United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND
(DOC. NO. 72) AND AMENDED INITIAL REVIEW ORDER (DOC. NO.
C. HALL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff, Deshawn Tyson (“Tyson”), currently is
incarcerated at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in
Suffield, Connecticut. He has filed a third motion for leave
to file a Third Amended Complaint. See Doc. No. 72.
As instructed in prior orders from the court, see
Ruling (Doc. No. 63) at 2, Ruling (Doc. No. 74) at 2, he has
attached a proposed Third Amended Complaint as an exhibit to
his Motion. See generally Third Am. Compl. (Doc. No.
initial Complaint (Doc. No. 1), Tyson listed only one
defendant, Bianca Alvarez, in the case caption. As all
defendants must be listed in the caption, the court
considered the Complaint to be asserted against Ms. Alvarez
only. See Initial Review Order (Doc. No. 12) at 1.
Tyson asserted claims for violation of his rights under the
Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, Article 7 of
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Federal Tort
Claims Act, and state law. See id. at 1-2. By
Initial Review Order filed June 14, 2017, the court dismissed
all claims except the Fourth Amendment illegal seizure claim
based on Tyson's warrantless arrest at his uncle's
apartment, and state law claims for defamation and
intentional infliction of emotional distress. See
id. at 14. The court noted that these claims would
proceed, provided Tyson amended his Complaint to identify the
police officers and detectives involved in the
claims. See id.
subsequently submitted two Amended Complaints, adding first
Lucille Roach, and then James Garofalo as defendants.
See Amended Complaint (Doc. No. 14), Amended
Complaint (Doc. No. 18). On October 13, 2017, the court
considered the second submission to be the Amended Complaint
referenced in the prior Order and filed an Initial Review
Order directed to that Amended Complaint. See
Initial Order Review Re Amended Complaint (Doc. No. 21).
Tyson reasserted his claim against Detective Roach for arrest
without probable cause, arguing that she failed to further
investigate and consider allegedly exculpatory evidence
before obtaining the arrest warrant. See id. at 6.
These allegations were not included in the original
Complaint. In light of the new allegations calling the
probable cause determination into question, the court
permitted the claim for arrest without probable cause to
proceed. See id. at 7.
court failed to consider, however, that this claim is,
essentially, a false arrest claim. See Davis v.
Rodriguez, 364 F.3d 424, 433 (2d Cir. 2004) (“In
analyzing § 1983 claims for unconstitutional false
arrest, we have generally looked to the law of the state in
which the arrest occurred.”); Weyant v. Okst,
101 F.3d 845, 852 (2d Cir .1996) (noting that arrest without
probable cause is a type of section 1983 claim for false
arrest). Under Connecticut law, favorable termination is an
element of a false arrest claim. See Miles v. City of
Hartford, 445 Fed.Appx. 379, 383 (2d Cir. 2011) (holding
district court did not err in granting summary judgment on
false arrest claim because “the Court [has] expressly
held, invoking Connecticut law, that favorable termination is
an element of ‘a section 1983 claim sounding in false
imprisonment and false arrest.'”) (quoting
Roesch v. Otarola, 980 F.2d 850, 853-54 (2d Cir.
1992)). Tyson states that the criminal case is still
pending. See Third Amended Complaint at 2.
Thus, his false arrest claim should have been dismissed
Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(2) provides that the court
should grant leave to amend when justice so requires. See
Turner v. Boyle, 116 F.Supp.3d 58, 96 (D. Conn. 2015)
(noting that Second Circuit encourages district courts to
allow pro se parties to amend their complaints
“when justice so requires”). The decision to
permit an amendment is within the district court's
discretion. See McCarthy v. Dun & Bradstreet
Corp., 482 F.3d 184, 200 (2d Cir. 2007). The district
court may deny leave to amend “where [a] motion is made
after an inordinate delay, no satisfactory explanation is
offered for the delay, and the amendment would prejudice
other parties.” Grace v. Rosenstock, 228 F.3d
40, 53-54 (2d Cir. 2000).
Proposed Third Amended Complaint is identical to the Second
Amended Complaint with two exceptions. Tyson has changed the
date to July 24, 2018. See Third Am. Compl. at 1. He
also adds one paragraph to the description of defendants
adding New Haven Chief of Police Anthony Campbell
(“Campbell”) and New Haven Mayor Toni N. Harp
(“Harp”) as defendants. See id. at
¶ 6. Tyson alleges that they “are responsible for
all the actions of all Agents and people under their
command(s) throughout their various office[s] and are both
sued under Municipalities and in their individual and
official capacities.” Id.
names Campbell and Harp, both municipal officials, in their
individual and official capacities. The Proposed Third
Amended Complaint, like the Second Amended Complaint,
includes facts relating only to police entry into Tyson's
uncle's apartment and his arrest. Tyson alleges no facts
showing that Campbell or Harp was involved in, or even aware
of, the incident. Rather, Tyson seeks to add Campbell and
Harp as defendants to this claim to hold them accountable for
the actions of subordinates. Municipal officials cannot be
held responsible for the actions of subordinates in an action
under section 1983 of title 42 of the United States Code
under a theory of respondeat superior. See
Monell v. Department of Social Servs., 436 U.S. 658,
690-91 (1978); see also Reynolds v. Giuliani, 506
F.3d 183, 190 (2d Cir. 2007) (Monell precludes
respondeat superior as basis for municipal liability
under section 1983). Tyson has alleged no facts to support an
individual capacity claim against Campbell or Harp.
against a municipal official in his or her official capacity
is, essentially, a claim against the city for which he or she
works. See Brandon v. Holt, 469 U.S. 464, 471-72
(1985) (noting that suit against municipal official in his
official capacity was suit against municipality because
liability for any judgment would rest on municipality). To
state a claim for municipal liability, Tyson must allege
facts showing the existence of an officially adopted policy
or custom that caused the deprivation of his constitutional
rights. See Wray v. City of New York, 490 F.3d 189,
195 (2d Cir. 2007); see also Monell v. Department of
Social Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 694 (1978). Tyson alleges
no facts establishing the existence of a policy or custom of
falsely arresting citizens.
same day Tyson filed this Motion, the court filed its Ruling
granting the Motion to Dismiss, filed by defendants Roach and
Healy, as to the claims against them in their official
capacities. See Ruling on Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss (Doc. No. 73) at 6. As the court explained:
Allegations involving a single incident, especially one
involving only actors below the policy-making level, is
insufficient to state a claim for liability under
Monell. See Oklahoma City v. Tuttle, 471
U.S. 808, 823-24 (1985); accord Parker v. City of Long
Beach, 563 Fed.Appx. 39, 41-42 (2d Cir. 2014) (summary
order), as amended (Apr. 31, 2014) (affirming dismissal of
Monell claim where plaintiff “fail[ed] to
establish that the individual defendants' actions were
the result of any municipal policy or failure to train, or
that any of the ...