Sanders v. Williams et al
OPINION & ORDER ADOPTING REPORT & RECOMMENDATION for 29 Report and Recommendations, 19 Motion to Dismiss filed by Sena Williams. The Court adopts the R&R in full and GRANTS the motion for judgment on the pleadings with prejudice. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C § 1915(a), the Court finds that any appeal from this order would not be taken in good faith. The Clerk is directed to enter judgment in favor of Defendant and terminate 14 cv 7210. (As further set forth in this Order) (Signed by Judge Paul A. Crotty on 12/4/2015) Copies Mailed By Chambers. (lmb)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
DOC #: _________________
DATE FILED: December 4, 2015
14 Civ. 7210 (PAC) (MHD)
OPINION & ORDER
ADOPTING REPORT &
HONORABLE PAUL A. CROTTY, United States District Judge:
This is a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action brought by pro se Plaintiff Charlie Sanders claiming
false arrest and malicious prosecution. Defendant NYPD Officer Sena Williams moves for
judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c). In a Report & Recommendation
(“R&R”), dated November 10, 2015, Magistrate Judge Michael H. Dolinger recommended
granting the motion because Plaintiff’s claims are barred due to his guilty plea to third-degree
assault. The Court agrees and GRANTS the motion for judgment on the pleadings.
As alleged in the Amended Complaint, on July 23, 2014 when Plaintiff was working at
his job selling newspapers at Grand Central Terminal, he was attacked by a drunk man. An
altercation ensued in which the man hit Plaintiff in the face and pushed him to the ground.
Plaintiff suffered whiplash and a lacerated lip. Nonetheless, Defendant erroneously arrested
Plaintiff, who was brought to a hospital to treat his injuries and then held in custody. Plaintiff
was charged with second-degree assault, second-degree menacing, and fourth-degree criminal
possession of a weapon. He subsequently pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and was
sentenced to thirty days of imprisonment. Plaintiff alleges that he was the victim, not the
perpetrator, of the altercation. He asserts that the arrest, prosecution and imprisonment were
The Court may “accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or
recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). If no objections are
made, the Court reviews the R&R for clear error. Terio v. Michaud, No. 10 cv 4276 (CS), 2011
WL 2610627, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. June 27, 2011).
“The standard for granting a Rule 12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings is identical
to that of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion for failure to state a claim.” Patel v. Contemporary Classics of
Beverly Hills, 259 F.3d 123, 126 (2d Cir. 2001). When assessing a motion to dismiss for failure
to state a claim, the court accepts as true all of the factual allegations contained in the complaint
and construes the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). While this standard applies to complaints submitted by pro
se plaintiffs, such pleadings are read liberally and the court derives from them the most
reasonable claims and arguments that they may be read to imply. See Teichmann v. New York,
769 F.3d 821, 825 (2d Cir. 2014). The court may consider “the complaint, the answer, any
written documents attached to them, and any matter of which the court can take judicial notice
for the factual background of the case,” including arrest reports and criminal complaints.
Roberts v. Babkiewicz, 585 F.3d 418, 419 (2d Cir. 2009).
The Court reads Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint to bring claims for false arrest and
malicious prosecution. The R&R determined that both claims necessarily fail because Plaintiff
pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of third-degree assault.1 The Court agrees and adopts the
R&R in full. To prevail on a claim for false arrest or malicious prosecution, Plaintiff must
demonstrate that Defendant lacked probable cause to arrest him. See Weyant v. Okst, 101 F.3d
845, 852 (2d Cir. 1996); Swartz v. Insogna, 704 F.3d 105, 111-12 (2d Cir. 2013). Since
Plaintiff’s guilty plea established probable cause as a matter of law, both claims necessarily fail.
See Cameron v. Fogarty, 806 F.2d 380, 388-89 (2d Cir. 1986).
The Court adopts the R&R in full and GRANTS the motion for judgment on the
pleadings with prejudice. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C § 1915(a), the Court finds that any appeal from
this order would not be taken in good faith. The Clerk is directed to enter judgment in favor of
Defendant and terminate 14 cv 7210.
Dated: New York, New York
December 4, 2015
PAUL A. CROTTY
United States District Judge
Copy mailed by chambers to:
148 Van Pelt Avenue, Apt. 1
Staten Island, NY 10303
Plaintiff does not object to the R&R.
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