or control of personal property, (3) real property, (4) trees, traffic controls and street lighting, (5) utility service facilities, (6) streets, (7) sidewalks and (8) the care, custody or control of animals. Section 8545 of the PSTCA extends the immunity afforded to the agencies to their employees when acting in the scope of employment. Finally, section 8550 of the PSTCA withdraws the immunity afforded to the employee under section 8545 if the actions alleged were performed willfully. Buskirk v. Seiple 560 F. Supp. 247, 252 (E.D.Pa. 1983).
In accordance with the discussion above, plaintiff may not assert a state tort claim against defendant Borough of Darby if the claim is based on negligence or recklessness, since section 8541 provides Borough of Darby with general immunity, and plaintiff's claim does not fit within the exceptions listed in section 8542. Furthermore, plaintiff may not assert a claim based on negligence or recklessness against the defendant police officers since section 8545 extends the general immunity granted under section 8541 to employees. Thus, plaintiff can only assert her claim against the defendant police officers for willful conduct, as alleged in Count II of her complaint, under section 8550 of the PSTCA.
II. MOTION FOR A MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT
Throughout the complaint, plaintiff alleges misconduct on the part of the arresting officer but does not identify which of the three officers the allegations refer to, nor does plaintiff allege misconduct on the part of the other two officers. Defendants therefore request a more definite statement identifying the arresting officer and any alleged misconduct on the part of the other two police officers. For the reasons discussed below, defendants' motion is denied.
Motions for more definite statement will only be granted if the pleading is so vague that a party cannot reasonably respond. Frazier v. SEPTA, 868 F. Supp. 757, 763 (E.D.Pa. 1994). Such motions are not intended to be used merely as a correction to provide more detail. Id. Furthermore, the Supreme Court has specifically ruled that section 1983 actions do not impose a heightened pleading requirement. Leatherman v. Tarrant County Narcotics Intelligence and Coordination Unit, 507 U.S. 163, 167, 122 L. Ed. 2d 517, 113 S. Ct. 1160 (1993). Rather, notice pleading is sufficient in a section 1983 suit against a local government.
Since plaintiff has alleged with considerable detail the events on the date of the alleged incident, defendants have enough information with which to frame a responsive pleading. Accordingly, defendants' motion for a more definite statement is denied.
In light of the discussion above, the defendants' motion to dismiss Irvin's complaint is granted in part and denied in part. (1) The motion to dismiss plaintiff's section 1983 claims against defendant Darby Police is granted. (2) The motion to dismiss plaintiff's allegations of negligence in her section 1983 claim is granted, but the motion to dismiss the entire first count of the complaint is denied to the extent that the first count contains allegations of reckless conduct. (3) The motion to dismiss plaintiff's false arrest claim is denied. (4) The motion to dismiss plaintiff's malicious prosecution claim is granted pending the outcome of her criminal case. (5) The motion to dismiss plaintiff's claims for punitive damages is granted as to defendant Borough of Darby.
With regard to plaintiff's pendent tort claims, the motion to dismiss plaintiff's claims for negligence and recklessness is granted as to all defendants. In addition, the motion to dismiss plaintiff's tort claims which pertain to willful conduct is granted as to defendant Borough of Darby but denied as to Police Officers Collins, Kramer and Silberstein. An appropriate Order follows.
AND NOW, this 9th day of September, 1996, upon consideration of the Motions of Defendants Borough of Darby, Borough of Darby Police Department and Police Officers Collins, Kramer and Silberstein to Dismiss the Complaint for Failure to State a Claim upon which Relief may be Granted or in the alternative for a More Definite Statement, and responses thereto, the Motions are hereby DENIED in PART and GRANTED in PART as follows:
1. The Motion to Dismiss Defendant Darby Police Department is hereby GRANTED.
2. The Motion to Dismiss the Negligence claims under section 1983 is hereby GRANTED but the Motion to Dismiss Count I of the complaint is DENIED to the extent that the count contains allegations of recklessness.
3. The Motion to Dismiss the False Arrest claim is hereby DENIED.
4. The Motion to Dismiss the Malicious Prosecution claim is hereby GRANTED.
5. The Motion to Dismiss the Punitive Damages claim is hereby GRANTED as to Defendant Borough of Darby.
6. The Motion to Dismiss the pendent tort claims is GRANTED as to Defendant Borough of Darby.
9. The Motion to Dismiss the pendent tort claims for Negligence and Recklessness is GRANTED as to the Defendant Police Officers but the Motion to Dismiss the pendent tort claims for willful conduct is DENIED as to the Defendant Police Officers.
8. The Motion for a More Definite Statement is hereby DENIED.
BY THE COURT:
J. Curtis Joyner, J.
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