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Credico v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania State Police

January 27, 2010


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


Pro se Plaintiff Justin Michael Credico brings this action in forma pauperis pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging improper treatment and false arrest by the Pennsylvania State Police, Delaware County Park Police, and West Goshen Police Department, and improper treatment by West Chester University, the George W. Hill Correctional Facility, and Dr. Arthur Boxer. Chester County and Delaware County have also been named as Defendants in this action. All Defendants have filed Motions to Dismiss.*fn1 For the following reasons, the Motions are granted.


The Complaint and Amended Complaint allege the following facts. Plaintiff acted as a confidential informant for the Pennsylvania State Police. (Am. Compl. ¶ B(2).) His identity was exposed and the individuals against whom he had cooperated with the State Police went after him. (Id.)

Plaintiff was illegally arrested and charged with disorderly conduct by the Park Police for giving a police officer the finger.*fn2 (Id. ¶ B(3).) On another occasion, in October 2008, Plaintiff gave the finger to a West Goshen Police Officer who responded by pointing his taser at Plaintiff and yelling "stop." (Id.) The West Goshen Police Department also illegally searched Plaintiff three times in connection with one incident. (Compl., Part V.) Plaintiff was arrested by the West Goshen Police Department on November 6, 2008 and told not to have any contact with Senator Casey. (Am. Compl. ¶ B(3).) Plaintiff was interviewed by Dr. Boxer for 25 minutes on November 12, 2008 and declared to be mentally incompetent. (Compl., Part V, Am. Compl. ¶ B(4).) Dr. Boxer exposed Defendant as an informant and exposed his Calculus I grade. (Compl., Part V; Am. Compl. ¶ B(4).)

The West Chester University Police followed Plaintiff around campus, invaded his right to assembly, asked him out for a cup of coffee, and accused him of computer hacking. (Compl., Part V; Am. Compl. ¶ B(7).) The West Chester University Police also disturbed Plaintiff while he was in the University library to ask him to prepare a report on African spammers that was later provided to the FBI. (Am. Compl. ¶ B(7).) The West Chester University Police charged Plaintiff with harassment, disorderly conduct, and using a Linux CD. (Id.)

Plaintiff was held in the George W. Hill Correctional Facility (the "Prison") in June 2008. (Id. ¶ B(8).) While he was there, he was forced to urinate in a plastic bag. (Id.) He was threatened with transfer to a mental institution if he refused to take Depakote while he was incarcerated in the Prison. (Id.) When he was discharged in February 2009, his watch, flashlight and expired state identification card were stolen. (Id.)

Plaintiff has brought this action against the following Defendants: the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania State Police, and West Chester University (collectively the "Commonwealth Defendants"); Chester County*fn3 ; the West Goshen Police Department; Dr. Boxer; and the Prison, the Park Police and Delaware County (the "Delaware County Defendants")*fn4 .

Plaintiff seeks an award of monetary damages. The Commonwealth Defendants argue that this action should be dismissed as against them pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). In addition, the remaining Defendants have moved to dismiss the claims against them pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).


The Commonwealth Defendants have asserted a facial challenge to this Court's subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's claims against them pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1). The legal standard "is the same when considering a facial attack under Rule 12(b)(1) or a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6)." Petruska v. Gannon Univ., 462 F.3d 294, 299 n.1 (3d Cir. 2006) (citing Mortensen v. First Fed. Sav. & Loan Ass'n, 549 F.2d 884, 891 (3d Cir. 1977)).

When considering a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), we look "to the facts alleged in the complaint and its attachments." Jordan v. Fox, Rothschild, O'Brien & Frankel, 20 F.3d 1250, 1261 (3d Cir. 1994). We take the factual allegations of the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 233 (3d Cir. 2008) (citing Pinker v. Roche Holdings Ltd., 292 F.3d 361, 374 n.7 (3d Cir. 2002)). Legal conclusions, however, receive no deference, and the court is "not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation." Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986) (cited with approval in Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).

A plaintiff's pleading obligation is to set forth "a short and plain statement of the claim," Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2), which gives the defendant "'fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'" Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). The "complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). "The plausibility standard is not akin to a 'probability requirement,' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). In the end, we will grant a Rule 12(b)(6) motion if the factual allegations in the complaint ...

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