Watson v. New York State Dept. of Motor Vehicles

Filing 22

OPINION re: 20 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction (Corrected E-Filing) filed by New York State Dept. of Motor Vehicles: For the foregoing reasons, Defendant's motion to dismiss is granted and Plaintiff is granted leave to replead within 20 days. (Signed by Judge Robert W. Sweet on 5/31/2017) (jwh)

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK ----------------------------------------x CAREEMA WATSON, Plaintiff, 16 Civ. 7532 (RWS) - against OPINION NEW YORK STATE DEP'T OF MOTOR VEHICLES, Defendant. ----------------------------------------x A P P E A R A N C E S: I USDC .-SDNY 1 I DOCUf\JENT ELECTRONfC/\T-iY Attorney for Plaintiff 1 D C#: Plaintiff, pro se DAic ILED .· ~~+-r--=;:: _, Careema Watson 1515 St. John's Place, Apt. 1.IE=::::==:=::=:==;::::=l:~';!:l~~==LJ Brooklyn, NY 11213 Attorney for Defendant ERIC T. SCHNEIDERMAN Attorney General of the State of New York 120 Broadway, 24th Floor New York, NY 10271 By: David P. Holgado 1 Sweet, D.J. Defendant New York State Department of Motor Vehicles ("OMV" or the "Defendant") has moved pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b) (1) to dismiss the complaint of Plaintiff Careema Watson ("Watson" or the "Plaintiff") jurisdiction. The (the "Complaint") Complaint alleges Americans with Disabilities Act, the New York State Human ( "NYSHRL"), Admin. Rights for lack that the 42 U.S.C. Law, of N.Y. Specifically, ("NYCHRL"). matter OMV violated §§ 12112-17 Exec. and the New York City Human Rights Code§§ 8-101-131 subject (See Compl. L. ("ADA"), §§ Law, 290-97 N. Y. at 1, the Dkt. City 2.) Watson alleges that the OMV failed to accommodate her alleged disability of epilepsy and wrongfully terminate her employment. For the following reasons, lupus and proceeded to (See Compl. at 2, 9, 12-13.) the Defendant's motion is granted and the Complaint is dismissed with leave to replead within 20 days. Prior Proceedings Plaintiff filed the instant Complaint on September 26 , 2016 . (Dkt. 2.) On February 14, 2017, Defendant moved the instant motion to dismiss. (Dkt. 9.) The motion was taken on submission and marked fully submitted on April 21, 2017 . 2 Legal Standard "The inquiry on a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under Rule 12 (b) (1) concerns whether the district court has the statutory or constitutional power to adjudicate the case." Jackson v. N.Y.S. Dep't of Labor, 709 F. Supp. 2d 218, 223 (S.D.N.Y. 2010) (citing Makarova v. United States, 201 F.3d 110, 113 (2d Cir. 2000)). "[J]urisdiction must be shown affirmatively, and that showing inferences is favorable not to made the by party Shipping Fin. Servs. Corp. v. drawing from asserting Drakos, the it." 140 F.3d 129, pleadings Id. (quoting 131 (2d Cir. 1998)) . Plaintiff's Complaint Is Dismissed With Leave To Replead The Eleventh Amendment to the United States Cons ti tut ion precludes federal courts from entertaining lawsuits by individuals against the States Regents, 528 U.S. U.S. 54 44, and 62, (1996); state 72-73 agencies. (2 000); Kimel v. Fla. Seminole Tribe v. Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, Bd. Fla., 276 of 517 (1986); Pennhurst State Sch. & Hosp. v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 100 (1984) (state agencies are entitled to sovereign immunity). New York State has neither waived, nor has Congress abrogated, New York States' immunity with respect to claims arising from the ADA, 3 NYSHRL, or HYCHRL-the very claims that constitute the instant Complaint. See Nicolae v. with Office of Vocational Disabilities, (citations omitted) 257 Fed. & Educ. Servs. for App'x 455, 456-57 (2d Indi victuals Cir. 2007) (upholding dismissal of ADA claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction) ; Jackson v. NYS Dep't of Labor, F. Supp. 2d 218, 226 (S.D.N.Y. 2010) 709 (holding the same for claims brought under the NYSHRL and NYCHRL). As the OMV is a state entity for purposes of Eleventh Amendment immunity, and the Complaint has only been brought against the OMV, the Complaint must be dismissed. See O'Diah v. N.Y.C, No. 02 Civ. 274 (DLC), 2002 WL 1941179, at *6 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 21, 2002) (collecting cases). "Generally, leave to amend should be freely given, and a pro se litigant in particular should be afforded every reasonable opportunity to demonstrate that he has a valid claim." Nielsen v. Rabin, 746 F.3d 58, 62 (2d Cir. 2014) (quoting Matima v. Celli, 228 F.3d 68, 81 (2d Cir. 2000)). "A prose complaint should not be dismissed without the Court granting leave to amend at least once when a liberal reading of the complaint gives any indication that a valid claim might be stated." Id. (quoting Chavis v. Chappius, 618 F.3d 162, 170 (2d Cir. 2010)). Taking into account Plaintiff's pro se status and the nature of her claims, Plaintiff leave to replead within 20 days. 15 (a) ( 2) the Court See Fed. R. grants Civ. P. (A court "should freely give leave" to amend "when justice 4 so requires."). Any future repleading should show that this Court may exercise subject matter jurisdiction over the claims, such as by naming in the complaint individual defendants responsible for unlawful actions alleged and specifying the factual basis for any claim made. See Ying Jing Gan v . City of N.Y., (2d Cir. 1993) 996 F.3d 522, 529 ("As to a claim brought against [a state official] in his individual capacity . . . the state official has no Ele venth Amendment immunity.") . 5 Conclusion For the foregoing reasons, Defendant's motion to dismiss is granted and Plaintiff is granted leave to replead within 20 days. It is so ordered. New York, NY May 3I , 2011 ROBERT W. SWEET U.S.D.J. 6

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