Garcia v. NYC 2.23.15

  • Published on
    07-Oct-2015

  • View
    53

  • Download
    0

Embed Size (px)

DESCRIPTION

2d Circuit Opinion

Transcript

<ul><li><p>122634cvGarciav.Jane&amp;JohnDoes</p><p>UNITEDSTATESCOURTOFAPPEALSFORTHESECONDCIRCUIT</p><p>AugustTerm,2012</p><p>(Argued:April22,2013Decided:August21,2014</p><p>RehearingFiled:December18,2014Amended:February23,2015)</p><p>DocketNo.122634cv</p><p>KARINAGARCIA,asClassRepresentativeonbehalfofherselfandotherssimilarlysituated,YARIOSORIO,asClassRepresentativeonbehalfofherselfandothers</p><p>similarlysituated,BENJAMINBECKER,asClassRepresentativeonbehalfofhimselfandotherssimilarlysituated,CASSANDRAREGAN,asClassRepresentativeon</p><p>behalfofherselfandotherssimilarlysituated,YAREIDISPEREZ,asClassRepresentativeonbehalfofherselfandotherssimilarlysituated,TYLERSOVA,as</p><p>ClassRepresentativeonbehalfofhimselfandotherssimilarlysituated,STEPHANIEJEANUMOH,asClassRepresentativeonbehalfofherselfandotherssimilarlysituated,MICHAELCRICKMORE,asClassRepresentativeonbehalfof</p><p>himselfandotherssimilarlysituated,BROOKEFEINSTEIN,asClassRepresentativeonbehalfofherselfandotherssimilarlysituated,</p><p>PlaintiffsAppellees,</p><p>MARCELCARTIER,asClassRepresentativeonbehalfofhimselfandotherssimilarlysituated,</p><p> Plaintiff,</p></li><li><p>v.</p><p>JANEANDJOHNDOES140,individuallyandintheirofficialcapacities,</p><p>DefendantsAppellants,</p><p>RAYMONDW.KELLY,individuallyandinhisofficialcapacity,CITYOFNEWYORK,MICHAELR.BLOOMBERG,individuallyandinhisofficialcapacity,</p><p>Defendants.*</p><p>Before:</p><p>CALABRESI,LIVINGSTON,andLYNCH,CircuitJudges.</p><p>__________________</p><p>Defendantsappellants,NewYorkPoliceDepartmentofficers,appealfrom</p><p>anorderoftheUnitedStatesDistrictCourtfortheSouthernDistrictofNewYork</p><p>(JedS.Rakoff,Judge)denyingtheirmotionpursuanttoRule12(b)(6)todismiss</p><p>plaintiffsappelleescomplaintagainstthemonqualifiedimmunitygrounds.</p><p>Defendantsarguethatthedistrictcourterredinconcludingthatplaintiffs</p><p>complaint,andothermaterialsthatcouldproperlybeconsideredonamotionto</p><p>dismissforfailuretostateaclaim,didnotestablishthatdefendantshadarguable</p><p>*TheClerkofCourtisrespectfullydirectedtoamendtheofficialcaptioninthiscasetoconformwiththecaptionabove.</p><p>2</p></li><li><p>probablecausetoarrestplaintiffsfordisorderlyconduct.OnAugust21,2014,</p><p>weissuedanopinionaffirmingthedistrictcourtsjudgment.OnDecember17,</p><p>2014,thisopinionwaswithdrawn.Onappellantspetitionforrehearing,wenow</p><p>grantthepetition,reversethejudgmentofthedistrictcourt,andremandwith</p><p>instructionstodismissthecomplaint.</p><p>REVERSED.</p><p>MARA VERHEYDENHILLIARD (Andrea Hope Costello and CarlMessineo,onthebrief),PartnershipforCivilJusticeFund,Washington,D.C.,forPlaintiffsAppellees.</p><p>RONALD E. STERNBERG, Assistant Corporation Counsel (LeonardKoernerandArthurG.Larkin,AssistantCorporationCounsel,onthebrief),forMichaelA.Cardozo,CorporationCounseloftheCityofNewYork,NewYork,NewYork,forDefendantsAppellants.