge Denise L. Cote on 12/15/2010) (lnl)
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Guzman v. The City of New York et al Doc. 15 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK x ARMANDO GUZMAN, SR., Plaintiff, 10 Civ. 1048 (DLC) -v- MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER THE CITY OF NEW YORK, RAYMOND KELLY, Commissioner, City of New York Pol Department, ROBERT T. JOHNSON, Di ct Attorney, County of Bronx, Defendants. x DENISE COTE, District Judge: The pro se plaintiff Armando Guzman, Sr. commenced this lawsuit on 9, he alleges that the defendants, 2010. ("Guzman") In his complaint, City of New York ("City"), Commissioner of Police Raymond Kelly ("Kelly"), and Bronx District Attorney Robert T. "Defendants"), violated ("Johnson," and together, s constitutional rights by, inter alia, falsely arresting him and maliciously prosecuting him for manslaughter. This case was stayed on July 14 pending the outcome of the plaintiff's criminal trial. letter, the attorney for Guzman was acquitt Defendants informs the Court at trial. The Defendants seek sua complaint for Defendants argue In a December 13 e dismissal of the plaintiff/s to state a claim. Specifically, the plaintiff has failed to plead any Dockets.Justia.com s personal involvement by ly or Johnson in the alleged in the compl They also argue that pI liability on the part the City Is to state a cl because the plaintiff exists a policy, the plaintiff's not adequately all City violated s argue that the Finally, the Def e he is smissed as to Johnson complaint must there ice, or custom by which s. iff absolutely immune from suit. Prosecutors are absolutely immune from t for acts that of the are "intimately associated with the judic criminal prosecutor's re ibility that cast him administrator or investigative officer advocate." 2009) s of the ss," but not for "those (citat v. Monroe omitted). role of an than that of ., 587 F.3d 113, 121 (2d Cir. Even some ttedly administrative functions may afforded absolute prosecutorial immunity if they are connected with advocacy function. ein, 129 S. Ct. 855, 861 62 (2009). Supreme Court held that a from a and ยง 1983 action alleging that to ion sharing. In Van de attorney was immune led to adequately t se employees with respect to procedures and failed to create Van de ormation-sharing e procedures with respect rd. Supreme Court explained: 2 Here, unlike with other claims related to administrative decisions, an individual prosecutor's error in the plaintiff's specific criminal trial constitutes an essential element of the plaintiff's claim. The administrative obligations at issue here are thus unlike administrative duties concerning, for example, workplace hiring, payroll administration, the maintenance of physical facilities, and the like. Moreover, the types of activities on which [the plaintiff] 's claims focus necessarily require legal knowledge and the exercise of related discretion, e.g., in determining what information should be included in the training or the supervision or the information-system management. Id. at 862. The plaintiff alleges that Johnson knew about official misconduct by his subordinates, consisting of making up false charging instruments to get the grand jury to indict defendants, but failed and refused to address the conducti and officially promulgated policies and procedures that allowed subordinates to present false evidence to grand jury panels. Johnson's failure to adequately train and supervise his subordinates has allowed them to fabricate criminal charges and manipulate proceedings so that no bailor excessive bail is offered to minority defendants. Johnson is entitled to absolute immunity with respect to the plaintiff's allegations and the case must be dismissed against him. The plaintiff alleges as a critical component of his claim that the individual assistant district attorney who 3 presented evidence to the grand jury (but who is not named as a defendant) presented a false charging instrument and false evidence. As in Van de Kamp, Johnson's training and supervision of his employees on the subject of presenting evidence to the grand jury and presenting arguments with respect to bail conditions would necessarily require the exercise of discretion based on legal knowledge. Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that the claims against Johnson are dismissed. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the plaintiff may file any amended complaint by January 14, 2011. If the plaintiff believes that the pleading of additional facts will cure deficiencies identified in the Defendants' December 13 letter, the plaintiff should include those facts in the amended pleading. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that in the event the plaintiff does not file an amended pleading by January 14, the Defendants' motion to dismiss must be filed no later than January 21. The plaintiff's opposition to that motion shall be due by February 18. The Defendants' reply, if any, shall be due March 4. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that either party may request an extension of the briefing schedule for the motion. A deadline will be extended if the party demonstrates that its pursuit of 4 the action has been ligent and that there is a good reason for extending the deadline. SO ORDERED: Dated: New York, New York December IS, 2010 United 5 Judge