The opinion of the court was delivered by: DANIEL H. HUYETT, 3RD
The City of Allentown ("Defendant" or "City") has moved to dismiss this action pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b). For the reasons discussed below, the Court will grant Defendant's motion and dismiss Plaintiff's complaint in its entirety.
Sandra Young ("Plaintiff"), proceeding pro se, began this action by filing a complaint on May 17, 1993, naming the Police Department of the City of Allentown, PA. as Defendant.
Ms. Young's one page complaint, together with a one page document entitled "Amendment," alleged the Allentown Police illegally searched her car, thereby damaging it, and, from April 15 to May 31, 1991, harassed her "everytime [sic] [she] was in [her] car," causing her to "junk" the vehicle. The Court granted Ms. Young leave to proceed in forma pauperis on June 18, 1993, but dismissed her initial complaint without prejudice on July 20. Dismissal was required because the Allentown Police Department does not exist as an entity separate from the City of Allentown and, therefore, was not a proper defendant. The City filed a motion to quash service or dismiss on July 26, 1993 which was withdrawn as moot.
In the Order dismissing the complaint, the Court allowed Young twenty days in which to file a new complaint and instructed "should Plaintiff choose to file a new complaint, she should name the city of Allentown as Defendant and state with more specificity when and where the events took place, what happened, and the identity of the officers involved."
Young filed a document with the district court entitled "Appeal" on July 28, 1993, which recounted her difficulties in finding counsel willing to represent her but which had no relevance to the action at that time. On August 8, 1993, Young filed papers attempting to state civil rights claims on behalf of her husband, who was incarcerated. The Court treated this document as a new complaint and dismissed it without prejudice on November 1, 1993, stating "a plaintiff may only assert his or her own constitutional rights" and "therefore Sandra Young may not sue on behalf of her husband for alleged civil rights violations." During August, Ms. Young filed additional papers relating to her husband's incarceration and mailed numerous discovery requests on behalf of both her and her husband to various municipal and Pennsylvania state offices.
On October 18, 1993, the City of Allentown received a collection of documents from Sandra Young, including a new complaint marked "RE-FILE CASE # 93-CV-2609," and a new document entitled "Amendment," appended to the complaint. (For clarity, the Court will refer to these two documents together as the "Amended Complaint.") Attached to these documents was a cover letter stating:
This is in compliance to the Judge's order of my lawsuit-Case # 93-CV-2609 against the Allentown Police Dept. I have re-filed my lawsuit and I am naming the City of Allentown as Defendants and with more specificity when and where events took place, and what happen.
Also included was a response to the City's motion to dismiss, which was virtually a verbatim copy of Young's earlier document entitled "Appeal." Ms. Young never has properly served these documents and did not file them with the Clerk until October 25, 1993. The Court dismissed Young's Amended Complaint by Order dated November 2, 1993, on grounds of lack of diversity, the alleged basis of subject matter jurisdiction over Young's cause of action. On November 4, 1993, the City renewed its motion to quash service or dismiss, which was once again withdrawn as moot.
On November 29, 1993, Young filed a document with the district court entitled "Appeal," objecting to the Court's Order dismissing her complaint. This document was treated as a new complaint, assigned Civil Action No. 93-4941, and dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction by Order dated December 14, 1993.
Ms. Young appealed, and the Court of Appeals remanded for consideration of whether Young's complaint stated a claim which this Court has power to decide under federal question jurisdiction. Sandra Young v. Allentown Police Department, 30 F.3d 1489, slip op. at 4 (3rd Cir. 1994). Because, as the dissent in this opinion noted, Plaintiff Young could be made to pay the Defendant's attorney's fees if her suit is deemed to be brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983 and found to be frivolous, the Third Circuit stated "if Plaintiff agrees . . . that we have miscast her complaint in a manner that is inconsistent with her view, she is free to seek withdrawal of her complaint in the district court." Id. at 4-5. Defendant City of Allentown filed the instant motion to dismiss on September 26, 1994. Plaintiff has taken no action to withdraw or voluntarily dismiss her suit.
Young's allegations specifically relate to one incident, on April 12, 1991, alleged to be an illegal search of her vehicle and, the Court infers, an illegal seizure of unspecified contents of the vehicle, and five other incidents occurring on April 15, 22, and 30, and May 4 and 31, 1991.
Ms. Young's allegations all concern confrontations with individuals alleged to be employees of the Allentown Police department.
Accordingly, if ...