SUMMONS

May 16, 2023

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF QUEENS
SULTAN AL MARUF
Plaintiff
-against-
The City of New York, The New York City Commission of Human Rights
Defendants Index No.

SUMMONS

P E R S O N S:
YOU ARE HEREBY SUMMONED to answer the complaint in this action and to serve a copy of your answer on Plaintiff within twenty (20) days after the service of this summons, exclusive of the day of service (or within thirty (30) days after the service is complete if this summons is not personally delivered to you within the State of New York); and in case of your failure to appear or answer, judgment will be taken against you by default for the relief demanded in the annexed complaint.
Venue is proper in Queens County pursuant to N.Y. C.P.L.R. §503(c) because Plaintiff’s residence and businesses are located within the State of New York, County of Queens.

Dated: City of Queens, New York

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF QUEENS
SULTAN AL MARUF
Plaintiff
-against-
The City of New York, The New York City Commission of Human Rights
Defendants Index No.

COMPLAINT

JURY DEMANDED

NATURE OF ACTION

  1. In this action, Plaintiff, Sultan Maruf, is filing a Complaint against Defendants City of New York and New York City Commission of Human Rights (“the NYC Commission of Human Rights ”), on the basis of the underlying grounds.
  2. This Complaint arises from the discrimination and harassment that Plaintiff faced. Plaintiff, being of Bangladesh origin, was subjected to discriminatory comments from his landlord’s manager, who harassed Plaintiff by stating, in reference to Plaintiff, that “Bangladeshi, Indian, and Pakistani people brought bedbugs in this county.”
  3. Plaintiff consequently filed a Complaint at the NYC Commission of Human Rights’ office. However, employees of the NYC Commission of Human Rights intentionally and/or negligently delayed to prosecute Plaintiff’s case amidst Plaintiff’s incessant emails, expressing his concerns for the delay. [Exhibit- Emails, pp. 1-2].
  4. Plaintiff therefore files this case against the Defendant for negligently and/or intentionally delayed Plaintiff’s case; pushed for settlement contrary to Plaintiff’s intention; and dropped the case when Plaintiff refused to accept the settlement offer.
    JURISDICTION AND VENUE
  5. Pursuant to New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (“CPLR”) § 301 and/or § 302, this Court has jurisdiction over Defendants because they are residents of and/or authorized to do business in New York State.
  6. Venue is proper in this county pursuant to CPLR § 503, as Plaintiff resides in New York County.
    PARTIES
  7. Plaintiff, Sultan Maruf, is a resident of Queens County.
  8. At all times mentioned, Defendant City of New York, was and is a municipal corporation duly organized and existing by virtue of the laws of the State of New York.
  9. Upon information and belief, Defendant New York City Commission of Human Rights (NYC CCHR) is an agency of the City of New York, and created and organized by virtue of the laws of the State of New York.
  10. New York City Commission of Human Rights staff/officials/employees refer to employees and other governmental officials who participated in the relevant facts but some identities and/or full names are unknown. (John and Jane Doe collectively referred to as “Officers” or ”Defendant(s)”). Some of them are known are directly involved:
    • Katherine Carroll
    • Johanna C. Segal
    • Martha Perez-Pedemonti
    • Charles
    • Boris
    • Carmelyn P. Malalis -Chair and Commissioner of NYC CCHR
    • Sapna V. Raj – Deputy Commissioner of NYC CCHR
  11. Upon information and belief, at all times mentioned, Defendant employees, were and are, officers of the Defendant City of New York, and at all times herein was acting in such capacity as the agent, servant, and employees of the Defendant City of New York.
    FACTUAL BACKGROUND
  12. Plaintiff was a tenant at the EB Management Properties, LLC.
  13. On or about January 4, 2016, Plaintiff’s landlord’s manager discriminated against him by failing to do necessary repairs and by failing to address a bed-bug infestation in a timely manner because of his actual or perceived national origin in violation of § 8-107(5) of the Administrative Code of the City of New York. The said manager also threatened and intimidated Plaintiff in his place of residence because of his nation origin in violation of Title 8 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York. Notably, the recording that lasted about 15 minutes and 48 seconds showed the manager’s statement to wit, “Bangladeshi, Indian, and Pakistani people brought bedbugs in this country.”
  14. On or about January 3, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Complaint at the NYC Commission of Human Rights.
