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Jackson v. Chester City Police Dep't

March 3, 2009

DWAYNE JACKSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CHESTER CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM RE: MOTION TO DISMISS AMENDED COMPLAINT

Dwayne Jackson initiated the current civil rights action against several defendants related to the City of Chester Police Department. Presently before this Court is Defendants' Motion for Partial Dismissal of the Amended Complaint (Doc. 10). For the following reasons, the Motion will be granted in part and denied in part.

I. Background and Procedural History

A. Factual Background

On September 10, 2008, Dwayne Jackson filed the current civil rights action against Defendants City of Chester, Chester City Police Department, Police Chief Floyd Lewis, and Officer Stephen Rosinski. (Doc. 1). After this Court entered an Order on December 24, 2008 (Doc. 8) disposing of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 4), Jackson filed an Amended Complaint (Doc. 9) with generally the same factual allegations as filed in the original Complaint. The allegations concern an interaction Jackson had with Officer Rosinski and other police officers on the morning of January 16, 2008. (Am. Compl. ¶ 8). 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 specifically identified chased Jackson down. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 8-9). After they caught up to Jackson, the police officers allegedly assaulted him around 3118 West 9th Street in Chester, causing severe and extensive injuries. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 9-15). Because Jackson's bleeding caused by the assault could not be controlled, Rosinski and the other officers took Jackson to Taylor Hospital. (Am. Compl. ¶ 16). Jackson was then issued a citation by Rosinski for possession of drug paraphernalia, which was eventually withdrawn. (Am. Compl. ¶ 17).

On the basis of these allegations, Jackson brings several claims, scattered throughout the Amended Complaint, against Defendants Rosinski and the other unnamed officers: (1) excessive force, in violation of the Fourth Amendment (Am. Compl. ¶ 18); (2) violation of his right to equal protection of the laws (Am. Compl. ¶ 18); (3) "imped[ing] the due course of justice," in violation of the Fourth Amendment (Am. Compl. ¶ 18); (4) violation of his right to be free from punishment without due process (Am. Compl. ¶ 23); (5) denial of his right to liberty without due process of law (Am. Compl. ¶ 28); (6) wrongful and malicious arrest (Am. Compl. ¶ 19); (7) wrongful and malicious prosecution (Am. Compl. ¶ 19); (8) violation of his First Amendment right to lawful assembly on the street corner (Am. Compl. ¶ 20); (9) violation of his Eighth Amendment rights; (Am. Compl. ¶ 22); and (10) violation of his Fifth Amendment rights (Am. Compl. ¶ 22). Jackson also makes reference to several federal statutes, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985, 1986, and 1988. (Am. Compl. ¶ 22).

B. Procedural History

Jackson filed his initial Complaint with this Court on September 10, 2008. (Doc. 1). Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss part of the complaint on October 1, 2008. (Doc. 4). After Jackson responded, this Court granted in part and denied in part the Motion. (Doc. 8); Jackson v. City of Chester, 2008 WL 5381361 (E.D. Pa. Dec. 24, 2008). First, as to all claims against the City of Chester Police Department, Jackson conceded that the Police Department was not a proper party and agreed to dismiss the claims with prejudice. As to Police Chief Lewis, this Court dismissed all claims against him without prejudice, finding that there were no factual allegations in the Complaint to suggest that he was involved in any constitutional violation. Next, concerning the claims against the unidentified police officers, this Court held that "Plaintiff can attempt to identify any additional officers who he contends are liable during discovery and file an Amended Complaint, but because the Plaintiff has not named any police officers, this claim will be dismissed without prejudice." As to those claims made by Jackson that were based on the First and Fifth Amendments, this Court also dismissed the claims without prejudice due, in part, to Jackson's failure to support either claim with a cognizable legal theory. Next, addressing an objection made to the redundancy of the counts of Jackson's complaint, this Court dismissed the last two counts for failing to provide any new basis of relief. Finally, this Court determined that the claims against the City of Chester were also insufficient to withstand scrutiny and dismissed the City without prejudice. The Order encouraged Jackson to file an amended complaint to cure the deficiencies discovered.

Jackson accepted this Court's invitation by filing an Amended Complaint on January 14, 2009. (Doc. 9). In response, Defendants again filed a partial Motion to Dismiss on January 19, 2009 (Doc. 10), and Jackson responded on January 30, 2009 (Doc. 13). That Motion is currently before this Court.

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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