Horton v. The City of New York et al et al
ORDER. Plaintiff's claims against Judge Suzanne Melendez, Judge Stephanie Zaro, and Elise Koenderman are dismissed as frivolous. The clerk of court is respectfully requested to amend the caption to reflect the dismissal of these defendants and t o mail a copy of this Order to plaintiff. Plaintiff's claims shall proceed against the remaining defendants. The case is referred to Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom for pretrial supervision. Although plaintiff paid the filing fee to bring this actio n, the court certifies pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3) that any appeal from this order would not be taken in good faith and therefore in forma pauperis status is denied for purpose of appeal. Ordered by Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto on 7/22/2014. (Alagesan, Deepa)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
-againstCITY OF NEW YORK; NEW YORK CITY
CRIMINAL COURT, COUNTY OF QUEENS;
NYC LAW DEPARTMENT; NEW YORK CITY
POLICE DEPARTMENT; CORPORATION
COUNSEL OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK;
POLICE OFFICER REINALDO ALVAREZ,
Tax #927853, 103rd Precinct;
POLICE OFFICERS JOHN DOES 1-8, New
York City Police Department; ADA
HARRY NUSSDORF, Criminal Court of
the City of New York; JUDGE
SUZANNE MELENDEZ, Criminal Court
of the City of New York; JUDGE
STEPHANIE ZARO, Criminal Court of
the City of New York; JUDGE ELISE
KOENDERMAN, Criminal Court of the
City of New York,
MATSUMOTO, United States District Judge.
Plaintiff Billy Horton brings this pro se civil rights
action for, inter alia, false arrest and malicious prosecution
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.1
Plaintiff has paid the requisite
For the reasons discussed below, plaintiff’s claims
against Judge Suzanne Melendez, Judge Stephanie Zaro and Judge
This action is related to two other actions recently filed in this court.
See Horton v. City of New York et al., No. 14-CV-4279 (KAM) and Johnson v.
City of New York et al., No. 14-CV-4278 (KAM).
Elise Koenderman are dismissed.
Plaintiff’s remaining claims
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Pro se complaints are held to less stringent standards
than pleadings drafted by attorneys, and the court is required
to read the plaintiff’s pro se complaint liberally and interpret
it as raising the strongest arguments it suggests.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89 (2007); Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9-10
(1980); Sealed Plaintiff v. Sealed Defendant #1, 537 F.3d 185,
191-93 (2d Cir. 2008).
Moreover, at the pleadings stage of the
proceeding, the court must assume the truth of “all wellpleaded, nonconclusory factual allegations” in the complaint.
Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., 621 F.3d 111, 123 (2d Cir.
2010) (citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009)).
A complaint must plead sufficient facts to “state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
Plaintiff brings this action in connection with his
August 10, 2011 arrest at 105-31 191st Street in Jamaica,
(Compl. at 10.)
Plaintiff alleges that police officers
“did unlawfully break into the house with assault weapons drawn
in full military style gear . . . [and] unlawfully arrested
plaintiff inside of the house without cause or justification.”
Plaintiff states that his “property and belongings inside
of the house were destroyed and several items were missing after
he was illegally removed by force.”
(Id. at 13.)
further states that after multiple court proceedings, his case
(Id. at 14.)
Plaintiff seeks monetary damages.
(Id. at 16.)
Regardless of whether a plaintiff has paid the filing
fee, a district court has the inherent power to dismiss a case,
sua sponte, if it determines that the action is frivolous or the
court lacks jurisdiction over the matter.
Fitzgerald v. First
East Seventh Street Tenants Corp., 221 F.3d 362, 363-364 (2d
“A complaint will be dismissed as ‘frivolous’ when
'it is clear that the defendants are immune from suit.”
Montero v. Travis, 171 F.3d 757, 760 (2d Cir. 1999) (internal
Here, plaintiff’s allegations against Judges
Melendez, Zaro and Koenderman stem from actions taken in their
judicial capacity in connection with plaintiff’s state court
criminal proceedings and are foreclosed by absolute immunity.
See Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11 (1991) (a judicial officer
in the performance of his or her duties has absolute immunity
from suit); Dupree v. Bivona, No. 07-4599-cv, 2009 WL 82717, at
*1-2 (2d Cir. Jan. 14, 2009).
This absolute “judicial immunity
is not overcome by allegations of bad faith or malice,” nor can
a judge “be deprived of immunity because the action he took was
in error . . . or was in excess of his authority.”
U.S. at 11 (quotation omitted); Edo v. Queens County Criminal
Court, No. 13-CV-7089, 2013 WL 6732811, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 19,
Accordingly, plaintiff’s claims against Judge Suzanne
Melendez, Judge Stephanie Zaro and Judge Elise Koenderman are
dismissed as frivolous.
Fitzgerald, 221 F.3d at 363.
of Court is directed to amend the caption to reflect the
dismissal of these defendants.
Plaintiff’s claims shall proceed against the remaining
The Clerk of Court is respectfully requested to
send a copy of this Order to plaintiff.
The case is referred to
Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom for pretrial supervision.
plaintiff paid the filing fee to bring this action, the court
certifies pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 (a)(3) that any appeal
from this order would not be taken in good faith and therefore
in forma pauperis status is denied for purpose of appeal.
Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 444-45 (1962).
Dated: Brooklyn, New York
July 22, 2014
KIYO A. MATSUMOTO
United States District Judge
Eastern District of New York
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