</p><p>GERARDE.LYNCH,CircuitJudge:</p><p>Plaintiffsappellees,participantsinademonstrationwhowerearrested</p><p>afteraconfrontationwithpoliceattheManhattanentrancetotheBrooklyn</p><p>Bridge,broughtthisactionforfalsearrestinviolationoftheirFirst,Fourth,and</p><p>FourteenthAmendmentrights.Defendantappellantpoliceofficersappealfrom</p><p>3</p></li><li><p>arulingoftheUnitedStatesDistrictCourtfortheSouthernDistrictofNewYork</p><p>(JedS.Rakoff,Judge)denyingtheirmotiontodismissthecomplaintpursuantto</p><p>Rule12(b)(6)ongroundsofqualifiedimmunity.Byadividedvote,weinitially</p><p>affirmedthedistrictcourtsjudgment.OnDecember17,2014,theCourtentered</p><p>anordergrantingappellantspetitionforrehearingenbancandwithdrawingour</p><p>prioropinion.Onappellantspetitionforrehearing,wenowconcludethat</p><p>appellantsareentitledtoqualifiedimmunity.Accordingly,weGRANTthe</p><p>petitionforrehearing,REVERSEthejudgmentbelow,andREMANDthecase</p><p>withinstructionstodismissthecomplaint.</p><p>BACKGROUND</p><p>Plaintiffsbroughtthisactionforfalsearrestunder42U.S.C.1983followingtheirarrestsduringademonstrationinsupportoftheOccupyWallStreetmovement.1PlaintiffsattachedfivevideoexcerptsandninestillphotographsasexhibitstotheSecondAmendedComplaint(theComplaint),whichweconsiderwhendecidingthisappeal.SeeDiFolcov.MSNBCCableL.L.C.,622F.3d104,111(2dCir.2010).Wealsoconsidervideossubmittedbydefendants,whichplaintiffsconcedearesimilarlyincorporatedintothe</p><p>1Althoughplaintiffsbringtheirsuitasaputativeclassaction,noclasshasbeencertified.Accordingly,weaddressonlytheclaimsmadebythetennamedplaintiffs.</p><p>4</p></li><li><p>Complaintbyreference.2Forpurposesofthisappeal,wetakeastruethefactssetforthintheComplaint,seeAlmontev.CityofLongBeach,478F.3d100,104(2dCir.2007),totheextentthattheyarenotcontradictedbythevideoevidence.I. TheProtestandPlaintiffsArrests</p><p>OnOctober1,2011,thousandsofdemonstratorsmarchedthroughLowerManhattantoshowsupportfortheOccupyWallStreetmovement.ThemarchbeganatZuccottiParkinManhattanandwastoendinarallyatBrooklynBridgeParkinBrooklyn.Althoughnopermitforthemarchhadbeensought,theNewYorkCityPoliceDepartment(NYPD)wasawareoftheplannedeventinadvance,andNYPDofficersescortedmarchersfromZuccottiParktotheManhattanentrancetotheBrooklynBridge(theBridge),attimesflankingthemarcherswithofficersonmotorscootersormotorcycles.Thoseofficersissuedordersanddirectivestoindividualmarchers,attimesdirectingthemtoproceedinwaysordinarilyprohibitedundertrafficregulationsabsentpolicedirectiveorpermission.J.Appxat165.Theofficersblockedvehiculartrafficatsomeintersectionsandonoccasiondirectedmarcherstocrossstreetsagainsttrafficsignals.Asfarasappearsfromthevideoexcerpts,neitherthedemonstrationnortheactionsoftheofficersincontrollingorfacilitatingitcausedanysignificant</p><p>2WehaveneveraddressedwhetherFed.R.Civ.P.10(c),whichprovidesthatawritteninstrumentincludedasanexhibittoapleadingisapartofthepleadingforallpurposes,extendstovideosofthesortpresentedinthiscase.BecausenopartyconteststheinclusionofthevideosintheCourtsreviewoftheComplaint,however,wehavenooccasiontoreachthatissuehere.