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Antonello Boldrini v. Martin R. Wilson

December 26, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Caputo



Presently before the Court is Magistrate Judge Blewitt's Report and Recommendation (Doc. 46) recommending that Defendants' Motions to Dismiss (Docs. 7; 12) be granted and Plaintiff Antonello Boldrini's ("Boldrini") Complaint be dismissed with prejudice. Boldrini filed timely objections to the Report and Recommendation. Because Boldrini's 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims are barred by Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 114 S. Ct. 2364, 129 L. Ed. 2d 383 (1994), the motions to dismiss will be granted.

I. Background

The facts as alleged in the Complaint are as follows: In 1985, Boldrini and his wife started a business in Scranton, Pennsylvania as an importer and distributor of "Paint Spray Booth." (Compl., ¶ 3.) The business became exclusive for Italian manufacturer CMC in 1988. (Id.) Since 1987, the business has been located in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. (Id.)

In 2008, Pennsylvania State Trooper Carol Ponce orchestrated a criminal action to be brought against Boldrini and his company in order to recover money for a Defendant. (Id. at ¶ 5.) Trooper Ponce accused Boldrini of eight (8) felonies in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania. (Id.) Boldrini was arrested and incarcerated on the felonies based on false accusations made by Trooper Ponce in the Affidavit of Probable Cause dated October 6, 2008. (Id. at ¶ 6.)

Boldrini filed a motion to dismiss the Clearfield County criminal action on July 6, 2009. (Id. at ¶ 8.) Thereafter, on July 13, 2009, the Clearfield County District Attorney moved to amend the action to prosecute Boldrini for events that occurred in Union and Bradford Counties. (Id. at ¶ 9.) Because the District Attorney did not have proof of authorization from Union and Bradford Counties to prosecute Boldrini, Judge Ammerman ordered the District Attorney to produce authorizations within ten (10) days. (Id. at ¶¶ 10-11.)

On September 25, 2009, First Assistant District Attorney of Clearfield County F. Cortez Bell filed letters from Union and Bradford Counties consenting to Boldrini's consolidated prosecution. (Id. at ¶ 13.) The authorization from Union County, dated September 24, 2009, was sent by Union County Assistant District Attorney Martin R. Wilson to Clearfield County District Attorney William A. Shaw. (Id. at ¶ 18.) The authorization from Bradford County, dated March 10, 2008, was sent by Bradford County District Attorney Daniel J. Barrett. (Id. at ¶ 20.)

On September 28, 2009, Boldrini obtained an Affidavit from the Clerk of Court of Union County and Bradford County which affirmed that he had no criminal record in either County. (Id. at ¶ 14.) Boldrini then filed the Affidavit with the Clearfield County Court of Common Pleas and the District Attorney's Office. (Id. at ¶ 15.)

Essentially, Boldrini alleges that Defendants co-conspired to create false documents that led to his arrest on charges of which he was not guilty.*fn1 He claims that his rights have been violated under the Fourth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. With respect to Assistant District Attorney Wilson, District Attorneys Johnson, Barrett, and Shaw, and Trooper Ponce, Boldrini asserts claims for "malicious prosecution, malicious abuse of process, conspiracy, false documents, intentional tort and forged document in official business." (Compl., ¶¶ 21, 22, 24, 26, 27.) As against Defendants Doe and Assistant District Attorney Bell, Boldrini alleges claims for "refusing or neglecting to prevent, conspiracy on malicious prosecution, and intentional tort." (Id. at ¶¶ 23, 25.)

II. Legal Standards

A. Standard for a 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides for the dismissal of a complaint, in whole or in part, for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). When considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the Court's role is limited to determining if a plaintiff is entitled to offer evidence in support of their claims. See Semerenko v. Cendant Corp., 223 F.3d 165, 173 (3d Cir. 2000). The Court does not consider whether a plaintiff will ultimately prevail. See id. A defendant bears the burden of establishing that a plaintiff's complaint fails to state a claim. See Gould Elecs. v. United States, 220 F.3d 169, 178 (3d Cir. 2000).

"A pleading that states a claim for relief must contain . . . a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). The statement required by Rule 8(a)(2) must give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93, 127 S. Ct. 2197, 167 L. Ed. 2d 1081 (2007) (per curiam) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 167 L. Ed. 2d 929 (2007)). Detailed factual allegations are not required. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. However, mere conclusory statements will not do; "a complaint must do more than allege the plaintiff's entitlement to relief." Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009). Instead, a complaint must "show" this entitlement by alleging sufficient facts. Id. "While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual ...

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