The opinion of the court was delivered by: KIM GIBSON, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
This case comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). (Document No. 6). Defendants seek
dismissal of Plaintiff's claims on the basis that Plaintiff fails to
state a claim for which relief may be granted and note that Plaintiff has
raised issues previously decided by this court. Finding that Plaintiff's
complaint raises identical issues to those addressed in earlier
decisions, and in consideration of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and
Plaintiff's Response to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, this Court grants
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss on the basis of collateral estoppel.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
On July 30, 2001, the Plaintiff, James L. Leventry, filed an action
seeking injunctive relief against the following defendants: David
Tulowitzki, District Atttorney; David Kaltenbaugh, Assistant District
Attorney; Don Gerrod, Assistant District Attorney; Rod Miller, Chief County
Detective; Ron Portash, Assistant County Detective; and Gladys McGough,
State Constable. Leventry v. Tulowitzki, et al., No. 01-CV-220-J (W.D.
Pa.). Although Plaintiff alleged that he
was under imminent threat of prosecution, the Honorable D. Brooks
Smith dismissed Plaintiff's claims in August 2002 finding that Plaintiff
was "under no imminent threat of prosecution, he has not suffered an
injury-in-fact and therefore lacks standing." Leventry v. Tulowitzki,
et al, No. 01-CV-220-J (W.D. Pa.) (Document No. 34).
On September 23, 2002, Plaintiff filed a notice of appeal to the United
States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. (C.A. 3d Cir. 02-3673).
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals filed an opinion on April 3, 2003
affirming the District Court's judgment.
On June 26, 2002, Plaintiff initiated another claim in the United
States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Leventry
v. Tulowitzki et al., No. 02-CV-171-J (W.D. Pa.). Plaintiff alleged that
defendants, David J. Tulowitzki, Rod Miller, and Ron Portash violated his
civil rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Id. Specifically, the court
relied on the following facts and pleadings:
. . . James L. Leventry alleges that on June 29,
2000, he was arrested in a reverse sting operation by
the Cambria County Drug Task Force, [citations
omitted]. Tulowitzki is the District Attorney for
Cambria County and serves as the head of the Cambria
County Drug Task Force. Miller, Chief County
Detective, and Portash, an Assistant County
Detective, made the physical arrest, Plaintiff viewed
the arrest and charges as `entrapment and/or
outrageous government conduct.' Initially, the
District Attorney's Office negotiated a plea offer,
but negotiations broke down. As a result, Plaintiff
alleges that Portash, acting on orders from Miller and
Tulowitzki, filed additional charges in retaliation
for not taking the plea. Ultimately, Plaintiff entered
into a plea bargain agreement and pleaded guilty to a
pharmacy act charge.
As a result of the incidents above, Plaintiff filed
the within Complaint in this Court pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of his civil rights
and constitutional rights, as well as, state torts.
Although the Complaint is, at best, difficult to
understand, I have discerned Plaintiff is apparently
asserting that Defendants are liable for malicious
prosecution and abuse of process for `conspiracy
because of their agreement to prosecute Leventry by
unlawful means, first by entrapping him and second by
imposing additional charges over seven months later
when Leventry refused to plead guilty.' [citations
omitted] . . .
Plaintiff also asserts that Defendants conducted
`unconstitutional warrantless searches' which violated
his state and federal constitutional rights which led
to the denial of due process, equal protection,
freedom of assembly and `unenumerated rights.'
[citations omitted]. Finally, Plaintiff alleges he was
falsely arrested and imprisoned. Consequently,
Plaintiff seeks damages, both actual and punitive, as
his requested relief.
Leventry v. Tulowitzki, et al, No. 02-CV-171J (W.D. Pa.).
On January 24, 2003, Chief Judge Donetta W. Ambrose granted defendants'
motion to dismiss. Leventry v. Tulowitzki, et al., No. 02-CV-171-J (W.D.
Pa.) The court determined that if all of the potential claims brought by
Plaintiff pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 were true, ("malicious
prosecution, conspiracy, false arrest, equal protection, due process, and
freedom of assembly)" then the validity of his conviction would be
challenged. Id. However, in his complaint, the Plaintiff never pled that
the conviction was "reversed on appeal, expunged by executive order, or
declared invalid by an unauthorized state tribunal." Id. Thus, the
court, in its reliance on Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994) held that
"a judgment in favor of the plaintiff would necessarily imply the
invalidity of his conviction or sentence . . . the complaint must be
dismissed unless the plaintiff can demonstrate that the conviction or
sentence has already been invalidated." Leventry v. Tulowitzki, et al.,
No. 02-CV-171-J (W.D.Pa) (quoting Heck, 512 U.S. at 486-87).*fn1
Again, Plaintiff appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the
Third Circuit. (C.A. 3d Cir. 03-1529). In its judgment entered on May
22, 2003, the Court of Appeals dismissed Plaintiff's case for failure to
timely prosecute. Leventry v. Tulowitzki, et al., No. 02-CV-171-J
(W.D. Pa.) (Document No. 19).
Plaintiff subsequently filed the above captioned case on November 1,
2002 seeking equitable relief from threatened criminal prosecution under
the authority of Ex parte Young 209 U.S. 123, 28 S.Ct. 441, 52 L.Ed. 714
(1908). The facts under which Plaintiff bases his present claim are
similar to the facts upon which his other claims were predicated. See
Leventry v. Tulowitzki, et al., No. 02-CV-171-J (W.D, Pa.)
Plaintiff concedes in his complaint in the case sub judice that he has
been an outpatient at Addiction Specialist, Inc., a methadone clinic,
since April 12, 2000, (Document No. 1). On June 29, 2000, Detectives
Miller and Portash arrested Plaintiff for violating the Pennsylvania
Controlled Substance Drug Device and Cosmetic Act. 35 P.S. § 780-113.
("Act") (Document No. 7). The arrest culminated from a reverse sting
operation whereby Plaintiff attempted to purchase approximately 60
Oxycontin tablets from a confidential informant. (Document No. 7).
Plaintiff was offered a plea bargain for the aforementioned criminal
charges; however, he rejected the plea bargain and demanded a trial by
jury. (Document No. 7).
On February 28, 2001, subsequent charges were filed against the
Plaintiff for obtaining a controlled substance by "misrepresentation,
fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge." (Document No. 7). These charges
stemmed from two separate incidents, June 16, 2000 and July 20, 2000.
(Document No. 7). Specifically, the charges allege that Plaintiff
violated the Act by obtaining Oxycontin tablets from a physician while
also attending methadone treatments for an opiatic dependency. (Document
Plaintiff hired counsel and defended against the criminal charges.
Plaintiff's then counsel filed pretrial motions to suppress certain
evidence and to dismiss the charges alleging bad faith
and selective prosecution. (Document No. 7). Certain motions to suppress
were granted, but the motion to dismiss for bad faith and selective
prosecution was denied. Id.
On June 19, 2001, Plaintiff entered into a plea agreement which
resolved all outstanding charges against the Plaintiff. No ...