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Soder v. Chenot

April 11, 2007

JEFFREY DALE SODER, PLAINTIFF
v.
CHARLES FREDRIC CHENOT, III, ET. AL, DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Jones

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

THE BACKGROUND OF THIS ORDER IS AS FOLLOWS

Pending before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) and (6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, or, in the alternative, Motion for More Definite Statement Pursuant to Rule 12(e) (doc. 13)("the Motion") filed on November 17, 2006 by Defendants John Kerns, John Melville, Greg Gordon and William Minor (collectively "Moving Defendants"). For the following reasons, the Motion will be granted.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Pro se Plaintiff Jeffrey Dale Soder ("Plaintiff") filed the instant civil rights action in this Court on August 7, 2006 (doc. 1), against numerous Defendants arising out of various alleged criminal actions by members of the Millerstown Borough Police Department that purportedly occurred in 2003 through the Spring of 2004. Plaintiff was granted in forma pauperis status and the United States Marshal to ordered served the named Defendants.*fn1

As aforementioned, the instant Motion (doc. 153 was filed on November 17, 2006. The Moving Defendants filed a brief in support (doc. 16) of the Motion on November 29, 2006. Albeit untimely, Plaintiff filed a brief in opposition (doc. 21) to the Motion on December 28, 2006.*fn2 The Moving Defendants filed a reply brief (doc. 25) on January 4, 2007. The Motion is fully briefed and therefore ripe for our review.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

In considering a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 12(b)(6), a court must accept the veracity of a plaintiff's allegations. See Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974); see also White v. Napoleon, 897 F.2d 103, 106 (3d Cir. 1990). In Nami v. Fauver, 82 F.3d 63, 65 (3d Cir. 1996), our Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit added that in considering a motion to dismiss based on a failure to state a claim argument, a court should "not inquire whether the plaintiffs will ultimately prevail, only whether they are entitled to offer evidence to support their claims." Furthermore, "a complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957); see also District Council 47 v. Bradley, 795 F.2d3 310 (3d Cir. 1986).

STATEMENT OF FACTS

The instant civil rights action filed by Plaintiff against numerous Defendants arises out of alleged criminal actions by members of the Millerstown Borough Police Department that purportedly occurred in 2003 through the Spring of 2004. Defendant Kerns is the Mayor of Millerstown Borough and Defendants Melville, Gordon and Minor are members of the Millerstown Borough Council.

With respect to Defendant Kerns and Gordon, the following are the sole factual averments relating to them contained in the complaint: that he approved or authorized Police Chief Richard Curran's actions in waiting outside Plaintiff's residence for Plaintiff's return on an unspecified date prior to the spring of 2004, purportedly to harass Plaintiff; that he allowed Curran's relocation of VASCAR pavement lines on an unspecified date prior to the spring of 2004, to increase ticket issuance and traffic law enforcement; and that he stated, on or about September 15, 2003, that reports of a traffic accident involving a Borough police cruiser were mere rumors started by Plaintiff, "a known liar." (Complaint, ¶¶ VIII, IX, XIII, XVI, XVII,, XIX).

With respect to Defendant Melville, the following are the sole factual averments relating to him contained in the complaint: that he allowed Curran's relocation of VASCAR pavement lines on an unspecified date prior to the spring of 2004, to increase ticket issuance and traffic law enforcement; and that he stated, on or about September 15, 2003, that reports of a traffic accident involving a Borough police cruiser were mere rumors started by Plaintiff, "a known liar." (Complaint, ¶¶ IX, XIII, XVI, XVII, XIX).

With respect to Defendant Minor, the following are the sole factual averments relating to him contained in the complaint: that he witnessed Curran poke Plaintiff in the chest with his finger, express derision regarding Plaintiff's constitutional rights, and threaten to take Plaintiff to the ground, handcuff Plaintiff, and incarcerate Plaintiff on an unspecified date prior to the spring of 2004; that he approved or authorized Curran's actions in waiting outside Plaintiff's residence for Plaintiff's return on an unspecified date prior to the spring of 2004; that he allowed Curran's relocation of VASCAR pavement lines on an unspecified date prior to the spring of 2004, to increase ticket issuance and traffic law enforcement; that he stated, on or about September 15, 2003, that reports of a traffic accident involving a Borough police cruiser were mere rumors started by Plaintiff, "a known liar;" and that he conducted or participated in a traffic stop of Plaintiff's wife in late July of 2003. (Complaint, ¶¶ VII, IX, X, XIII, XVI, XVII, XIX).

In Paragraph XXVII of the Complaint, Plaintiff further identified Defendants Mary Kerns, Jane Doe Minor and Dixie Gordon as wives of the Perry County Public Officials, alleging that they are "Socialist-Queens, enjoying and living on the Largess and Unlawful spoils brought home by their husbands" and suggests in Paragraph XXVIII that they "failed, refused or neglected to protect Plaintiff from the conspiracy of their husbands." Plaintiff names Louise Melville as a Defendant, but does not include her ...


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