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Turner v. Gilson

June 30, 2009

LARRY DAVID TURNER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MARK GILSON, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM

Before the court are three Motions to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). For the reasons stated below, all three motions will be granted.

I. Procedural History

On June 13, 2008, pro se Plaintiff Larry David Turner filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas against Defendants Assistant District Attorney Mark Gilson, District Attorney Lynne Abraham, Detective David Baker, Dean Owens, Esq., and Byron Houston, Esq. (See Notice of Removal, Doc. No. 1, Ex. A, Pl.'s Compl. ("Compl.").) In his Complaint, Plaintiff claims that Defendants violated several of his rights under the United States Constitution and that Defendants committed various state torts in conjunction with Plaintiff's July 29, 1996, arrest and detention and his October 7, 1997, conviction and imprisonment.*fn1 (See, e.g., Compl. 2, 4.) On October 14, 2008, Defendants Gilson and Abraham removed the matter to this court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441.*fn2

On November 4, 2008, Defendant Baker filed his Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. No. 2.) Defendants Abraham and Gilson filed their Motion to Dismiss on November 6, 2008. (Doc. Nos. 3 & 9.)*fn3 Defendants Owens and Houston filed their Motion to Dismiss on November 28, 2008. (Doc. No. 5.) Plaintiff did not respond to any of the motions.

On May 7, 2009, the court granted Plaintiff leave to file an Amended Complaint on or before June 8, 2009, and notified Plaintiff that his to failure file a timely Amended Complaint would be deemed as Plaintiff's intent to stand on the current Complaint. (Doc. No. 7.) Plaintiff did not amend his Complaint.

II. Factual Background

Plaintiff was arrested on July 29, 1996, and detained in the Philadelphia County Detention Center. (Compl. 2.) He was prosecuted and convicted for murder and other offenses on October 6, 1997. (Compl. 4; Mem. in Supp. of Baker's Mot to Dismiss 1.) Thereafter, he was imprisoned at the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections facility in Coal Township, Pennsylvania, where he remained until the date he initiated the instant action. (Compl. 2.)

Plaintiff alleges that Defendants violated his Constitutional rights and committed various state torts during his arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment. He seeks only monetary damages. (Compl. 7-8.)

III. Standard of Review

In deciding a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), courts must "accept all factual allegations as true, construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and determine whether, under any reasonable reading of the complaint, the plaintiff may be entitled to relief." Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 233 (3d Cir. 2008) (internal quotation and citation omitted). After the Supreme Court's decision in Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), "it is no longer sufficient to allege mere elements of a cause of action; instead a complaint must allege facts suggestive of the proscribed conduct." Phillips, 515 F.3d at 233 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 563 n.8) (internal quotation and alteration omitted). To withstand a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), "factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Phillips, 414 F.3d at 234 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555) (alternation omitted). Thus, stating a claim "requires a complaint with enough factual matter (taken as true) to suggest the required element." Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556) (internal quotation omitted).

IV. Discussion

A. The Court Considers the Merits of the Motions to Dismiss, Despite Plaintiff's Failure to Respond

Rule 7.1(c) of the Local Rules of Civil Procedure for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania provides that any party opposing a motion shall serve a brief in opposition thereto within 14 days. In the absence of a timely response, Local Rule 7.1(c) provides that a motion may be granted as uncontested. Although there are limited exceptions to the aforementioned rules, no such exception applies in this case. It has been over six months since Defendants filed their respective Motions to Dismiss, and Plaintiff has failed to respond to any of the ...


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