42 USC § 1983

Winfield v. Trottier, 11-4404 (2nd Cir. March 6, 2013) (JACOBS, Pooler, Hall): Plaintiffs sued a Vermont state trooper under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that he violated their Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights by reading an item of mail uncovered during a search of plaintiff’s car during a traffic stop. The Second Circuit held that,…

Read More Second Circuit: Police Officer Entitled to Qualified Immunity For Reading Stopped Driver’s Mail
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Caroline Stern and her boyfriend George Hess recently settled their lawsuit against New York City (and others) for $75,000. Hess and Stern were arrested by NYPD officers in 2011 after being observed dancing on a nearly-empty subway platform.  You can read more about their case here; the initial complaint is below. [scribd id=121523924 key=key-17jxctmv9wrx4jnj403j mode=scroll]

Read More NYC Pays $75,000 To Settle Dancing Arrest Case
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In Williams v. Holder, the Northern District of New York recently dismissed plaintiff’s claim, brought under Section 1983 and Bivens, that he was denied meaningful access to the courts because the prison’s law library did not contain sufficient legal materials and he was not provided with adequate legal assistance. The court summarized the law in…

Read More Court Denies Claim of Inadequate Access to Courts Based on Insufficient Law Library Materials and Assistance
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Below are three separate complaints filed yesterday by, respectively, plaintiffs Julie Lawler, Kelly Hanlin, and Damien Crisp against the City of New York and several named and “John Doe” NYPD employees, for damages and injunctive relief under, inter alia, 42 U.S.C. § 1983.  The crux of plaintiffs’ claims is that they were injured as a…

Read More OWS Pepper Spray Lawsuits
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In a March 22, 2012 opinion (authored by Judge Ralph Winter), the Second Circuit held, in Cuff v. Valley Central School District et al., that the defendant school did not violate a student’s First Amendment rights by suspending him for six days after he created a crayon drawing in which he expressed his desire to…

Read More 2d Circuit Upholds Suspension of 10-Year Old Who Expressed Desire to Blow Up School
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In Carpinone v. City of New York, No. 11 Civ. 2074 (PAE), the SDNY recently clarified the pleading requirements for a claim under Monell v. Dep’t of Social Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 694 (1978).  SDNY Judge Engelmayer dismissed plaintiff’s complaint on the pleadings under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c). Plaintiff alleged that he was…

Read More SDNY Reiterates Section 1983 / Monell Pleading Requirements
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Below is a copy of the complaint, captioned Sowers v. City of New York (SDNY 12-cv-1294), filed in the Southern District of New York by Chloe Sowers against the City of New York, NYPD officer Kevin McKeon, and New York Downtown Hospital. In it, Ms. Sowers alleges that while she was waiting for the Staten…

Read More Lawsuit Seeks Damages for False Arrest and Involuntary Hospitalization Arising From Non-Disruptive Public Intoxication
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In Nagle v. Marron et al. (decided Dec. 12, 2011), the Second Circuit vacated a district court’s grant of summary judgment against a schoolteacher (Nancy Nagle) who alleged, under 42 U.S.C. 1983, that she was denied tenure and terminated in retaliation for exercising her First Amendment rights – namely, reporting a fellow teacher for abusing students…

Read More Second Circuit Vacates Discmissal of Teacher’s First Amendment Retaliation Claim
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Frank v. State of New York et al., 2011 NY Slip Op 04588 (App. Div. 3d Dept. June 2, 2011): Plaintiff, a state employee, asserted claims under the public-sector whistleblower law (Civil Service Law § 75-b) and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 after he was demoted, then terminated, following his complaints of “improper governmental practices” that allegedly…

Read More NY Appellate Division: NY whistleblower election-of-remedies provision does not bar Section 1983 claim
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