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Manuel v. City of Philadelphia

September 14, 2010

GARY EMANUEL MANUEL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM

Gary Emanuel Manuel brings federal constitutional and statutory claims against Defendants including the Philadelphia Police Department ("PPD"), the City of Philadelphia ("the City"), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"). Before the Court is the City's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) and Manuel's Opposition. For the reasons set forth below, the City's motion is granted.

I. BACKGROUND

Manuel's 158-page Complaint describes a series of conspiracies dating back to the late 1970's. (Compl. at 7, 14.) His allegations fall into four categories: (1) Hannibal Cabbagestalk; (2) the death and estate of Manuel's father, Wesley Banks; (3) electronic surveillance of Manuel; and (4) miscellaneous events. Throughout, Manuel notes that he is mentally disabled and that all Defendants named in this action were aware of his disability. (See id. at 24, 28, 65, 144.)

A. Hannibal Cabbagestalk

Manuel's narrative begins in the late 1970's with the arrival of Hannibal Cabbagestalk. Federal agents approached Manuel's mother, Jannie Manuel, and compelled her to house Cabbagestalk, a/k/a Peter Cabbagestalk, at her home in Philadelphia. (Id. at 7, 14, 30.) Cabbagestalk, in addition to being an unwanted guest, was a "tool" of the City, PPD and FBI. (Id. at 17.)

B. The Banks Estate

Manuel resides in Bangor, Maine. (Id. at 22, 28.) In early May, 2007, Manuel's father, Wesley Banks, called and informed him that he had purchased an insurance policy "in his name." (Id. at 8.) Banks died days later on May 7, 2007. (Id. at 8, 104.)

Manuel then traveled to Philadelphia on May 12 or 13, 2007, to claim his share of his father's estate. (Id. at 9, 55-56.) Upon his arrival, Manuel discovered a "vagrant," Russell Allen, living in his father's home. (Id.) Allen offered to purchase the property from Manuel, but Manuel refused and called the police. (Id. at 9, 140-41, 146.) Manuel claims four unnamed police officers and an officer McConnell responded to the call. (Id. at 49.) They allowed Allen to remain in Manuel's home and, at some point in this episode, injured Manuel's leg. (Id. at 9.) Allen meanwhile took possession of Manuel's deceased father's wallet and other personal property. (Id. at 49.)

Manuel returned to the house twice over the following two years, once in the spring of 2008 and once in 2009. During the 2008 visit, Manuel and his son, Peter Manuel, were denied entry to the home by Allen. (Id. at 50-51, 59-60, 62.) Manuel had "legal documents" demonstrating his "right to enter," but could not convince PPD officers at the scene to help him evict Allen. (Id.) Instead, the officers accused Manuel of firing a weapon into the air. (Id. at 50.)

During his 2009 visit to the home, Manuel found a real estate agent named Leon Brown repairing the property. (Id. at 52, 126-27.) Brown claimed to have bought the house from Allen and was repairing damage caused by a fire that had occurred while Allen lived in the home. (Id.) The fire had also destroyed much of Banks's personal property in the house. (Id. at 141.)

After Manuel's encounter with Brown, he researched the ownership of the property and was informed by a City title clerk that the deed to the home was still in Banks's name. (Id. at 126-27.) However, the PPD and FBI had conspired with Allen to sell the property to Brown. (Id. at 155.) Specifically, Manuel alleges that the PPD had knowledge of his May 2007 conversation with his father and instructed Allen to break into Banks's safe to steal documents describing Manuel's inheritance. (Id. at 9.) To keep him "from taking care of his business," the PPD and FBI continually "scar[ed] [...] Manuel [...] out of Philadelphia." (Id. at 103.) Brown was also part of this conspiracy to deprive Manuel of his inheritance. (Id. at 134-35.)

In addition to the PPD, Manuel identifies the Philadelphia "Family Court" and "Probate Department" as conspirators. The Family Court refused to provide Manuel with access to child support records from Banks's file. (Id. at 51, 73, 89.) The Probate Department also gave him "no service" and, worse, misled him. (Id. at 52, 58, 63.)

Manuel also sought help from Cabbagestalk. Despite their long relationship, however, Cabbagestalk refused to assist Manuel and hindered his attempts to obtain legal counsel. (See id. at 16.) Cabbagestalk ultimately provided a vehicle through which the City and FBI "purposely interfered" with Manuel's efforts, among other things, by blocking his access to municipal offices to change the deed of his father's former home into his own name. (Id. at 17-21.)

Finally, Manuel asserts that these Defendants were assisted by two more co-conspirators, Grace Manuel a/k/a Grace Bowman ("Bowman") and her boyfriend, identified only as "Shannon." (Id. at 30-44.) Both Bowman and Shannon work for unnamed City agencies as a registered nurse and as "law enforcement personnel," respectively. (Id.) Bowman and Shannon allegedly engage in "real estate-related transactions" and purposely discouraged Manuel from claiming his inheritance. (Id.)

C. The Wiretap

In addition to their role in obstructing Manuel from obtaining his father's home, Bowman and Shannon assisted in electronic surveillance of Manuel between 1994 and 2004. (Id. at 100.) Specifically, Bowman and Shannon invited Manuel to their home at Tabor Avenue in Philadelphia and encouraged him to speak about "his private business." (Id. at 32.) Without his knowledge or consent, the PPD and FBI recorded those conversations. (Id. at 16, 100.) Manuel also alleges that the FBI and PPD tapped other locations and phone lines used by him. (Id. at 155.) The City then disclosed this information between 1994 and 2004 to portray Manuel as a "snitch" among his neighbors, forcing him to leave Philadelphia for his own safety. (Id. at 7, 16, 101, 103, 107, 109, 123.)

D. Miscellaneous Events

Manuel also complains of the following:

1. A scheme involving "over 100 predicate acts spanning an eight-year period" to "block plaintiff's exposure of a pattern of hard-core air-disaster-related corruption," which "adversely affected those injured and killed in airline crashes associated with the corruption plaintiff sought to expose and correct." (Id. at 3-4.)

2. A conspiracy to conceal "a pattern of corrupt and criminal acts related to specific to the Civil case Mr. Manuel had in 2005 against the Philadelphia Department for assault focused on inflicting injuries from 2001 to the present date." (Id. at 6.)

3. The Philadelphia Housing Authority wrongfully refused to allow him or his mother to purchase a home through a rent-to-own program he alleges ...


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