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Vratoric v. Township

June 24, 2009

BRIAN VRATORIC AND ELLEN VRATORIC, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
STOWE TOWNSHIP, A MUNICIPALITY, STOWE TOWNSHIP POLICE DEPARTMENT, CHIEF FRANK MARCIW, OFFICER MOLLY A. CONNOLLY, AND OFFICER ERICA MILLER, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Arthur J. Schwab United States District

ELECTRONICALLY FILED

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER OF COURT

AND NOW, after careful consideration of the Motions to Dismiss at doc. nos. 13 and 15, briefs in support at doc. nos. 14 and 16, and brief in opposition at doc. no. 21, the Court will GRANT IN PART said Motions to Dismiss. The following claims are HEREBY DISMISSED:

1. Count I: Defendant Stowe Township Police Department is dismissed, withdrawn by plaintiffs. (Doc. No. 21 at 9).

2. Count I: Plaintiff Ellen Vratoric's Section 1983 First Amendment claims against Officer Erica Miller are dismissed, withdrawn by plaintiff. (Id. at 4).

3. Count I: Plaintiff Ellen Vratoric's Section 1983 First Amendment claims against Stowe Township, Chief Frank Marciw, and Officer Molly Connolly in their individual capacities are dismissed, because the plaintiff has failed to aver sufficient facts to sustain these claims, without prejudice to file an amended complaint.

4. Count I: Plaintiff Ellen Vratoric's Section 1983 First Amendment claims against Chief Frank Marciw and Officer Connolly in their official capacities are dismissed because the plaintiff has failed to aver sufficient facts to sustain these claims. In addition, the claims are dismissed because in Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 169 n. 14 (1885), the United States Supreme Court wrote that "[t]here is no longer a need to bring official-capacity actions against local government officials, for under Monell, local government units can be sued directly . . . ." Suits against individual officers in their official capacity equates to naming the municipality as a defendant multiple times. See Satterfield v. Borough of Schuylkill Haven, 12 F. Supp. 2d 424, 432 (E.D. Pa. 1998). In addition, differentiating facts for claims against the municipality, officers in their official capacity, and officers in their individual capacity would confuse the jury. See Swedron v. Baden Borough, 2008 U. S. Dist. LEXIS 94891, *12 (W.D. Pa. Nov. 21, 2008).

5. Count I: Plaintiff Ellen Vratoric's Section 1983 Fourteenth Amendment claims are dismissed, withdrawn by plaintiff. (Doc. No. 21 at 5).

6. Count I: Plaintiff Brian Vratoric's Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment claims are dismissed, withdrawn by plaintiff. (Doc. No. 21 at 8).

7. Count I: Plaintiff Brian Vratoric's Section 1983 First Amendment claims against Officer Erica Miller are dismissed, withdrawn by plaintiff. (Doc. No. 21 at 6).

8. Count I: Plaintiff Brian Vratoric's Section 1983 First and Fourth Amendment claims against Chief Frank Marciw, Officer Molly Connolly, and Officer Erica Miller in their official capacities are dismissed. See reasoning in paragraph 4 above.

9. Count II: Plaintiff Brian Vratoric's Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment claims for punitive damages are dismissed, withdrawn by plaintiff. (Doc. No. 21 at 8).

10. Count II: Plaintiff Brian Vratoric's First Amendment Officer Erica Miller in her official and individual capacity are dismissed, withdrawn by plaintiff. (Doc. No. 21 at 6).

11. Count II: Plaintiff Brian Vratoric's First Amendment claims for punitive damages against Chief Frank Marciw and Officer Molly Connolly in thier official capacities are ...


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