Rashada v. City of Buffalo

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Civil Rights

New York Law Journal

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Magistrate Judge Hugh Scott

Rashada's civil rights suit was grounded on actions by police officers Krug and Rezabek. Neither waived service under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(d). Relying on Cupe v. Lantz, they claimed suit officially, requiring service under Rule 4(j). Defendant city, served under Rule 4(j) is not subject to costs for failing to waive service under Rule 4(d). Rashada's complaint did not state whether the officers were sued in their individual or official capacity, or both. He asserted claims typically alleged against defendants in both capacities, and others typically asserted individually. Rashada's Monell municipal liability claim must be predicated on the officers' official conduct. Under the circumstances Krug and Rezabek showed good cause to believe suit officially and inapplicability of Rule 4(d)'s waiver provision. Thus Rashada's motion for $681 in costs and fees in serving Krug and Rezabek was denied. Based on case law, defendants were to produce—for attorneys' eyes only—only documents relating to substantiated claims of excessive force, improper arrest, detention and prosecution, or racial insensitivity involving the two officers.

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