  15. On or about March 12, 2019, Katherine Carroll of the NYC Commission of Human Rights issued a Notice of Probable Cause Determination and of Intent to Proceed to Public Hearing. The notice was issued pursuant to Plaintiff’s claim(s) of discriminatory practice where the EB Management Properties LLC. refused to make repairs and to address a bed bug infestation because of Plaintiff’s origin. It is worth noting that it took the NYC Commission of Human Rights 798 days (2 years, 2 months, and 9 days) to issue a probable cause letter whereas the audio recording length was only 15 minutes and 48 seconds long. [Exhibit- Probable Cause Letter].
  16. After the said Notice, the NYC Commission of Human Rights failed to provide any further communication about the next step. On or about July 8, 2019, Plaintiff wrote the said Defendant an email expressing his concerns that he had not received any public hearing date, location, and time concerning the issue. [Exhibit- Emails, pp. 6-7].
  17. On or about July 19, 2019, the said Defendant responded to Plaintiff’s email. In the said response, the NYC Commission of Human Rights informed Plaintiff that the next step in his case was to schedule a settlement conference. [Exhibit- Emails, p. 6].
  18. On or about July 27, 2019, Plaintiff responded to the said Defendant and expressed his intent to file a suit and not to go for settlement. [Exhibit- Emails, p. 5]. Defendant failed to respond to the said response from Plaintiff, which prompted a further email from Plaintiff expressing his frustrations for the lack of attention to his matter. [Exhibit- Emails, pp. 4- 5].
  19. On or about August 29, 2019, Katherine Carroll responded to Plaintiff’s emails and informed Plaintiff that the reason for the delayed response is that the Defendant was waiting for an attorney to take over the case. [Exhibit- Emails, p. 4].
  20. On or about December 5, 2019, Plaintiff filed an official complaint to the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner, alleging the dilatory conduct of the NYC Commission of Human Rights’ staff, who handled Plaintiff’s case. [Exhibit- Emails, pp. 1- 2].
  21. It is worth noting that the dilatory conduct of the Defendant was being done while they had already issued a Notice of Probable Cause, and assigned a contact to handle the case. Besides, the Plaintiff had already issued them three settlement dates. [Exhibit- Emails, p. 3].
  22. On or about April 22, 2020, the NYC Commission of Human Rights referred the Plaintiff’s complaint to the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings.
  23. On or about May 15, 2020, Plaintiff attended a mandatory pre-trial settlement conference, where Katherine Carroll proposed to the judge that the Plaintiff accepts $5000 from the landlord in settlement of the case; and that if Plaintiff would not accept the case, the NYC Commission of Human Rights would drop the case.
  24. On or about October 8, 2020, in the vicinity of their office, County of New York, City, and State of New York, the Defendants jointly and severally in their capacity of officers, committed retaliatory actions upon Plaintiff.
  25. On the above-mentioned date, Johanna C. Segal, Esq., while on duty as an Officer for Agency Attorney of Law Enforcement Bureau (LEB), New York City Commission on Human Rights, 22 Reade Street, New York, NY 10007, -issued a closure letter at the Plaintiffs for administrative cause after tormenting plaintiff for about 1394 days (3 years 9 months and 5 days). [Exhibit- Closure Letter].
  26. Plaintiff filed a claim at the NYC office of the Comptroller against the NYC Commission of Human Rights alleging psychological and emotional damage that he underwent incidental and consequential to the said Defendant’s actions and/or inactions. [Exhibit- Personal Injury Claim Form].
  27. Pursuant to CPLR Section 1602(2)(iv), Defendants are jointly and severally liable for all of the Plaintiffs’ damages, including but not limited to Plaintiff non-economic loss.
  28. The oral examination of Plaintiff has been conducted in compliance with Section 50-H of the General Municipal Law.
    FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
    Violation of Due Process Rights
  29. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference all the allegations contained in all the preceding paragraphs of this complaint as though fully stated herein.
  30. Justice delayed is justice denied. Plaintiff was entitled to a timely prosecution of the case.
  31. Defendants violated Plaintiff’s due process rights as already alleged in Count 1 above. Notably, Plaintiff’s Complaint was lodged January 3, 2017, and a probable cause letter was issued March 12, 2019. It took the NYC Commission of Human Rights 798 days (2 years, 2 months, and 9 days) to issue a probable cause letter whereas the audio recording length was only 15 minutes and 48 seconds long. Any reasonable person would conclude within a few minutes that (recorded conversation) landlord’s remarks were racist and degrading to the Bangladeshi, Indian, and Pakistani communities.
  32. Besides, Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner never answered or responded to the plaintiff’s complaints about their employees.
  33. As a result of Defendants’ actions alleged herein, Plaintiff has suffered incidental, and consequential damages. Plaintiff had to undergo treatment for psychological and emotional distress.

SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
New York State Human Rights Law § 296 (7)
Retaliation

  1. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference all the allegations contained in all the preceding paragraphs of this complaint as though fully stated herein.
  2. New York City Commission on Human Rights’ employees went on vengeance rampant against Plaintiff due to his complaint against employees. Besides, Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner never answered or responded to the plaintiff’s complaints about their employees.
  3. It appears that Commissioner and deputy commissioner’s inaction emboldened employees to take retaliatory actions.
  4. While tormenting the plaintiff for about 3 years and 10 months, the employees assessed a $5,000 settlement from the landlord as reasonable while the plaintiff always wanted a court issue justice that would restore the reputation and dignity of his communities, race, and nationality and never accepted any amount of money. Therefore, New York City Commission on Human Rights engaged in professional misconduct through harassment and coercion, such as, not replying to emails, stonewalling process, not replying to phone calls, and constantly coercing to accept the $5000 settlement.
  5. Furthermore, Katherine Carroll showed up at the pre-trial settlement conference held on May 15, 2020 and took over the proceeding. She stated that the commission may not take it to the court. This appeared vengeful, and was beyond the conflict of interest since she was mentioned in the plaintiff’s complaint letter to the commission. The case was already being handled by another employee (Johanna C. Segal) and her supervisor, but Katherine Caroll interfered in the settlement conference and determined the decision of the commission.
  6. Furthermore, the determination letter falsely claimed,
    “The Law Enforcement Bureau is closing your case for administrative cause. The Law Enforcement Bureau in its discretion may close cases for “administrative cause” when it declines to complete its investigation for reasons described in the City Human Rights Law at § 8-113(a) of the Administrative Code of the City of New York.”
  7. Plaintiff avers that they already completed the investigation and issued the probable cause letter [Exhibit- Probable Cause Letter]. Probable cause letters are issued when they complete the investigation and are in the process of taking the case to trial. Furthermore, every human being will conclude after listening plaintiff’s recorded conversation with the landlord that it was discriminatory.
  8. After issuing the ‘Probable Cause’ letter, New York City Commission on Human Rights’ employees covered up the probable cause letter and again engaged in stonewalling the case by transferring the case to another person. . [Exhibit- Emails, p. 4].
  9. As a result of Defendants’ actions alleged herein, Plaintiff has suffered incidental, and consequential damages. Plaintiff had to undergo treatment for psychological and emotional distress.
    THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION
    NYC § 8-113.
    Abuse of Discretion
  10. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference all the allegations contained in all the preceding paragraphs of this complaint as though fully stated herein.
  11. The New York City Commission on Human Rights dismissed the Complaint in violation of the aforementioned law.
  12. Plaintiff avers that there was no good cause to dismiss the Complaint. Notably, the said Defendant had the ability to locate the Plaintiff at all times; the Plaintiff has never failed to appear at any scheduled meeting with the said Defendant; the Plaintiff has not engaged in any conduct which is disruptive to the orderly functioning of the commission; the Defendant pushed for a settlement contrary to Plaintiff’s wishes; and prosecution of the case would serve public interest.
  13. As a result of Defendants’ actions alleged herein, Plaintiff has suffered incidental, and consequential damages. Plaintiff had to undergo treatment for psychological and emotional distress.
    FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION
    New York Charter § 1116 and § 1118
    Fraud; neglect of duty; willful violation of law relative to office.
