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Dunbar v. Lions

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

October 27, 2016

JEROME T. DUNBAR, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHN LIONS et al ., Defendants

          ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)

          Jeffrey Alker Meyer, United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Jerome Dunbar has filed this pro se lawsuit against defendants John Lions, Stephen Barris, and Craig Appleby. Based on my review of the complaint, it is clear that plaintiff has not alleged facts that give rise to plausible grounds for relief. Accordingly, the Court will sua sponte dismiss this action without prejudice.

         Background

         The pro se complaint alleges that defendant John Lions is an Assistant State's Attorney, and it appears that defendants Barris and Appleby are police officers. For “Claim I” of the complaint, plaintiff alleges solely the following sentence fragment: “The officers knew that there was no factual basis to believe that.” Doc. #1 at 3. There are no other factual allegations for Claim I.

         For “Claim II, ” the complaint alleges as follows:

Malicious Prosecution the vehicle was not owned or operated by the plaintiff. “Lions” knew that the vehicle was registered to someone other than the plaintiff and that the plaintiff was not a passenger nor operating the vehicle when stopped.

Doc. #1 at 4. There are no other factual allegations for Claim II.

         For “Claim III, ” the complaint alleges as follows:

Illegal imprisonment the plaintiff was hand cuffed and brought to the station on the 5/5/2010 arrest and upon learning that a warrant was issued for the Insurance violation turned himself in see both U.A.R.'s attached hereto.

Doc. #1 at 4. Attached to the complaint are two Uniform Arrest Reports. One report reflects defendant's arrest by defendant Appleby on April 25, 2011, on a charge of operating a motor vehicle without insurance, in violation of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 14-213b. Doc. #1 at 7. The second report reflects defendant's arrest by defendant Barris on May 5, 2010, for interference and resisting arrest, in violation of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-167a. Doc. #1 at 8.[1] Neither of the attached arrest reports describes any factual circumstances leading to plaintiff's arrests.

         Discussion

         It is well established that “pro se complaints must be construed liberally and interpreted to raise the strongest arguments that they suggest.” Sykes v. Bank of America., 723 F.3d 399, 403 (2d Cir. 2013); see also Tracy v. Freshwater, 623 F.3d 90, 101-02 (2d Cir. 2010) (discussing special rules of solicitude for pro se litigants). Although the Court must accept as true all factual matters alleged in a complaint, a complaint may not survive unless its factual recitations state a claim to relief that is at least plausible on its face. See, e.g., Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Mastafa v. Chevron Corp., 770 F.3d 170, 177 (2d Cir. 2014) (same).

         This Court has authority to review and dismiss sua sponte a legally frivolous complaint or if the complaint fails to state a claim for which relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B); Fitzgerald v. First E. Seventh St. Tenants Corp., 221 F.3d 362, 363 (2d Cir. 2000) (per curiam). “An action is ‘frivolous' when either: (1) the factual contentions are clearly baseless, such as when allegations are the product of delusion or fantasy; or (2) the claim is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory.” Livingston v. Adirondack Beverage Co., 141 F.3d 434, 437 (2d Cir. 1998).

         Plaintiff's complaint does not state a plausible claim for relief and appears to be frivolous. First, to the extent that plaintiff states a claim for false or illegal arrest, this claim is plainly barred by the three-year statute of limitations that governs constitutional claims filed under Section 1983. See Lounsbury v. Jeffries, 25 F.3d 131, 133-34 (2d Cir. 1994). A claim for false arrest in violation of the Fourth Amendment accrues as of the date of the alleged false arrest. See Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384, 389-90 (2007); Johnson v. Teague, 2014 WL 2515214, at *2 (D. Conn. 2014). Plaintiff was allegedly arrested in May 2010 and April 2011, but the complaint in ...


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