CA2: Ptf alleged invasion of privacy for 4A violation, and that’s enough

Plaintiff adequately alleged personal injury for his Fourth Amendment. Invasion of privacy is enough. Dismissal reversed. Amigon v. Luzon, 2024 U.S. App. LEXIS 11415 (2d Cir. May 10, 2024):

The District Court nevertheless dismissed Amigon’s claim for failure to adequately allege an injury resulting from the search. “Victims of unreasonable searches or seizures may recover damages directly related to the invasion of their privacy—including (where appropriate) damages for physical injury, property damage, [and] injury to reputation.” Townes v. City of New York, 176 F.3d 138, 148 (2d Cir. 1999). Compensatory damages under Section 1983 may include “such injuries as ‘impairment of reputation …, personal humiliation, and mental anguish and suffering.'” Memphis Cmty. Sch. Dist. v. Stachura, 477 U.S. 299, 307 (1986) (quoting Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323, 350 (1974)).

Amigon has alleged emotional distress, pain, and anguish arising from the Officers’ actions. He also seeks punitive damages. Viewing Amigon’s submissions “to raise the strongest arguments that they suggest,” Triestman v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 470 F.3d 471, 474 (2d Cir. 2006) (quotation marks omitted), we construe his complaint to request damages for the “invasion of privacy” related to the search of his vehicle, Townes, 176 F.3d at 149; see Day v. Morgenthau, 909 F.2d 75, 77 (2d Cir. 1990), as amended on reh’g (Aug. 29, 1990) (“When subjected to an illegal search and seizure, special damages need not be alleged because the victim is harmed by the invasion of his zone of privacy, whether or not the evidence unlawfully obtained is introduced at trial.” (quotation marks omitted)). Should Amigon fail to prove compensable damages, he may still be able to show that he is entitled to nominal damages on account of the alleged constitutional violation. See Ruggiero v. Krzeminski, 928 F.2d 558, 563‒64 (2d Cir. 1991).

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