  14. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference all the allegations contained in all the preceding paragraphs of this complaint as though fully stated herein.
  15. The New York City Commission on Human Rights’ employees willfully violated laws relating to such employees’ office.
  16. Katherine Carroll also violated the said law by knowingly making a false or deceptive report or statement in the course of duty. Notably, she sent Plaintiff the Notice of Probable Cause yet knowing that they would still delay on the investigation, and prolong the said investigation to years.
  17. As a result of Defendants’ actions alleged herein, Plaintiff has suffered incidental, and consequential damages. Plaintiff had to undergo treatment for psychological and emotional distress.
  18. Further, the said Katherine Carroll also violated the said law by interfering with the investigation of Plaintiff’s case. She pushed for settlement of the case yet Plaintiff had a meritorious claim that would have been subjected to a court verdict in the interest of justice.
  19. On or about October 8, 2020, date, Johanna C. Segal, Esq., issued a closure letter thus dismissing Plaintiff’s claim completely.
  20. All the aforesaid conduct(s) amounted to a neglect of duty and violation of law related to the office of the employees.
  21. As a result of Defendants’ actions alleged herein, Plaintiff has suffered incidental, and consequential damages. Plaintiff had to undergo treatment for psychological and emotional distress.
    FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION
    Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
  22. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference all the allegations contained in all the preceding paragraphs of this complaint as though fully stated herein.
  23. The conduct of the Defendants, as set forth above, was extreme, and outrageous.
  24. Defendants ought to have reasonably known that their actions and/or inactions would cause severe harm on Plaintiff.
  25. The Defendants filed to consider the adverse effects of their actions and/or inactions on Plaintiff. Notably, they failed to acknowledge the fact that such conduct would lead Plaintiff into bankruptcy, and would make Plaintiff incur unprecedented costs.
  26. As a result of Defendants’ actions alleged herein, Plaintiff has suffered incidental, and consequential damages. Plaintiff had to undergo treatment for psychological and emotional distress.
    SIXTH CAUSE OF ACTION
    Declaratory Relief
  27. Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference all the allegations contained in all the preceding paragraphs of this complaint as though fully stated herein.
  28. There now exists, between the parties hereto, a dispute and controversy to which the Plaintiff and the Defendants are entitled to have a declaration of their rights and further relief relating to the facts and circumstances as set forth in this action.
  29. Plaintiff respectfully request this Honorable Court issue a declaratory judgment declaring that the actions and/or inactions of the Defendants violate the rights of Plaintiff, and issue appropriate remedies thereof.
    PRAYER FOR RELIEF
    WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff is entitled to damages from the Defendants, and he hereby prays that judgment be entered in his favor and against the Defendants as follows:
    Complainant seeks the following remedies:
    i. That the Court orders compensatory damages in an amount to be determined by the Court for the Defendants’ conduct alleged herein; and for Plaintiff’s medical costs.
    ii. That the Court grants Declaratory Order against Defendants for their actions and/or inactions alleged herein.
    iii. Interest as provided by law;
    iv. An award of fees and costs;
    v. That the Court issues any other order that this institution deems just.

JURY DEMAND
Plaintiff hereby demands a trial by jury on all issues of fact and damages stated herein.

Dated:

CERTIFICATE OF MAILING
I, [ENTER NAME], certified on this day of __ 2021, I deposited a true copy of the above to the Defendants by placing the documents with prepaid postage in the United States mailbox address.

EXHIBITS

Attach the following documents:

Exhibit- Emails
Exhibit- Probable Cause Letter
Exhibit- Closure Letter
Exhibit- Personal Injury Claim Form

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