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Jackson v. City of Chester

December 24, 2008

DWAYNE JACKSON,
v.
CITY OF CHESTER, ET AL.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Baylson, J.

MEMORANDUM RE: MOTION TO DISMISS

Dwayne Jackson ("Jackson") initiated this civil rights action against Defendants City of Chester, Chester City Police Department, Police Chief Floyd Lewis ("Chief Lewis"), and Police Officer Stephen Rosinski ("Officer Rosinski"). Presently before this Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss part of the complaint. For the following reasons, the Motion will be granted in part and denied in part.

I. Background and Procedural History

On September 10, 2008, Dwayne Jackson filed the current civil rights action against Defendants City of Chester, Chester City Police Department, Chief Lewis, and Officer Rosinski. (Doc. 1). The complaint concerns an interaction Jackson had with Officer Rosinski and other police officers on the morning of January 16, 2008. (Compl. ¶ 9). In accordance with the appropriate standard for a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, the facts are taken in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party (i.e., Plaintiff).

Plaintiff alleges that on the morning in question, he was located on a public street and highway in Chester, Pennsylvania when, "for no lawful reason and without probable cause or reasonable suspicion," Rosinski and other police officers who were not named as parties chased Jackson down. (Compl. ¶¶ 9-10). After they caught up to Jackson, the police officers allegedly assaulted him around 3118 West 9th Street in Chester, causing severe and extensive injuries. (Compl. ¶¶ 10-16). When the EMT showed up to tend to Jackson's wounds, Rosinski and the other officers told Jackson that they would not pursue "the matter" any further so long as he refused the medical treatment. (Compl. ¶ 17). After Jackson's bleeding could not be controlled, Rosinski and the other officers took Jackson to Taylor Hospital. (Compl. ¶ 18). Jackson was then issued a citation by Rosinski for possession of drug paraphernalia. (Compl. ¶ 19).

On the basis of these allegations, Jackson brings several claims against Defendants. As to the City of Chester, Jackson claims in Count V of his complaint that the City of Chester violated his Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights by failing to instruct, supervise, control, or discipline its police officers (Compl. ¶ 37); by knowing or having reason to know of the wrongs committed by its police officers and acting with deliberate indifference to those wrongs (Compl. ¶ 38); and by approving or ratifying the police officers' acts (Compl. ¶ 39). As to the Chester City Police Department, Jackson fails to specifically establish any claims besides those brought against the City of Chester.

As to Chief Lewis, the complaint does not specifically identify the acts committed by Chief Lewis, nor what legal rights Jackson alleges that Chief Lewis violated. Jackson makes more specific arguments in his Response to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss.

Finally, as to Officer Rosinski, Jackson makes several claims. First, in Count I, Jackson alleges that Rosinski and other defendant police officers not specifically named violated Jackson's (1) Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights, pursuant to the Equal Protection clause and when Rosinski "impeded the due course of justice" (Compl. ¶ 20); (2) First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, as Rosinski committed false imprisonment and malicious prosecution (Compl. ¶ 21); (3) First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights and his rights under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985, 1986, and 1988, without any specific detail as to the basis (Compl. ¶ 23); and (4) Fourteenth Amendment rights, as Rosinski violated Jackson's right to be secure in his person, free from punishment without due process, and to equal protection of the laws (Compl. ¶ 24).

Next, in Count II, Jackson again alleges that (5) Rosinski and other defendant police officers not specifically named violated Jackson's Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights by depriving Jackson of liberty without due process of law and equal protection of the laws, by the commission of an unlawful and malicious arrest (Compl. ¶ 28); and (6) Rosinski, Lewis, and other unnamed defendant police officers violated his Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights by depriving Jackson of liberty without due process of law and equal protection of the laws, by the commission of an unlawful and malicious detention (Compl. ¶ 29). In Count III, Jackson only appears to reiterate the harms that he suffered without mentioning an independent violation. In Count IV, (7) Jackson alleges that Rosinski and other unnamed defendant police officers engaged in malicious prosecution for the drug paraphernalia citation. (Compl. ¶ 33).

In response to the complaint, Defendants filed the Motion to Dismiss on October 1, 2008 which is currently before this Court. (Doc. 4).

II. Jurisdiction and Legal Standard

A. Jurisdiction

This Court has jurisdiction over those claims arising under federal law pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331, and the civil rights claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1343. This Court also has supplemental jurisdiction ...


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