UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
January 30, 2006
CHARLES EDWARD BROWN, PLAINTIFF,
JEFFREY A. BEARD, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Caputo
Plaintiff, Charles Edward Brown, commenced this pro se civil rights action with a complaint filed pursuant to the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Named as a Defendant is George Matthews, now deceased. Presently pending is Plaintiff's motion to substitute party (Doc. 78), in which he seeks to substitute the Estate of George Matthews as a Defendant.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 25 permits substitution where a parties dies during the course of litigation. However, George Matthews died more than ten (10) months prior to initiation of this case (see Doc. 25), and he was never a party to the action. Survivability of a claim against a decedent in a federal case is determined by state law. Robertson v. Wegman, 436 U.S. 584, 589 (1978). Under Pennsylvania law, death of a potential party prior to initiation of the action will preclude inclusion in a § 1983 action. Ehrhardt v. Costello, 437 Pa. 556, 561 (1970). Therefore, Plaintiff's motion will be denied.
ACCORDINGLY, THIS 30th DAY OF JANUARY, 2006, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT Plaintiff's motion to substitute parties (Doc. 78) is DENIED.
A. RICHARD CAPUTO United States District Judge
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