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Frazier v. City of Philadelphia

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

May 29, 2014

MARK S. FRAZIER, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF PHILADELPHIA and COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

NITZA I. QUIÑONES ALEJANDRO, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Before this Court is a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim filed by Defendant City of Philadelphia ("City") pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (Rule) 12(b)(6). [ECF 18]. Mark Frazier (Plaintiff), acting pro se, filed a response opposing the motion [ECF 24]; thus, the motion to dismiss is ripe for disposition.

For the reasons stated herein, this Court grants the motion to dismiss.

BACKGROUND

On February 6, 2014, Plaintiff was granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. [ECF 2]. Thereafter, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint [ECF 4], which referenced exhibits that were not attached. Plaintiff also filed numerous motions, [1] including a motion to take judicial notice of factual and evidentiary matters in this case which contained documents entitled "Corrections to the Amended Complaint" and "Corrections to the Supplemental Complaint" [ECF 19], as well as additional allegations and exhibits. This Court construes this motion as one meant to be a second amended complaint, albeit filed without seeking either Defendant City's consent or leave of court pursuant to Rule 15(a)(2).[2]

When considering Plaintiff's numerous filings and what this Court has construed as Plaintiff's second amended complaint, Plaintiff appears to implicate, inter alia, 42 U.S.C. §1983, in his various causes of action and claims for relief, which Defendant City moves to dismiss. In ruling on Defendant City's motion to dismiss, this Court must accept, as true, the relevant factual allegations in Plaintiff's second amended complaint. See Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009). However, Plaintiff's pleadings are devoid of any factual allegations; instead the amended complaint contains conclusory statements in the two counts, summarized as follows:

Count I against Defendant City. Plaintiff asserts claims for violation of his Fourth Amendment rights to be free from: numerous false and misleading charges and information, harassment by agents of the Police department, unlawful arrest, unlawful seizures of personal property, and tampering with his bank account, debit card, and finances. See ECF 4, Sec. 1, ¶¶ 1-7; ECF 19, Sec. 1, ¶¶ 1-7; and
Count II against Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ("Commonwealth"). Plaintiff asserts claims of wrongful disposal of personal property, an unsolicited offer of Jack Daniels in public, retaliation, a wrongful eviction[3] for contributing to damage of personal property in connection with a pending Municipal Court of Philadelphia County criminal case, identified as docket MC-51-CR-0048592-2013, [4] and for the loss of copyrighted software projects. See ECF 4, Sec. 2, ¶¶ 1-12; ECF 19, Sec. 1, ¶¶ 1-11.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

As stated, when considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the court "must accept all of the complaint's well-pleaded facts as true, but may disregard any legal conclusions." Fowler, 578 F.3d at 210-11. The court must determine "whether the facts alleged in the complaint are sufficient to show that the plaintiff has a plausible claim for relief.'" Id. at 211 ( quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009)). The complaint must do more than merely allege the plaintiff's entitlement to relief; it must "show such an entitlement with its facts." Id. (citations omitted). "[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct the complaint has alleged - but it has not show[n]' - that the pleader is entitled to relief'" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)) (alterations in original). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. at 678 (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements do not suffice." Id. To survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), "a plaintiff must allege facts sufficient to nudge [his] claims across the line from conceivable to plausible.'" Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 234 (3d Cir. 2008) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).

Pleadings and other submissions by pro se litigants are subject to liberal construction, see Higgs v. Att'y Gen., 655 F.3d 333, 339 (3d Cir. 2011), and courts are required to accept the truth of Plaintiff's well-pleaded allegations while drawing reasonable inferences in his favor. Wallace v. Fegan, 455 Fed.App'x 137, 139 (3d Cir. 2011) (citing Capogrosso v. The Supreme Court of New Jersey, 588 F.3d 180, 184 (3d Cir. 2009) (per curiam)). However, a pro se complaint must still "contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).

DISCUSSION

In its motion to dismiss, Defendant City argues that Plaintiff fails to plead sufficient facts to establish entitlement to relief for any constitutional violations or for any violation of municipal policy or custom under 42 U.S.C. ...


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