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.

Leonard Dixon and December L. Dixon v. Osa Global Security and Penn Hills School District and Municipality of Penn Hills

July 12, 2012

LEONARD DIXON AND DECEMBER L. DIXON, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
OSA GLOBAL SECURITY AND PENN HILLS SCHOOL DISTRICT AND MUNICIPALITY OF PENN HILLS, DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF COURT

Presently before the Court is DEFENDANT PENN HILLS SCHOOL DISTRICT'S MOTION TO DISMISS, with brief in support (Document Nos. 13 and 14). By Text Order of June 1, 2012, the Court ordered Plaintiffs to respond to the Motion by June 21, 2012; however, to date, Plaintiffs have not filed a response.

Background

As the law requires, at the motion to dismiss stage, all disputed facts and inferences are resolved in favor of Plaintiffs, the non-moving party. This lawsuit is brought pursuant to a complaint filed by pro se plaintiffs, Leonard Dixon and December L. Dixon. The factual allegations made in the Complaint are vague and difficult to comprehend.

Plaintiffs are attempting to plead a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. §1983 and contend that Defendants violated their constitutional rights (1) to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures; (2) "to not be put twice in jeopardy for the same offence (sic), compelled to be witness against oneself, deprived of liberty or property, without due process of law, without just compensation;" and (3) to "compulsory process." Complaint at 4. Named as defendants are OSA Global Security, Penn Hills School District, and the Municipality of Penn Hills. OSA Global Security has not been served with the summons and Complaint and the Municipality of Penn Hills has filed an Answer. The instant Motion to Dismiss is filed only behalf of Penn Hills School District ("the School District").

Standard of Review

A motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) challenges the legal sufficiency of the complaint. The United States Supreme Court has held that "[a] plaintiff's obligation to provide the 'grounds' of his 'entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 555 (2007) (citing Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986)) (alterations in original).

The Court must accept as true all well-pleaded facts and allegations, and must draw all reasonable inferences therefrom in favor of the plaintiff. However, as the Supreme Court made clear in Twombly, the "factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Id. The Supreme Court has subsequently broadened the scope of this requirement, stating that only a complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a motion to dismiss." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1950 (2009) (emphasis added).

Thus, after Iqbal, a district court must conduct a two-part analysis when presented with a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009). First, the Court must separate the factual and legal elements of the claim. Id. Although the Court "must accept all of the complaint's well-pleaded facts as true, [it] may disregard any legal conclusions." Id. at 210-211. Second, the Court "must then determine whether the facts alleged in the complaint are sufficient to show that the plaintiff has a 'plausible claim for relief.' In other words, a complaint must do more than allege the plaintiff's entitlement to relief. A complaint has to 'show' such an entitlement with its facts." Id. at 211 (citing Iqbal 129 S. Ct. at 1949). The determination for "plausibility" will be "'a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.'" Id. at 211 (quoting Iqbal 129 S. Ct. at 1950).

As a result, "pleading standards have seemingly shifted from simple notice pleading to a more heightened form of pleading, requiring a plaintiff to plead more than the possibility of relief to survive a motion to dismiss." Id. at 211. That is, "all civil complaints must now set out 'sufficient factual matter' to show that the claim is facially plausible. This then 'allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.'" Id. at 210 (quoting Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1948). "A pleading offering only 'labels and conclusions' or 'a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.'" Id. (quoting Twombly 550 U.S. at 555).

However, nothing in Twombly or Iqbal changed the other pleading standards for a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) and the requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 8 must still be met. See Phillips v. Co. of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 231 (3d Cir. 2008) (internal citations omitted). Fed. R. Civ. P. 8 requires a showing, rather than a blanket assertion, of entitlement to relief, and "contemplates the statement of circumstances, occurrences, and events in support of the claim presented and does not authorize a pleader's bare averment that he wants relief and is entitled to it." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 n.3 (internal citations and quotations omitted). Additionally, the Supreme Court did not abolish the Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) requirement that "the facts must be taken as true and a complaint may not be dismissed merely because it appears unlikely that the plaintiff can prove those facts or will ultimately prevail on those merits." Phillips, 515 F.3d at 231(citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 553).

The Court is mindful that the sufficiency of a pro se pleading must be construed liberally in favor of the plaintiff, even after Iqbal. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89 (2007). Moreover, a court should not dismiss a civil rights complaint with prejudice for failure to state a claim without granting leave to amend, unless it finds bad faith, undue delay, prejudice or futility. See Grayson v. Mayview State Hosp., 293 F.3d 103, 110-11 (3d Cir. 2002). Discussion Generally, 42 U.S.C. §1983 does not create substantive rights, but rather provides a remedy for a violation of rights created by federal law or the Constitution of the United States. 42 U.S.C. §1983; City of Okla. City v. Tuttle, 471 U.S. 808, 816 (1985). Title 42, United States Code, Section 1983 provides in relevant part:

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress..

To establish a Section 1983 claim, a plaintiff "must demonstrate a violation of a right secured by the Constitution and the laws of the United States [and] that the alleged deprivation [violation of a right] was committed by a person acting under the color ...


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.