</p><p>5</p></li><li><p>disruptionofordinarytrafficpatternsduringthisstageofthemarch.WhenthemarcharrivedattheManhattanentrancetotheBridge,thefirst</p><p>marchersbeganfunnelingontotheBridgespedestrianwalkway.Police,includingcommandofficials,andothercityofficialsstoodintheroadwayentrancetotheBridgeimmediatelysouthofthepedestrianwalkwayand,atleastatfirst,watchedastheprotesterspouredacrossCentreStreettowardstheBridge.Abottlenecksoondeveloped,creatingalargecrowdattheentrancetotheBridgespedestrianwalkway.WhilevideofootagesuggeststhatthecrowdwaitingtoenterthepedestrianwalkwayblockedtrafficonCentreStreet,defendantsdonotcontendthattheyhadprobablecausetoarrestplaintiffsfortheirobstructionoftrafficatthatpoint,asopposedtotheirlaterobstructionoftrafficontheBridgeroadway.Indeed,plaintiffsallegedintheirComplaintthatthepolicethemselvesstoppedvehiculartrafficonCentreStreetneartheentrancetotheBridge3beforethemajorityofthemarchersarrivedattheentrance.</p><p>Whileasteadystreamofprotesterscontinuedontothewalkway,agroupofprotestersstoppedandstoodfacingthepoliceontherampconstitutingthevehicularentrancetotheBridgeatadistanceofapproximatelytwentyfeet.Bythistime,alargecrowdofdemonstratorshadpooledbehindthatleadgroup.Giventhesizeanddensityofthecrowd,itwouldclearlyhavebeenimpossibleforvehiclestoenterthebridgeusingtherampatthatlocation.Someofthe</p><p>3TherearethreeeastboundentryrampstotheBridgeontheManhattanside.Therampreferredtohereisthenorthernmostramp.</p><p>6</p></li><li><p>protestersbeganchantingTakethebridge!andWhosestreets?Ourstreets!Atthispoint,allthevideoevidenceconfirmsthatthemarchhaddivided;onegroupwasproceedingacrosstheBridgeviathepedestrianwalkway,whileasecondgrouphadmovedontothevehicularroadway,wheretheywereblockedbyalineofpolice.4</p><p>Anofficeronthevehicularrampsteppedforwardwithabullhornandmadeanannouncement.InthevideotakenbytheNYPDsTechnicalAssistanceResponseUnit,theofficercanclearlybeheardrepeatingseveraltimesintothebullhorn:Iamaskingyoutostepbackonthesidewalk,youareobstructingtraffic.Plaintiffsallegethatthesestatementweregenerallyinaudible,J.Appxat166,andthevideoexcerptstheyhaveprovidedareconsistentwiththatallegation.Twominuteslaterthesameofficerannouncedintothebullhorn:Youareobstructingvehiculartraffic.Ifyourefusetomove,youaresubjecttoarrest,andIfyourefusetoleave,youwillbeplacedunderarrestandchargedwithdisorderlyconduct.Whileitisclearthatatleastsomemarchersatthefrontofthecrowdheardthisannouncement,plaintiffsallegethattheofficersknewthattheirwarningsororderstodispersewouldnothavebeenaudibleto</p><p>4Althoughthisdivisionwasclearatthefrontofthemarch,additionaldemonstratorswerebackedupbehindthedividedleadgroups.Thepedestrianwalkwaywascrowded,andthegrouponthevehicularroadwaywasblockedbypolice,creatingabottlenecksuchthatsomedemonstratorswerenotclearlypartofeithergroup.</p><p>7</p></li><li><p>thevastmajorityofthoseassembled.Therewasconsiderablenoiseandconfusionatthescene.</p><p>Aminuteandahalfafterthesecondannouncement,theofficersandcityofficialsintheleadgroupturnedaroundandbeganwalkingunhurriedlyontotheBridgeroadwaywiththeirbackstotheprotesters.Theprotestersbegancheeringandfollowedtheofficersontotheroadwayinanorderlyfashionabouttwentyfeetbehindthelastofficer.Theprotestersontheroadwaythenencouragedthoseonthepedestrianwalkwaytocomeover,andthevideosshowseveralprotestersjumpingdownfromthepedestrianwalkwayontotheroadway,thoughforthemostpartthemarchersonthepedestrianwalkwaycontinuedtheirprogressonthewalkwayanddidnotenterthevehicularlanes.ProtestorsinitiallywalkeduptheBridgeviathefirst(northernmost)entryramp,buttheyeventuallyblockedthesecondandthirdrampsaswellandoccupiedalloftheBridgeseastboundtrafficlanes,preventinganycarsfrommovingontotheBridgeinthatdirection.