Traub Lieberman Partner Robert S. Nobel Prevails On Pre-Answer Motion To Dismiss § 1983 Claims In Eastern District Of New York

Traub Lieberman partner Robert S. Nobel prevailed on a pre-answer motion to dismiss in the case of Charles Adams v. The City of New York, et al., 15-CV-51ff (WFK) (RER), filed in the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York. The lawsuit alleged that the plaintiff was racially profiled, accused of stealing at a Best Buy in the Atlantic Center Mall, violently pinned to the ground and handcuffed by private security personal. Plaintiff was ultimately arrested and charged by New York City Police officers. By Decision and Order, filed March 31, 2017, the Hon. William F. Kuntz, II accepted Mr. Nobel’s argument that the plaintiff did not adequately allege that clients Andrews International, Inc., Conrad Mann, and Frist New York Partners Management, LLC.,  were acting under color of state law and, therefore, the plaintiff cannot maintain a  §1983 claim against those defendants.  Although the court acknowledged case law holding that ostensibly private conduct can be attributed to the state if there was a close nexus between the state and the private actors’ conduct, the court found that such was not alleged in the instant suit.  A similar argument was made by the Best Buy co-defendants and the court granted their motion as well. The plaintiff also asserted various state law claims including: false arrest, assault, battery, trespass, malicious prosecution, negligent hiring and retention. Having dismissed the federal claims, Mr. Nobel argued that the court should decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims. The court agreed and dismissed the state law claims without prejudice.