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Joobeen v. City of Philadelphia Police Dep't

March 4, 2010


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gene E.K. Pratter, District Judge


Pro se Plaintiff Ali Joobeen brings this action against various defendants, including the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham, and Assistant District Attorneys Jennifer Kralle and Kristen M. DeYoung (collectively, the "DA Defendants"). Mr. Joobeen asserts numerous federal constitutional violations and violations of Pennsylvania state laws stemming from an incident that allegedly occurred in February 2008 in which Philadelphia police officers allegedly entered and searched Mr. Joobeen's apartment, and then confiscated a vehicle allegedly owned by Mr. Joobeen that was parked outside his apartment building.

Presently before the Court is the DA Defendants' 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss to which Mr. Joobeen has filed a 106-page opposition brief. For the reasons explained below, the Court will grant the DA Defendants' motion to dismiss.


For the purposes of evaluating this Motion to Dismiss, the facts alleged in Mr. Joobeen's Complaint are considered to be true. However, because it is not entirely clear what precise claims Mr. Joobeen alleges in his 152-paragraph Complaint,*fn1 the following facts are those relevant to the pending motion that the Court can glean from an indulgent review of the Complaint.

On or about February 8, 2008, plain clothes Philadelphia police officers entered Mr. Joobeen's apartment located in Penn Valley, Pennsylvania, after being granted access to the apartment by a building employee. (Compl. ¶ 12-13.) Ceil Joobeen, a relative of Mr. Joobeen's who resided in the same apartment building, saw the police officers enter Mr. Joobeen's apartment. (Id. ¶ 13.)

Mr. Joobeen alleges that while they were inside his apartment, the police officers searched through his papers, belongings, and computer. (Id. ¶ 14.) The police officers then left Mr. Joobeen's apartment without taking any items, went to a private car park outside the apartment building, and requested the assistance of a Philadelphia Police Department tow truck to tow a car allegedly owned by Mr. Joobeen. (Id. ¶ 15.) Ceil Joobeen, who watched these events unfold, called Mr. Joobeen and informed him that his car was about to be towed. (Id. ¶ 16.)

Mr. Joobeen returned home and encountered the police officers, who told him that they were going to take the car to Philadelphia for storage and inventory because they suspected that the car had been involved in a crime. (Id. ¶ 18.) In response, Mr. Joobeen told the officers that the car was his; he gave the officers documentation allegedly evidencing his ownership of the car. (Id.)

The officers allegedly took these documents, went to their car, and called their immediate supervisors and the "District Attorney's Office (Nuisance Task Force)." (Id. ¶ 19.) The officers informed Mr. Joobeen that they were going to keep his documents, and told him that if he wanted the documents back, he would have to go to the 39th Police District. (Id.) The police officers proceeded to tow the car and, in the process, allegedly damaged the car and taunted Mr. Joobeen. (Id. ¶¶ 22-24.)

Mr. Joobeen called the Montgomery County Police Department and the District Attorney's Office to get his papers and car back, but was given the "run around for a number of weeks." (Id. ¶¶ 26, 31.) He alleges that he wrote a number of letters asking for information about his belongings, but received no response. (Id. ¶ 32.)

In June 2008, Ceil Joobeen received a letter from the DA's Nuisance Task Force indicating that the car allegedly belonging to Mr. Joobeen was subject to a forfeiture action. (Id. ¶ 34.) Mr. Joobeen subsequently intervened in the forfeiture action. (Id. ¶ 35.)*fn2

Mr. Joobeen alleges, among other things, that he was systematically harassed and intimidated by the police officers and the District Attorney's Office because of his race (he states that he is a person with a "Muslim name and a minority'), and that, on several occasions, these police officers, "as a matter of policy, and with the authorization of their bosses and the encouragement of the District Attorney's Office entered [his] home without a valid search warrant and without [his] consent." (Id. ¶ 49.) He also alleges that as a direct result of "Defendants' actions," he lost his car, in what amounts to a theft and governmental taking. (Id. ¶ 60.)


A Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss tests the sufficiency of a complaint. Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957). Although Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires only "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief," Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2), in order to "give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests," Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley, 355 U.S. at 47), a plaintiff must provide "more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Id. (citations omitted). Specifically, "[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level . . . ." Id. To survive a motion to ...

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