</p><p>MidwayacrosstheBridge,theofficersinfrontofthelineofmarchersturnedandstoppedallforwardmovementofthedemonstration.Anofficerannouncedthroughabullhornthatthoseontheroadwaywouldbearrestedfordisorderlyconduct.Plaintiffsallegethatthisannouncementwasalsoinaudible.OfficersblockedmovementinbothdirectionsalongtheBridgeroadwayandpreventeddispersalthroughtheuseoforangenettingandpolicevehicles.J.Appxat173.Theofficersthenmethodicallyarrestedoversevenhundredpeople</p><p>8</p></li><li><p>whowereontheBridgeroadway.Theseindividualswerehandcuffed,takenintocustody,processedandreleasedthroughoutthenightintotheearlymorninghours.J.Appxat174.</p><p>Plaintiffsallegethattheofficersledthemarchacrossthebridge,andthatthemarcherssawtheofficersmovementontotheroadwayasanactualandapparentgrantofpermissiontofollow.J.Appxat168.TheyallegethatthecombinationofthoseofficersinfrontleadingtheprotestersontotheroadwayandtheofficersonthesideescortingthemalongtheroadwayledthemtobelievethattheNYPDwasescortingandpermittingthemarchtoproceedontotheroadway,asithadescortedandpermittedthemarchthroughLowerManhattanearlierintheday.</p><p>Officersattheroadwayentrancedidnotinstructtheongoingflowofmarchersnottoproceedontotheroadway.Otherofficerswalkedcalmlyalongsidetheprotestersontheroadwayanddidnotdirectanyprotesterstoleavetheroadway.Thenamedplaintiffsallegethattheydidnothearanywarningsorordersnottoproceedontheroadway,andunderstoodtheirpassageontotheBridgeroadwaytohavebeenpermittedbythepolice.5Nevertheless,plaintiffsdonotallegethatanyofficerexplicitlystatedthatthemarcherswouldbepermittedtoadvancealongthevehicularlanesoftheBridge.Nordoesany</p><p>5Whileoneplaintiff,CassandraRegan,acknowledgesthatshewastoldtoleavetheroadway,sheallegesthatthewarningwasgivenonlyafterdefendantshadblockedofftheroadwayandnoexitwaspossible.</p><p>9</p></li><li><p>plaintiffallegethatheorsheobservedanyofficerbeckontothedemonstratorsorstatebywordorgesturethattheywerewelcometoproceed.TheComplaintsallegationthatthepolicehadgivenactualandapparentpermissionofthemarchtoproceed,J.Appxat173,isalegalconclusionbasedentirelyoninferencesdrawnfrom(a)theofficershavingfollowedalongthecourseofthemarchbeforethearrivalattheBridgewithoutinterferingwith,andoccasionallyfacilitating,minorbreachesoftrafficrules;(b)theofficersretreatfromtheirinitiallocationblockingtheprotestersadvanceontotheBridgeroadwayafterthebullhornannouncementtodisperse;and(c)thefailureofofficerswalkinginfrontofthedemonstratorsoralongsidethemastheyprogressedacrosstheBridgetorepeatanywarnings,untiltheultimatecommencementofthearrests.II. DistrictCourtProceedings</p><p>PlaintiffssuedtheunidentifiedNYPDofficerswhoparticipatedintheirarrests,6aswellasMayorMichaelR.Bloomberg,PoliceCommissionerRaymondW.Kelly,andtheCityofNewYork,allegingthatthearrestsviolatedplaintiffsrightsundertheFirst,Fourth,andFourteenthAmendments.DefendantsmovedtodismissplaintiffsSecondAmendedComplaintonqualifiedimmunitygroundsandpursuanttoMonellv.DepartmentofSocialServices,436U.S.658</p><p>6Elevenofthese40JohnandJaneDoeshavesincebeenidentifiedandtheirnameshavereplacedJohn/JaneDoes##111inthecaptionofthedistrictcourtproceedings.WhentheComplaintwasfiledandtherelevantdistrictcourtopinionwasissued,however,noneoftheNYPDofficerswhoparticipatedinthearrestshadbeenidentified.