Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Basinger v. Wentz

June 15, 2009

SUSAN BASINGER, PLAINTIFF
v.
WILLIAM WENTZ, ET AL., DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Yvette Kane, Chief Judge United States District Court Middle District of Pennsylvania

(Chief Judge Kane)

MEMORANDUM

Pending before the Court is a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint filed by Defendants William Graff, Karen Comery, and Timothy Barker (collectively, "Defendants") on the grounds that as assistant district attorneys they enjoy absolute prosecutorial immunity from Plaintiff's claims. (Doc. No. 19.) Plaintiff filed a brief in opposition to Defendants' motion. (Doc. No. 25.) Defendants did not file a reply brief. Upon consideration, the motion will be granted and Plaintiff will be afforded leave to amend her complaint.*fn1

I. BACKGROUND

In this action, Plaintiff makes a number of incendiary allegations against the City of York and York County and certain of its officials. Plaintiff alleges in extremely general fashion that these municipal entities are "racist" and that the officials of the entities "regularly engage[] in the vindictive and unlawful harassment of American citizens" with "[r]etaliation, unequal law enforcement, unlawful use of force by law enforcement officials and malicious prosecution" being "commonplace often for unlawful political and or [sic] racist reasons." (Compl. at 1.)

Included among the defendants in this action are Defendants Karen Comery, Timothy Barker, and William Graff, all of whom are assistant district attorneys in York County. Plaintiff's allegations against these particular defendants are general in nature, and consist of the following, all of which the Court must accept as true for purposes of deciding the pending motion to dismiss:

* Plaintiff avers that the Defendants engaged in "irresponsible and dishonest law enforcement activities." (Compl. ¶ 1.)

* Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Comery "knowingly advised police officers (specifically William Wentz) on unlawful criminal prosecutions (which Wentz also knew were unlawful) of the plaintiff" and that Comery "assisted in the bringing of charges devoid of probable cause and not supported by any facts[.]" (Compl. ¶ 10.)

* Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Comery, Barker, and Graff "pursued" baseless charges against Plaintiff for over a year before they were brought. (Compl. ¶ 11.)

* Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Barker and Graff "knowingly worked alongside of the defendant Comery and assisted in the unlawful harassment of the plaintiff knowing that there was no case in law or fact against her." Plaintiff maintains that by doing so, Barker and Graff violated her 1st, 4th, and 14th Amendment rights. Plaintiff claims that Barker and Graff "further misused the criminal process" by "bringing baseless, fraudulent, and in all ways false criminal complaints" that were later dismissed. (Compl. ¶ 12.)

* Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Comery assisted in the bringing of "baseless charges" against her in April 2007, and that Defendant Comery has admitted that she advised Defendant Wentz on the charges "when she was given an opportunity to withdraw them but refused." (Compl. ¶ 28.)

* Plaintiff alleges that at Plaintiff's trial, Defendant Barker offered to allow her to plead guilty to a summary disorderly conduct charge in exchange for dismissing all other misdeanor and summary offense charges against her. (Compl. ¶ 31.)

* Plaintiff alleges that she and others overheard Defendants Graff and Barker "openly admit[] that they had no case against the plaintiff" and that they threatened Plaintiff's common-law husband and one of his business associates with future criminal actions. (Compl. ¶ 34.)

* Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Comery and Barker later brought charges against Plaintiff's husband and business associate, which terminated in their favor ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.