Rochester v. Sixth Precinct Police Station ( 2010 )


Menu:
  • 09-0630-pr
    Rochester v. Sixth Precinct Police Station
    
    
                                         UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
                                             FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT
    
                                                     SUMMARY ORDER
    
    RULINGS BY SUMMARY ORDER DO NOT HAVE PRECEDENTIAL EFFECT.   CITATION TO A SUMMARY
    ORDER FILED ON OR AFTER JANUARY 1, 2007, IS PERMITTED AND IS GOVERNED BY FEDERAL
    RULE OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE 32.1 AND THIS COURT’S LOCAL RULE 32.1.1. WHEN CITING
    A SUMMARY ORDER IN A DOCUMENT FILED WITH THIS COURT, A PARTY MUST CITE EITHER THE
    FEDERAL APPENDIX OR AN ELECTRONIC DATABASE (WITH THE NOTATION “SUMMARY ORDER”). A
    PARTY CITING A SUMMARY ORDER MUST SERVE A COPY OF IT ON ANY PARTY NOT REPRESENTED
    BY COUNSEL.
    
         At a stated term of the United States Court of Appeals for the
    Second Circuit, held at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States
    Courthouse, 500 Pearl Street, in the City of New York, on the 25th
    day of March, two thousand ten.
    
    PRESENT:
                ROBERT A. KATZMANN,
                PETER W. HALL,
                       Circuit Judges,
                JED S. RAKOFF,
                       District Judge.*
    _______________________________________________
    
    Charles Rochester,
    
                                            Plaintiff-Appellant,
    
                        v.                                                           09-0630-pr
    
    Sixth Precinct Police Station, Franco Frantellizzi, Police
    Officer Badge #4182, Dylan Friedlander, Police Officer
    Badge #4945, Anthony Schwarz, Police Officer Badge
    #4130,
    
                                            Defendants-Appellees.
    
    ______________________________________________
    
    FOR APPELLANT:                          Charles Rochester, pro se, Bronx, N.Y.
    
    
                   *
                  Jed S. Rakoff, of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York,
         sitting by designation.
    FOR APPELLEE:                  Arlene S. Zwilling, County Attorneys’ Office, Suffolk County,
                                   Hauppauge, N.Y.
    
    
           Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Bianco,
    J.).
    
           UPON DUE CONSIDERATION, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND
    
    DECREED that the district court’s judgment is AFFIRMED, in part, and the appeal is
    
    DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE, in part, to reinstatement.
    
           Appellant Charles Rochester, pro se, appeals from the judgment of the United States District
    
    Court for the Eastern District of New York (Bianco, J.), pursuant to a partial order of dismissal and a
    
    jury verdict, dismissing his 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action. We assume the parties’ familiarity with the
    
    underlying facts, the procedural history of the case, and the issues on appeal.
    
    I.     Motion to Dismiss
    
            “We review de novo a district court’s dismissal of a complaint pursuant to Rule
    
    12(b)(6), construing the complaint liberally, accepting all factual allegations in the complaint as true,
    
    and drawing all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff’s favor.” Chambers v. Time Warner, Inc., 
    282 F.3d 147
    , 152 (2d Cir. 2002); see also Miller v. Wolpoff & Abramson, L.L.P., 
    321 F.3d 292
    , 300 (2d
    
    Cir. 2003). A complaint must plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
    
    face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 
    550 U.S. 544
    , 570 (2007). Section 1983 actions arising in New
    
    York State are governed by a three-year period of limitations. Owens v. Okure, 
    488 U.S. 235
    , 250-
    
    51 (1989). Where the original complaint was filed within the statute of limitations, an amended
    
    complaint “relates back” to the date of the original pleading when: (1) the law that provides the
    
    statute of limitations allows relation back; (2) the amendment asserts a claim or defense that arose
    
    out of the conduct in the original pleading; or (3) the amendment changes the party or the naming of
    
    
                                                        2
    the party against whom a claim is asserted. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(c)(1).
    
            Moreover, “[u]nder the doctrine of equitable tolling, a court may, under compelling
    
    circumstances, make narrow exceptions to the statute of limitations in order ‘to prevent inequity.’” In
    
    re U.S. Lines, Inc., 
    318 F.3d 432
    , 436 (2d Cir. 2003). In New York, “[a] plaintiff seeking to invoke
    
    either the doctrines of equitable estoppel or equitable tolling is required to demonstrate that the
    
    failure to timely commence the lawsuit is not attributable to a lack of diligence on his or her part.”
    
    Kotylarsky v. N.Y. Post, 
    757 N.Y.S.2d 703
    , 707 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2003); see also O’Hara v. Bayliner,
    
    
    89 N.Y.2d 636
    , 646-47 (1997) (setting forth the “limited circumstances” for equitable tolling).
    
    Typically, the statute of limitations is equitably tolled when a defendant fraudulently conceals from a
    
    plaintiff the fact that the plaintiff has a cause of action, or when the plaintiff is induced by the
    
    defendant to forego a lawsuit until the statute of limitations has expired. See Pearl v. City of Long
    
    Beach, 
    296 F.3d 76
    , 82-83 (2d Cir. 2002) (discussing the New York state courts’ application of
    
    equitable estoppel and the federal courts’ use of equitable tolling and equitable estoppel).
    
            Having conducted an independent and de novo review, we conclude, for substantially the
    
    same reasons stated by the district court, that Appellant’s § 1983 claims, pled in his amended
    
    complaint, are time-barred. Although Appellant’s claims are similar to those raised in his original
    
    complaint—namely, police misconduct and harassment—the claims are nevertheless unrelated
    
    because they did not arise out of the same conduct set forth in his original complaint, and, instead,
    
    involve a different factual predicate based on events occurring in March and October 2003. See
    
    Slayton v. Am. Express Co., 
    460 F.3d 215
    , 228 (2d Cir. 2006) (noting that “even where an amended
    
    complaint tracks the legal theory of the first complaint, claims that are based on an ‘entirely distinct
    
    set’ of factual allegations will not relate back”) (quoting Nettis v. Levitt, 
    241 F.3d 186
    , 193 (2d Cir.
    
    2001)). Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the district court with respect to its dismissal of
    
    Appellant’s time-barred claims.
                                                         3
    II.     Jury Verdict
    
            It is Appellant’s duty to “order from the reporter a transcript of such parts of the proceedings
    
    not already on file as the appellant considers necessary [or] . . . file a certificate stating that no
    
    transcript will be ordered.” Fed. R. App. P. 10(b)(1)(A) and (B). Additionally, where, as here, an
    
    appellant “intends to urge on appeal that a finding or conclusion is unsupported by the evidence or is
    
    contrary to the evidence, the appellant must include in the record a transcript of all evidence relevant
    
    to that finding or conclusion.” Fed. R. App. P. 10(b)(2). As the trial transcripts are necessary for
    
    meaningful appellate review of the district court’s judgment, that portion of the appeal challenging
    
    the jury verdict is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE to reinstatement provided that
    
    Appellant, within 30 days of the date of this order, provides this Court with: (1) the trial transcript;
    
    (2) proof that he has ordered the trial transcript; or (3) proof that he has moved in the district court
    
    for a free trial transcript. Upon timely filing of a transcript in the record on appeal, the appeal will be
    
    reinstated.
    
            For the reasons stated above, the district court’s judgment is AFFIRMED, in part, and the
    
    appeal is DISMISSED, in part, WITHOUT PREJUDICE to reinstatement.
    
    
                                                    FOR THE COURT:
                                                    Catherine O’Hagan Wolfe, Clerk
    
    
    
    
                                                          4