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Dorce v. Gleichman

United States District Court, Third Circuit

November 6, 2013

MARC STEVEN DORCE, Plaintiff
v.
CPL CHARLES E. GLEICHMAN; and TPR MICHAEL DAVIS, Defendants

MEMORANDUM

SYLVIA H. RAMBO, District Judge.

I. Procedural Background

Before the court is a complaint filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Because this complaint involves state officials only, it is believed that Plaintiff, Marc Steven Dorce, erroneously marked the incorrect cause of action. Therefore, the cause of action will be amended as one filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1983.

The complaint was filed on July 8, 2013 (Doc. 1). An administrative order was issued on July 9, 2013 (Doc. 4) to which Dorce replied (Doc. 5). By order dated August 16, 2013, Dorce was granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis and service of the complaint was directed (Doc. 9).

On September 11, 2013, Defendants Gleichman and Davis filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). A brief in support of the motion was filed on September 12, 2013 (Doc. 14). Dorce filed a document in response entitled "Brief in Support of Plaintiff's Complaint and Appeal" (Doc. 16) which this court will deem to be a brief in opposition to the motion to dismiss. On September 30, 2013, Defendants filed a reply brief (Doc.17) and the matter became ripe for disposition. For the reasons set forth below, the motion to dismiss will be granted as to both defendants.

II. Factual Background

Dorce is an inmate who is incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution at Bellefonte, Pennsylvania ("SCI-Bellefonte"). This action does not concern any claim against SCI-Bellefonte or its personnel. The action has been brought against individual state police officers who were involved in proceedings that led to Dorce's incarceration.

Trooper Michael Davis is a Pennsylvania State Police officer who filed a criminal complaint against Dorce accusing him of robbery of a motor vehicle, conspiracy to do the same, and theft by unlawful taking. Dorce was found not guilty of the robbery and conspiracy charges but was found guilty of the theft charge. The charges arose out of the same set of facts. Dorce appealed his conviction and the appeal remains pending before the Pennsylvania Courts.

III. Issues

Dorce claims that "the acts in Trooper Davis' criminal complaint did not happen" (Doc. 1 at p. 3) and that "the alleged victim never told Trooper Davis that the plaintiff robbed the alleged victim." ( Id. at 2.) In his response to the motion to dismiss (Doc. 16), Dorce further accuses Davis of altering affidavits, that the victim never gave a written statement as to who was involved in the underlying offense. (Doc. 16 at p. 2.) Dorce argues that there was no probable cause for issuing the criminal complaint. ( Id. at p. 4.)

Attached to Dorce's complaint is a statement by the victim concerning the incident leading to the arrest. (Doc. 1, Ex. B.) While the victim did not state Dorce by name in the victim statement, she did, in her follow up interviews with the police, name Dorce. The follow up interviews were done by Trooper Rush and Trooper Davis. The extensive report by Trooper Rush, who was not the arresting officer, did name Dorce. There are no claims against Trooper Rush concerning any fabrication in his report. Thus, from the complaint, it appears that Dorce may be making claims against Trooper Davis of false arrest, malicious prosecution, and possibly defamation.

Dorce's claim against Defendant Gleichman is one of respondeat superior. Dorce claims that Gleichman was the leading supervisor for Trooper Davis and, therefore, is accountable for Davis' actions. (Doc. 1 at p. 2.)

IV. Discussion

A. § 1983 Claim Against ...


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