Nachmenson v. NYPD 77th Precinct
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: Plaintiff's motion 2 to proceed in forma pauperis is GRANTED. As set forth in the Court's October 11, 2017 Memorandum and Order, the complaint is dismissed for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted . The Court finds that amendment of the complaint would be futile. The Clerk of the Court is respectfully directed to serve a copy of the attached Memorandum and Order on the pro se Plaintiff and to close the case. Ordered by Judge LaShann DeArcy Hall on 10/11/2017. (Zdanys, Joanna)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
NYPD 77th PRECINCT,
LASHANN DEARCY HALL, United States District Judge:
Plaintiff Nachman Nachmenson, proceeding pro se, brings the instant action against the
77th Precinct of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”). Plaintiff’s request to proceed
in forma pauperis is granted, and the complaint is dismissed.
On April 23, 2013, officers from the 77th Precinct arrested Plaintiff and allegedly beat
him for no reason. (Compl. 6, ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff filed an action against the officers in state
court and believes that the officers now seek revenge in retaliation for his complaint. (Id.)
On May 28, 2017, an individual broke into Plaintiff’s home through a window and stole
art. (Id.) Plaintiff believes that the perpetrator was Gilad Bazel, a member of the “‘Shmira[,]’
the Jewish community patrol.” (Id.) After the incident, Plaintiff called the police dozens of
times, but they never arrived. (Id.) Plaintiff filed a report, but states that the 77th Precinct
refuses to investigate the incident. (Id.) Plaintiff also maintains that the 77th Precinct, which he
characterizes as a “mafia,” is cooperating with the Shmira. (Id.) For example, Plaintiff contends
that Sergeant Sands of the 77th Precinct is assisting Gilad Bazel in illegally charging guests in
The following facts are derived from the complaint and are assumed to be true for purposes of this Memorandum
Plaintiff’s building $150 per night to stay there, even though the building is run by a non-profit
organization. (Id.) Plaintiff also contends that Sergeant Sands has been harassing him and
identifies six additional police officers who allegedly cooperated with the Shmira and refused to
investigate the burglary. (Id. at 6-7.) Plaintiff seeks $770,000,000.00 in damages and injunctive
relief. (Id. at 5.)
STANDARD OF REVIEW
A complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949, 173 L.
Ed. 2d 868 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1955,
167 L.Ed.2d 929 (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. Id. The plausibility standard “is not akin to a ‘probability requirement,’ but
it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. A court
considering a 12(b)(6) motion must take factual allegations in the complaint to be true and draw
all reasonable inferences in the Plaintiff’s favor. Id.
At the motion to dismiss stage, the Court “must merely determine whether the complaint
itself is legally sufficient.” Morris v. Northrop Grumman Corp., 37 F. Supp. 556, 565 (E.D.N.Y.
1999) (internal citation omitted). It is not the Court’s function to weigh the evidence that might
be presented at trial. Id. The issue before the Court “is not whether a plaintiff will ultimately
prevail, but whether the claimant is entitled to offer evidence to support the claims.” Id. (citing
Villager Pond Inc. v. Town of Darien, 56 F.3d 375, 378 (2d Cir. 1995), cert. denied, 519 U.S.
808, 117 S.Ct. 50, 136 L.Ed.2d 14 (1996)).
Where, as here, the plaintiff is proceeding pro se, courts are “obliged to construe the
plaintiff’s pleadings liberally.” Giannone v. Bank of Am., N.A., 812 F. Supp. 2d 219-20
(E.D.N.Y. 2011). Because pro se litigants are entitled to a liberal construction of their pleadings,
their complaints should be read to raise the strongest arguments that they suggest. Sykes v. Bank
of America, 723 F.3d 399, 403 (2d Cir. 2013). A pro se complaint, “however inartfully pleaded,
must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Sealed
Plaintiff v. Sealed Defendant, 537 F.3d 183, 191-92 (2d Cir. 2008) (quoting Erickson v. Pardus,
551 U.S. 89, 127 S.Ct 2197, 2200, 167 L.Ed.2d 1081 (2007)). This rule is “particularly so when
the pro se plaintiff alleges that [his] civil rights have been violated.” Id. (citing McEachin v.
