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HENLEY v. OCTORARA AREA SCH. DIST.

November 30, 1988

WILLIAM C. HENLEY,
v.
OCTORARA AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT, et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: VANARTSDALEN

 VanARTSDALEN, SPECIAL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 On July 26, 1986, Mr. Henley entered a plea of guilty in Chester County Court to two charges of criminal mischief, a charge of cruelty to animals in "wilfully and maliciously killing a domestic animal of another" and a charge of criminal conspiracy. In a signed plea agreement, Mr. Henley admitted that he, and the three companions, in Chester County damaged a farm wagon causing damage of $ 126.00, drove through a tobacco bed causing damage of about $ 100.00, and killed a sheep. Plaintiff was sentenced by the Chester County Court of Common Pleas to two years probation, two hundred hours community service and fined $ 400.00. At the time of entering the plea, charges of institutional vandalism, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and loitering and prowling were nol-prossed by the district attorney of Chester County as part of the plea bargain, upon Mr. Henley paying the costs of prosecution and restitution of $ 40 to another victim.

 In Lancaster County, plaintiff was charged with only a summary offense of disorderly conduct for which he paid a fine and costs of $ 100.17. However, as part of the proceedings in Lancaster County, he paid approximately $ 650 in restitution, which together with the restitution made in Lancaster County by the other men involved, totaled approximately $ 2,600 restitution paid to Lancaster County victims.

 The only explanation or motive offered by Mr. Henley for his activities are contained in his deposition where, at pages 25 and 30, he refers to the events as a "prank" for which all the participants had "a good laugh." Although he fully admits that he was along with the others, he contends that he was not an active participant in any of the wrongdoing. He alleges in the complaint that "at no time did Plaintiff commit offenses against the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania" (Complaint, para. 42), and that his plea of guilty was entered "under duress and coercion" and "upon advice of inadequate counsel." Complaint para. 37. Plaintiff's complaint purports to assert constitutional claims for violation of his fourth, fifth, and fourteenth amendment rights. Constitutional claims in the complaint are based on 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pendent state claims are also included. The named defendants are: 1. Octorara Area School District 2. West Fallowfield Township 3. Gary R. Cooper - Principal, Octorara Area High School 4. William T. Iacone - Vice Principal, Octorara Area High School 5. Ivan R. Stauffer - Vocational Agricultural Instructor of Octorara Area High School 6. Willis Bush, Jr. - Chairman of the Board of Township Supervisors of West Fallowfield Township 7. Bonita Walton - Secretary of West Fallowfield Township 8. Ronald Weir - Chief of Police of West Fallowfield Township 9. Stephen Walton - An individual involved in the night raid.

 The pendant state claims stated by plaintiff are as follows: (1) obstruction of justice, (2) slander, (3) defamation, (4) false arrest, (5) abuse of process, (6) malicious prosecution, (7) intentional infliction of emotional distress, (8) invasion of privacy, (9) negligence, (10) gross negligence. Many of these state claims have been voluntarily dismissed as to particular defendants. Thus, it may be simpler to set forth the state claims that remain as to particular defendants. These state claims are brought against the following defendants in their official capacities:

 
1. Octorara Area School District - slander, negligence, and gross negligence.
 
2. West Fallowfield Township - slander, negligence and gross negligence.
 
3. Gary R. Cooper - slander, negligence, gross negligence, abuse of process, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
 
4. William T. Iacone - slander, negligence, gross negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
 
5. Ronald Weir - slander, negligence, and gross negligence (These claims against Ronald Weir are also against him in his individual capacity).

 The plaintiff and all remaining defendants have filed cross motions for summary judgment. Based on the entire record on file, there is no genuine issue of material fact in dispute and defendants are entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Plaintiff cannot establish that any of the remaining defendants committed any constitutional or state common-law tort against him that is actionable and alleged in the complaint. Judgment will therefore be entered ...


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