Beckles v. City of New York

NEW YORK COUNTY
Torts

New York Law Journal

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Justice Geoffrey Wright

New York City moved to dismiss Beckles' cause of action, which alleged civil rights violations, and her seven state law claims. Beckles was arrested following an altercation at her residence. She claimed she was injured as a result of the arrest, arguing it was unjustified. Federal court found that police officers had probable cause to arrest Beckles, and the force used was not excessive, dismissing the federal claims. The city argued res judicata applied, while Beckles argued as the state claims were not decided, and were dismissed without prejudice, they may be asserted here. The court found Beckles asserted the same cause of action against the same defendants based on the same set of facts that were dismissed in federal court, thus dismissed her cause of action based on a violation of 42 USC §1983. Also, it noted public policy barred claims for negligent infliction of emotional distress against governmental entities. The court also stated the federal court found the officers had probable cause to arrest Beckles, and the use of force was reasonable, hence, Beckles had a full, fair opportunity to present her assault and battery issues in the federal suit. As such, she was precluded from asserting them here, and dismissal was granted.

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