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Case:  Summary Judgment Granted in Federal Court.

Counsel: David B. Owens and Paul Cividanes

Result: Case Dismissed.

MSD recently obtained summary judgment in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The two plaintiffs allege that they were assaulted by a group of individuals outside of their apartment building in the Bronx, NY, which was owned and operated by MSD’s client, Diego Beekman Mutual Housing (“Diego Beekman”).  Two police officers, stationed nearby, in addition to receiving a radio report of the fight, also observed the fight as it spilled out onto the sidewalk. The officers immediately responded and  observed one of the plaintiffs hitting a woman, which was supported by the captured surveillance footage. That plaintiff was arrested.  Plaintiffs filed suit against Diego Beekman and the City of New York, along with two police officers alleging violations of 42 USC 1983 and racial discrimination.

The Honorable Gregory H. Woods liberally construed the pro-se plaintiffs’ complaint in their favor  but found  that Diego Beekman was entitled to summary judgment  because it is not a State actor, and therefore a claim for violation of  constitutional rights cannot be brought against them.  The Court also  dismissed the action against the City finding that there was probable cause for plaintiff’s arrest based upon the officer’s observation of plaintiff hitting a woman, which was supported by the video footage submitted to the Court.

Finally, the Court certified that, any appeal would not be taken in good faith and therefore denied “IFP” status which would permit plaintiffs to appeal the decision without payment of the usual fees. Case Dismissed!

Read the decision here.