In finding the defendant-city’s motion for summary judgment should have been granted, the Second Department noted that, although successive summary judgment motions are disfavored, the defendant-city’s second motion was properly entertained. The complaint alleged negligence on the part of the police stemming from an attack on her by her husband and the shooting of her husband by the police. Prior to the attack and the shooting, plaintiff had gone to the police station seeking protection but was sent home. The negligence action against the city/police was dismissed on governmental immunity grounds because no “special relationship” between plaintiff and the police had been demonstrated:
That branch of the defendants’ cross motion which was for summary judgment should have been granted. Although successive motions for summary judgment are disfavored, a subsequent summary judgment motion may be properly entertained when it is substantively valid and the granting of the motion will further the ends of justice and eliminate an unnecessary burden on the resources of the courts … .
Generally, “a municipality may not be held liable to a person injured by the breach of a duty owed to the general public, such as a duty to provide police protection” … . When a cause of action alleging negligence is asserted against a municipality, and the municipality is exercising a governmental function, the plaintiff must first demonstrate that the municipality owed a special duty to the injured person … . A special duty is “a duty to exercise reasonable care toward the plaintiff,” and “is born of a special relationship between the plaintiff and the governmental entity” … . The elements required to establish a special relationship are: “(1) an assumption by the municipality, through promises or actions, of an affirmative duty to act on behalf of the party who was injured; (2) knowledge on the part of the municipality’s agents that inaction could lead to harm; (3) some form of direct contact between the municipality’s agents and the injured party; and (4) that party’s justifiable reliance on the municipality’s affirmative undertaking” … .
Here, the defendants established their prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by demonstrating that the police did not assume an affirmative duty to act on Dawes’ behalf … . Graham v City of New York, 2016 NY Slip Op 00932, 2nd Dept 2-10-16
NEGLIGENCE (NO SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP, NEGLIGENCE COMPLAINT AGAINST POLICE DISMISSED)/GOVERNMENTAL IMMUNITY (NO SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP, NEGLIGENCE COMPLAINT AGAINST POLICE DISMISSED)/MUNICIPAL LAW (NO SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP, NEGLIGENCE COMPLAINT AGAINST POLICE DISMISSED)/POLICE (NO SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP, NEGLIGENCE COMPLAINT AGAINST POLICE DISMISSED)/CIVIL PROCEDURE (SECOND SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTION PROPERLY CONSIDERED)/SUMMARY JUDGMENT (SECOND MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT PROPERLY CONSIDERED)/CIVIL PROCEDURE (SECOND SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTION PROPERLY CONSIDERED)