</p><p>10</p></li><li><p>(1978),arguing,inpart,thattheComplaintandthevideosdemonstratethattheyhadprobablecausetoarrestplaintiffsfordisorderlyconduct.7</p><p>ThedistrictcourtdeniedthemotiontodismisstheclaimsagainsttheindividualofficersandgrantedthemotiontodismisstheclaimsagainsttheCity,Bloomberg,andKelly.8Garciav.Bloomberg,865F.Supp.2d478(S.D.N.Y.2012).ThedistrictcourtheldthattheallegationsintheComplaint,iftrue,establishedthatareasonableofficerwouldhaveknownthathedidnothaveprobablecausetoarrestplaintiffs.ThedistrictcourtfurtherheldthatwhileplaintiffshadclearlyviolatedthelawbyenteringtheBridgeroadwayandblockingvehiculartraffic,basedonthefactsalleged,noreasonablepoliceofficercouldbelievethatplaintiffshadreceivedfairwarningthattheirbehaviorwasillegal,asrequiredbylaw.ThedistrictcourtconcludedthatwhileNewYorksdisorderlyconduct</p><p>7Whiledefendantsinitiallyarrestedmanyoftheplaintiffsforfailuretoobeyalawfulorder,theoffensethatanofficercitesatthetimeofthearrestneednotbethesameas,orevencloselyrelatedto,theoffensethattheofficerlatercitesasprobablecauseforthearrest.SeeDevenpeckv.Alford,543U.S.146,15455.Defendantsnowarguethatplaintiffsengagedindisorderlyconduct,definedtoincludetheconductof,withintenttocausepublicinconvenience,annoyanceoralarm,orrecklesslycreatingariskthereof[,]...obstruct[ing]vehicularorpedestriantraffic.N.Y.PenalLaw240.20(5).WhiledefendantsarguedbeforethedistrictcourtthattheyalsohadprobablecausetoarrestplaintiffsformarchingwithoutapermitinviolationofNewYorkCityAdministrativeCode10110(a),defendantshaveabandonedthatargumentonappeal.</p><p>8PlaintiffsarguedthattheCityofNewYorkmaintainsapolicy,practice,and/orcustomoftrappingandarrestingpeacefulprotesterswithoutprobablecause.Thedistrictcourtheldthatplaintiffshadnotplausiblyallegedanysuchpolicy,practice,orcustom.Thatinterlocutoryrulingisnotbeforeus,andwehavenooccasiontoaddressitsmerits.</p><p>11</p></li><li><p>statutewouldnormallyhavegivenprotestersfairwarningnottomarchontheroadway,itdidnotdosohere,wheredefendants,whohadbeendirectingthemarchalongitsentirecourse,seemedimplicitlytosanctiontheprotestersmovementontotheroadway.9</p><p>Defendantsnowappealthedenialoftheirmotiontodismissonqualifiedimmunitygrounds,arguingthatunderthecircumstances,anobjectivelyreasonablepoliceofficerwouldnothaveunderstoodthatthepresenceofpoliceofficersontheBridgeconstitutedimplicitpermissiontothedemonstratorstobeontheBridgeroadwayincontraventionofthelaw.10AppellantsBr.at3.</p><p>DISCUSSION</p><p>I. AppellateJurisdictionWehavejurisdictionoveranappealfromadistrictcourtsdenialof</p><p>qualifiedimmunityatthemotiontodismissstagebecausequalifiedimmunitywhichshieldsGovernmentofficialsfromliabilityforcivildamagesinsofarastheirconductdoesnotviolateclearlyestablishedstatutoryorconstitutional</p><p>9Thedist...</p></li></ul>