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.

Slomnicki v. City of Pittsburgh

November 5, 2009

JOSEPH SLOMNICKI, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CITY OF PITTSBURGH, CMDR. TROSKY, CITY OF PITTSBURGH ZONE 2 POLICE STATION, MAYOR LUKE RAVENSTAHL, CITY OF PITTSBURGH POLICE OFFICER SPANGLER BADGE NO. 3649 DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Donetta W. Ambrose U.S. District Judge

AMBROSE, Chief District Judge

OPINION and ORDER OF COURT

Plaintiff Joseph Slomnicki ("Slomnicki") contends that Defendant City of Pittsburgh Police Officer Spangler ("Spangler") violated his rights under the 1st, 4th, 5th, 8th and 14th Amendments of the United States and Pennsylvania Constitution. These violations are premised upon three interactions between Slomnicki and Spangler:

1. An incident where Officer Spangler ordered Slomnicki to pick up a piece of paper he apparently had just littered and, while so ordering, "stared" at Slomnnicki (see Complaint, ¶ 3 and Docket No. [1-2]);

2. An incident where Officer Spangler "singled out" Slomnicki to ask if he had witnessed an altercation (see Complaint, ¶ 4 and Docket No. [1-2]); and

3. An incident where Officer Spangler instructed Slomnicki to move away from an area where an altercation had occurred (see Complaint, ¶ 5 and Docket No. [1-2]).

According to Slomnicki, these interactions constitute a "pattern of making a deliberate, willful, and conscientious attempt to provoke, intimidate, harass, and embarrass the plaintiff to the point where he will be in a position to incarcerate and / or physically abuse him." See Complaint, ¶ 6. In addition to holding Officer Spangler liable, Slomnicki seeks to impose liability upon the City of Pittsburgh, Commander Trosky, City of Pittsburgh Zone 2 Police Station and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl ("the Defendants").

The Defendants removed the action to this Court and have filed a Motion to Dismiss. See Docket No. [2]. The Defendants insist that Slomnicki has failed to state a federal constitutional claim against Officer Spangler and that, in the alternative, Officer Spangler is entitled to qualified immunity. The Defendants further contend that Slomnicki has failed to articulate a viable claim against Commander Trosky, Mayor Ravenstahl and / or the City of Pittsburgh.*fn1 Finally, the Defendants seek the dismissal of all claims arising under the Pennsylvania Constitution.

Slomnicki declined to file a response, despite being granted ample time. Initially, he was given until September 8, 2009 in which to respond - a period of approximately one month. See Order of Court dated August 14, 2009. Slomnicki's repeated requests for extensions were subsequently granted, with the due date being pushed to: September 14, 2009 ; September 21, 2009; September 28, 2009 and October 13, 2009 respectively. See Docket Nos. 8, 11, 13 and 14. Knowing that Slomnicki had adequate time to respond, and is clearly capable of navigating the legal system despite his pro se status,*fn2 I will proceed to dispose of the pending Motion despite the absence of a Response.

After careful consideration, the Motion to Dismiss is granted. For the reasons set forth below, Slomnicki's claims asserted under the Pennsylvania Constitution are dismissed with prejudice and all other claims are dismissed without prejudice. Slomnicki is entitled to file an Amended Complaint, curing the deficiencies noted herein with respect to those claims dismissed without prejudice.*fn3

Standard of Review*fn4

When deciding whether to grant or deny a 12(b)(6) motion the Supreme Court has held:

While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level, on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in fact).

Bell Atlantic Co. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65,167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). (internal citations, footnotes and quotation marks omitted). See also, Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 234 (3d Cir. 2008) (a plaintiff's factual allegations ...


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.