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John and Kellie Kaminski v. Mydatt Services Inc

June 8, 2012

JOHN AND KELLIE KAMINSKI
PLAINTIFFS,
v.
MYDATT SERVICES INC, ET AL.
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Arthur J. Schwab United States District Judge

ELECTRONICALLY FILED

MEMORANDUM OPINION RE: DEFENDANT ROSS TOWNSHIP'S MOTION

TO DISMISS (DOC. NO. 23)

I. Introduction

Presently before the Court is Defendant Ross Township's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs John and Kellie Kaminski's ("Plaintiffs'") Amended Complaint. Doc. No. 23. The parties' dispute centers on the actions of Gregory Lattera and Officer Joseph Serowik ("individual Defendants") toward Plaintiff John Kaminski on November 26, 2010. On March 23, 2012, Plaintiffs filed suit in this Court based on the federal questions involved and this Court's supplemental jurisdiction. Doc. No. 1. Plaintiffs subsequently filed an Amended Complaint. Doc. No. 22

Count VII of the Amended Complaint alleges that, inter alia, Ross Township Police Department violated Plaintiffs' civil rights, in violation of 28 U.S.C. § 1983. Doc. No. 22, ¶¶ 147-165. Count VIII of the Amended Complaint further alleges that Ross Township was negligent in its training and supervision of Serowik After careful consideration of the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No. 23), Brief in Support (Doc. No. 24), and Plaintiffs' Response thereto (Doc. No. 28), and for the reasons that follow, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No. 23) will be GRANTED.

II. Factual Background

When reviewing a Motion to Dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the Court accepts all factual allegations in the Amended Complaint as true and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of Plaintiffs. See Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009). Taking Plaintiffs' factual allegations to be true for the purposes of this Memorandum Opinion, the facts of this case are as follows:

On November 26, 2010, Defendant Lattera, an employee of Mydatt (who had a contract to provide security at Ross Park Mall), was directing traffic at the intersection of Old McKnight Rd. and Cheryl Dr. Doc. No. 22, ¶¶ 27-40. Plaintiff John Kaminski, with Plaintiff Kellie Kaminski as a passenger, made a turn without waiting for a signal from Defendant Lattera. Id., ¶

42. Defendant Lattera struck the rear passenger door of Plaintiffs' car as it was proceeding through the intersection. Id., ¶ 44. Defendant Lattera falsely broadcasted a report to other Ross Park Mall security guards and the Ross Township Police that he had been struck by Plaintiffs' car. Id., ¶ 46.

Defendant Lattera falsely identified himself as a police officer to Plaintiffs and told Plaintiff John Kaminski he was under arrest. Id., ¶ 51. When Plaintiff John Kaminski asked Defendant Lattera for identification, Defendant Laterra placed him in a choke hold, threw him up against a car, and otherwise assaulted him. Id., ¶¶ 52-53. Defendant Serowik, who was working an extra security detail for Ross Park Mall, arrived on scene and used a taser on the unarmed and subdued Plaintiff John Kaminski. Id., ¶¶ 57-60. Defendant Lattera admitted that he had fabricated the story about being assaulted because he was cold, sore, and tired. Id., ¶ 76. On December 8, 2010, Defendant Lattera was charged with, inter alia, false imprisonment, simple assault, unlawful restraint, harassment, impersonating a public servant, and filing a false report to law enforcement. Id., ¶ 8.

III. Standard of Review

In considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, federal courts require notice pleading, as opposed to the heightened standard of fact pleading. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2) requires only "'a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,' in order to 'give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds on which it rests.'" Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)).

Building upon the landmark United States Supreme Court decisions in Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit explained that a District Court must undertake the ...


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