The opinion of the court was delivered by: ANITA BRODY, District Judge
On April 22, 2003, plaintiffs Dwayne Richard Johnson
("Johnson"), Damian A. Graham ("Graham"), Charles Henry Covington
("Covington") and Phenix Crumpton ("Crumpton"), collectively the
"Johnson plaintiffs," filed this civil rights action against
defendants Whitemarsh Township Police Sergeant Guy A. Anhorn
("Anhorn"), Whitemarsh Township Police Lieutenant Jessie Stemple
("Stemple"), Whitemarsh Township Police Department, and
Whitemarsh Township. On March 5, 2004, the Johnson plaintiffs
amended their complaint, which now brings claims against
defendants Anhorn; Stemple; Whitemarsh Township; Whitemarsh
Township Police Officers, Supervisors and Policymakers John Doe I through X;
Whitemarsh Township Supervisors Ronald J. Derosa ("Derosa"), Ann
Younglove ("Younglove"), William P. Rimell, III ("Rimell"), Peter
B. Cornog ("Cornog"), and Michael A. Zeock ("Zeock"); and
Whitemarsh Township Manager Lawrence Gregan ("Gregan").
On January 14, 2004, plaintiff Daniel Antonelli ("Antonelli")
filed a separate civil rights action alleging the same facts as
in the Johnson amended complaint and bringing the same claims
against the same defendants. These cases have been consolidated
for discovery purposes.
Defendant Anhorn has individually filed nearly identical
motions to dismiss portions of both the Johnson plaintiffs'
amended complaint and the Antonelli complaint. I will address
these two motions together.
In addition to the two motions to dismiss filed by Anhorn,
defendants Stemple, Whitemarsh Township, DeRosa, Younglove,
Cornog, Zeock, Rimell and Gregan have filed a third, separate
motion to dismiss in the Antonelli case. These defendants argue
that: (1) Count Fourteen, the claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1986
against Stemple, Derosa, Younglove, Cornog, Zeock, Rimell and
Gregan should be dismissed; (2) Count Fifteen, the claim under §
1988 against all defendants should be dismissed; and (3) all
remaining claims against defendant Stemple should be dismissed.
Plaintiff has not responded to this third motion to dismiss and I
will grant it.
Relevant Facts Alleged in the Complaints*fn1
The Johnson plaintiffs' amended complaint and Antonelli's
complaint each include the allegations of all five plaintiffs. For ease of reference, I will
cite to the Johnson plaintiffs' amended complaint in this
opinion, although all facts are alleged in both complaints.
Plaintiffs are African-American and residents of Pennsylvania.
(Johnson Am. Compl. ¶¶ 6-9.) All plaintiffs allege that, on
September 20, 2002 at 12:10 p.m., while plaintiff Johnson was a
customer at the Amoco Service Station in Whitemarsh Township, a
Caucasian employee of the gas station threatened Johnson with
bodily harm and directed racial epitaphs at him. (Id. at ¶ 34.)
Greatly alarmed, Johnson left the Amoco and immediately reported
the incident to the Whitemarsh Township Police Department.
Thereafter, defendant Anhorn phoned Johnson and told Johnson not
to return to the Amoco, and that if Johnson were to return to the
Amoco he would be in "serious trouble" with the Whitemarsh
Township Police Department. (Id. at ¶ 34.) Anhorn also called
Johnson at a later time to tell Johnson that Anhorn had heard
that Johnson had again gone to the Amoco and that Johnson is not
permitted to go to the Amoco "as long as [he] lives." (Id.)
Johnson's brother, C. Reginald Johnson, Esquire, twice reported
these incidents to the Whitemarsh Township Police Department.
(Id. at ¶ 35.) However, no one responded to these reports or
did anything to redress Anhorn's actions. (Id.)
All plaintiffs further allege that Anhorn made nearly identical
illegal stops of Graham, Covington and Antonelli. All three men
were driving cars lawfully when Anhorn stopped them*fn2 and
interrogated each man about what he was doing in the area before
directing each out of his car. (Id. at ¶¶ 25, 37, 41.) Anhorn then searched each
plaintiff's car and person. Anhorn prepared affidavits of
probable cause containing false allegations against plaintiffs.
(Id. at ¶¶ 27, 39, 43.) These affidavits were the bases of
criminal charges brought against the men. (Id. at ¶¶ 28, 40,
Finally, all plaintiffs allege that civil rights violations, in
particular violations by Anhorn, have been occurring for years at
the Whitemarsh Township Police Department and that defendants
have conspired to cover up these violations. (Id. at ¶¶ 50-65.)
The Johnson plaintiffs and Antonelli each bring the following
fifteen claims: (1) violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by Anhorn; (2)
violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 by Anhorn; (3) violation of
42 U.S.C. § 1985 by Stemple, Anhorn, and Police Officers John Doe I
through X; (4) violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Whitemarsh
Township; (5) civil conspiracy against Stemple, Anhorn, and
Police Officers John Doe I through X; (6) false imprisonment
against Anhorn; (7) malicious prosecution against Anhorn; (8)
abuse of process against Anhorn; (9) invasion of privacy against
Anhorn; (10) intentional infliction of emotional distress against
Anhorn; (11) violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Stemple; (12)
violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 against Stemple; (13) violation of
42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Stemple and John Doe Police Officers VII
through X; (14) violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1986 against Stemple,
DeRosa, Younglove, Rimell, Cornog, Zeock, Gregan, and Police
Officers John Doe I through X; (15) violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1988
against all defendants. Standard of Review
In considering motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim,
the Court takes all well pleaded allegations as true, construes
the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and
determines whether, under any reasonable reading of the
pleadings, the plaintiff may be entitled to relief. Colburn v.
Upper Darby Twp., 838 F.2d 663, 665 (3d. Cir. 1988).
Defendant Anhorn contends that plaintiffs have failed to allege
violations of (1) the Thirteenth Amendment; and (2) the
Fourteenth Amendment sufficient to sustain their Count One § 1983
claims against him.*fn4 Anhorn also contends that: (3)
plaintiffs' state law claims for invasion of privacy are
time-barred; and (4) portions of plaintiffs' complaints should ...