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Loucks v. Jay

February 1, 2006


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Christopher C. Conner United States District Judge


Presently before the court are defendants' motions to dismiss the amended complaint (Doc. 60-1) filed by plaintiff Dwayne E. Loucks ("Loucks"). (Docs. 61, 71, 81). For the reasons set forth below, the motions filed on behalf of Jay, Lietzel, City of York, Brenner, Hill, Doe, Figge, and Barth will be granted. Rebert's motion will be denied as moot.

I. Procedural Background

Loucks originally filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action on February 20, 2004, naming Jason Jay ("Jay") and Matthew Lietzel ("Lietzel") as defendants. (Doc. 1). On March 10, 2005, defendants' motion to dismiss was granted in part and denied in part. Specifically, the motion was granted with respect to plaintiff's claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violation of the First, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments, under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1985 and 1986 for conspiracy to violate civil rights, and under state law for negligent or intentional infliction of emotional distress. The motion was denied with respect to Loucks' claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment and under state law for battery and false imprisonment. Loucks was also granted leave to amend the complaint.

On March 23, 2005, Loucks filed an amended complaint. (Doc. 60). In addition to naming Jay and Lietzel as defendants, Loucks named the City of York, John Brenner ("Brenner"), Mayor for the City of York, H. Stanley Rebert ("Rebert"), District Attorney, Police Commissioner Michael Hill ("Hill"), John Doe II ("Doe"), Commander of the York Police, and Sergeants Barth and Figge. Loucks seeks relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of the Fourth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments, and under state law for common law torts. Motions to dismiss have been filed on behalf of all defendants. (Docs. 61, 71, 81).

II. Statement of Facts

On September 29, 2002, while at home with his mother and brother, Loucks noticed police officers outside. He went out to speak to the officers. Shortly thereafter, he went inside to get a coat. Upon his return, he alleges that defendant Jay jumped him and sprayed him in his eyes and face with Mace spray causing him to experience blurred vision and difficulty breathing. (Doc. 60-1, p. 3). Defendant Jay then threw Loucks to the floor of his front porch and began to beat him in the head with a flashlight. Defendant Lietzel hit Loucks in the right ankle and struck him with closed fists. Loucks was transported to city hall. He was not provided with medical treatment for exposure to the Mace, or for any of the injuries he suffered.

While at city hall, he was extensively questioned about burglary cases being investigated by the City of York police. Following the questioning, Loucks was chained to a bench in the hallway. He was again refused medical treatment by Officer Lietzel.

The officers advised Loucks that he would be charged with disorderly conduct and released. He was also informed that it was necessary for them to take his sneakers. Loucks executed a "Search by Consent" form and turned over his white sneakers for investigative purposes.*fn1 (Doc. 60-2, pp. 1, 2). He was not allowed to make a phone call and Jay and Lietzel refused to give him a ride home. Plaintiff was forced to walk home in his bare feet.

Approximately one week later, Loucks alleges that he was attacked by several officers who were armed with Mace, seeking to arrest him on burglary charges. (Doc. 60-1, p. 4). He was arrested without incident, taken to city hall and then to the county prison.

While awaiting trial on the burglary charges, Loucks was brought before the district justice on the disorderly conduct charges. Loucks was without counsel. When he asked for counsel, the district justice replied that there was no need for an attorney since he was only facing five days in jail.

Loucks takes issue with the fact that there was no use of force report generated by Jay and Lietzel, or by Barth, the supervisory officer. He also alleges that the City of York's use of force policy is outdated and that his constitutional rights have been violated because police officers have received inadequate training, discipline and supervision.

Lastly, Loucks alleges that he was maliciously prosecuted by defendant Rebert in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. He takes the position that because Lietzel falsified the search by consent document, the search and seizure were illegal. Thus, the prosecution, which ...

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