Lingan et al v. The City of New York et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER denying 9 Motion to Stay. Defendants are directed to respond to the complaint by September 22, 2017. See attached for further discussion. Ordered by Chief Mag. Judge Roanne L. Mann on 8/31/2017. (Proujansky, Josh)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
ROMAN LINGAN, et al.,
THE CITY OF NEW YORK, et al.,
ROANNE L. MANN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE:
Currently before this Court is a motion filed by defendants City of New York and the
New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) (collectively, “defendants”), over the objection
of plaintiff Roman Lingan (“plaintiff”), for an order (a) staying this civil action pending the
final resolution of a related state prosecution against Marino Bagcal (“Bagcal”), a non-party to
this litigation, and (b) adjourning sine die defendants’ time to respond to the civil complaint.
See Motion to Stay Civil Case (July 31, 2017) (“Def. Motion”), Electronic Case Filing Docket
Entry (“DE”) #9; Response in Opposition (Aug. 2, 2017) (“Pl. Opp.”), DE #10. For the
reasons that follow, defendants’ motion is denied.
On December 8, 2015, plaintiff and Bagcal were arrested following a vehicle stop and
search. A Queens grand jury dismissed the charges against plaintiff on June 30, 2016. See
Pl. Opp. at 1 & exhibit thereto. Bagcal, on the other hand, entered a conditional plea of
guilty to a felony charge, as part of an agreement pursuant to which he must remain in an inpatient drug treatment program for eighteen months, in exchange for a sentence of probation
and a misdemeanor conviction. See Def. Motion at 3. Bagcal reportedly entered into the
drug treatment program in December 2016, see id., and thus his 18-month commitment is not
set to expire until June 2018.
According to defendants, the District Attorney’s office (“DA”) “is treating Bagcal’s
case as currently open[,]” thereby preventing defendants from obtaining either the DA’s
criminal case file relating to plaintiff or his criminal court file. See id.
It is for this reason
that defendants seek a blanket stay of this civil action.
As plaintiff correctly notes, see Pl. Opp. at 2, judicial decisions staying civil lawsuits
on account of pending parallel criminal prosecutions against the civil plaintiffs do not support
staying the instant litigation, where the related criminal action is not against the plaintiff, but
against a non-party -- indeed, a non-party who has already pleaded guilty to the criminal
charge against him. While defendants complain that they have been unable to access the
DA’s or criminal court files, defendants are not without other sources of information -- e.g.,
the NYPD files and/or the officers involved in plaintiff’s arrest.
As defendants acknowledge, “the entry of a stay is a matter for the Court’s
Def. Motion at 4; see id at 2. The prejudice that defendants complain of may
be addressed through applications to the Court for assistance in obtaining records that are
otherwise not made available to them. 1
See Pl. Opp. at 2. On the other hand, the stay
sought by defendants would prejudice plaintiff by placing this lawsuit in a holding pattern for a
Particularly in light of Bagcal’s guilty plea, it would appear that the DA’s reluctance to produce its case file could
be resolved with an appropriate confidentiality stipulation and order.
minimum of nine additional months, while Bagcal completes his in-patient drug treatment
program. In these circumstances, the factors relevant to defendants’ motion for a stay tip
decidedly in plaintiff’s favor.
For the foregoing reasons, defendants’ motion for a stay is denied. Defendants are
directed to respond to the complaint by September 22, 2017.
Dated: Brooklyn, New York
August 31, 2017
Roanne L. Mann
ROANNE L. MANN
CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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