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Conquistador v. Hartford Police Department

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

March 13, 2017

JEAN K. CONQUISTADOR, Plaintiff,
v.
HARTFORD POLICE DEPARTMENT, et al., Defendants.

          RULING ON MOTION TO DISMISS

          Michael P. Shea, U.S.D.J.

         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff Jean Conquistador has brought this lawsuit against the City of Hartford, Hartford Police Department, Deputy Chief Brian Foley, Hartford Police Officer John Doe 1, Hartford Police Officer John Doe 2, Hartford Police Officer John Doe 3, Hartford Police Officer Johnson, Hartford Police Officer Velazquez, Hartford Police Officer Cashman, Hartford Police Officer Suarez, and Hartford Police Officer Flores, alleging a violation of his constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Defendants have moved to dismiss the complaint because the plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. For the reasons stated below, the Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED.

         II. Background

         A. Allegations

         The plaintiff alleges the following facts. On October 10, 2015, the plaintiff was “assaulted and robbed for his 98 mustang, school book bag and other unspecified items.” (Complaint, ECF No. 28 at ¶ 1.) On his way to Hartford Hospital, Defendant Suarez “stopped and detained” him. (Id. at ¶ 2.) Suarez “verbally assaulted” the plaintiff, but was transported to Hartford Hospital. (Id. at ¶ 3.) On October 11, 2015, the plaintiff asked Defendant Flores to take him to recover his 98 Mustang and book bag, and Flores responded that he would take the plaintiff to the scene to recover his book bag, but he would not held him recover his 98 Mustang because it was a “lost cause.” (Id. at ¶ 4.) Flores and Defendant John Doe 1 took the plaintiff to the scene and plaintiff knocked on the “building's main door” but no one answered and “nothing was recovered.” (Id. at ¶ 5-6.) The plaintiff was then transported back to Hartford Hospital. (Id. at ¶ 7.)

         That same day, the plaintiff called the Hartford Police Department and “was instructed to appear with the previous owner of the plaintiff's vehicle.” (Id. at ¶ 8.) Plaintiff and Jamie Lockhart, the previous owner, appeared at the Hartford Police Department between 8:00pm and 10:00pm that evening, and “produced sufficient documentation to show that ownership of the vehicle was indeed signed over to the plaintiff.” (Id. at ¶ 9.) Plaintiff asked if there would be incident reports about the stolen vehicle, and Defendant Johnson said that there would not be and that he would not accept the reporting of the stolen vehicle and that Defendant Suarez was “on his way to make the report.” (Id. at ¶ 11.) Suarez and John Doe “questioned the plaintiff” and told him that “they, and the Hartford Police Department thought of the plaintiff's story of the incident as ‘fishy.'” (Id. at ¶ 12.)

         At later times, the plaintiff called the Hartford Police Department and spoke with Defendants Cashman, Defendant Velazquez, and Defendant Foley, who were “unwilling to help the plaintiff with seeking a solution.” (Id. at ¶ 13-14.) In his third motion to amend his complaint, plaintiff seeks to add Hartford Police Chief James Rovella. (ECF No. 73.) Plaintiff alleges that he called Rovella's office multiple times and was never called back, and that Rovella did not direct his officers to investigate his claim or arrest the suspects. (Id.)

         B. Procedural History

         Plaintiff filed this lawsuit on November 9, 2015, along with a motion to proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF Nos. 1, 2.) On November 30, 2015, Magistrate Judge Sarah Merriam filed a Recommended Ruling, dismissing the complaint without prejudice and denying the motion to proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF No. 8.) On December 7, 2015, plaintiff filed an amended complaint. (ECF No. 12.) On July 28, 2015, District Judge Charles Haight approved Magistrate Judge Merriam's Recommended Ruling, but accepted the amended complaint and granted the plaintiff's refiled motion to proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF No. 20.) Plaintiff filed a motion to amend his complaint and add three defendants on May 25, 2016. (ECF No. 28.) The Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss the First Amended Complaint on June 8, 2016. (ECF No. 29.) On August 22, 2016, the Court granted plaintiff's motion to amend his complaint and accepted the second amended complaint, denying the Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the First Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 56.) The Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint on September 2, 2016. (ECF No. 60.) This case was transferred to this Court on October 5, 2016.

         III. Standard

         Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the Court must determine whether the Plaintiff has alleged “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570. Under Twombly, the Court accepts as true all of the complaint's factual allegations when evaluating a motion to dismiss. Id. at 572. The Court must “draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party.” Vietnam Ass'n for Victims of Agent Orange v. Dow Chem. Co., 517 F.3d 104, 115 (2d Cir. 2008). “When a complaint is based solely on wholly conclusory allegations and provides no factual support for such claims, it is appropriate to grant defendants['] motion to dismiss.” Scott v. Town of Monroe, 306 F.Supp.2d 191, 198 (D. Conn. 2004). For a complaint to survive a motion to dismiss, “[a]fter the court strips away conclusory allegations, there must remain sufficient well-pleaded factual allegations to nudge plaintiff's claims across the line from conceivable to plausible.” In re Fosamax Products Liab. Litig., 2010 WL 1654156, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 9, 2010). In other words “a plaintiff must plead factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Vega v. Hempstead Union Free Sch. Dist., 801 F.3d 72, 86 (2d Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

         IV. Discussion

         The plaintiff invokes 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of his First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. To state a claim under Section 1983, the plaintiff must allege that a person acting under color of state law deprived him of a right ...


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