McGuinnis, 357 F.3d 197, 200 (2d Cir. 2004)). Accordingly, the dismissal of a pro se claim as
insufficiently pleaded is appropriate only in the most unsustainable of cases. Rios v. Third
Precinct Bay Shore, No. 08-cv-4641, 2009 WL 2601303, at *2 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 20, 2009).
Plaintiff brings the instant action against only one Defendant, the 77th Police Precinct of
the NYPD. (See Compl.) Under law, the NYPD is a non-suable entity. See Jenkins v. City of
New York, 478 F.3d 76, 93 n.19 (2d Cir. 2007) (affirming district court’s ruling that the NYPD is
a non-suable agency of the City of New York); N.Y.C. Charter § 396 (“All actions and
proceedings for the recovery of penalties for the violation of any law shall be brought in the
name of the city of New York and not in that of any agency, except where otherwise provided by
law.”). As a division of the NYPD, a precinct is an organizational subdivision of the City of
New York and also lacks independent legal existence. Flemming v. New York City, No. 02 Civ.
4113, 2003 WL 296921, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 11, 2003) (citing Dove v. Fordham Univ., 56 F.
Supp. 2d 330, 337 (S.D.N.Y. 1999)) (dismissing claims brought against 46th Precinct because it
lacked independent legal existence and therefore was not a suable entity); Wilson v. City of New
York, 800 F. Supp. 1098, 1101 (E.D.N.Y. 1992) (NYPD cannot be sued independently because it
is an agency of the City of New York). Therefore, Plaintiff’s claims against the 77th Precinct are
dismissed for failure to state a claim. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).
Even if Plaintiff had named a proper defendant, his claims would nonetheless warrant
dismissal. First, Plaintiff claims that he called the police to report a break-in and that the officers
at the 77th Precinct did not investigate the incident to his satisfaction. (Compl. 6.) Police
officers, however, have discretion to conduct investigations and initiate arrests, and they are
charged with acting for the benefit of the public, not for private citizens. See Town of Castle
Rock, Colo. v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748, 760, 765 (2005) (noting the “well established tradition of
police discretion” and that “serving of public rather than private ends is the normal course of the
criminal law.”). Thus, “police officers have no affirmative duty to investigate complaints, as the
government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services or protection to
individual citizens.” Morris v. City of N.Y., No. 14-CV-1749 JG LB, 2015 WL 1914906, at *5
(E.D.N.Y. Apr. 27, 2015) (citing DeShaney v. Winnebago Cty. Dep’t of Soc. Servs., 489 U.S.
189, 197 (1989)). Accordingly, even if Plaintiff amended his complaint, any potential claims
against the individual police officers would be dismissed for failure to state a claim.
Second, Plaintiff also claims that an individual who is not identified as law enforcement,
Gilad Bazel, is improperly collecting rent. (Id.) Here, again, Plaintiff fails to state a claim.
Plaintiff has not alleged that Bazel or Sergeant Sands owed him any particular duty or that they
violated any enforceable rights. Thus, it would be futile to permit Plaintiff to amend the
complaint in order to name Bazel as a Defendant.
For the foregoing reasons, the complaint is dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted. Amendment of
the complaint to substitute additional Defendants would be futile. The Court certifies pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3) that any appeal would not be taken in good faith, and therefore in forma
pauperis status is denied for the purpose of any appeal. Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S.
438, 444-45 (1962). The Clerk of Court is respectfully directed to enter judgment and close this
LASHANN DEARCY HALL
United States District Judge
Dated: Brooklyn, New York
October 11, 2017
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