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Greenberg v. Caesars Entertainment Corp.

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

February 2, 2015

ALAN GREENBERG
v.
CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT CORP., ET AL

For ALAN GREENBERG, Plaintiff: MATTHEW B. WEISBERG, LEAD ATTORNEY, WEISBERG LAW PC, MORTON, PA.

For MICHAEL GAINES, INDIVIDUALLY IN HIS CAPACITY AS CORPORAL FOR THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE, WILLIAM SHORES, INDIVIDUALLY IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS TROOPER FOR THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE, Defendants: KEVIN R. BRADFORD, LEAD ATTORNEY, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, PHILADELPHIA, PA.

For CHESTER DOWNS AND MARINA, LLC, D/B/A HARRAH'S PHILADELPHIA, Defendant: RUSSELL L. LICHTENSTEIN, COOPER, LEVENSON, APRIL, NIEDELMAN & WAGENHEIM, ATLANTIC CITY, NJ.

MEMORANDUM

R. BARCLAY SURRICK, J.

Presently before the Court is the Commonwealth Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint (ECF No. 14). For the following reasons, the Commonwealth Defendants' Motion will be granted in part, and denied in part.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Factual Background[1]

Plaintiff Alan Greenberg brings this Section 1983 action against Defendants Chester Downs and Marina, LLC d/b/a Harrah's Philadelphia (" Harrah's"), Corporal Michael Gaines, and Trooper William Shores (referred to as the " Commonwealth Defendants"), both employed by the Pennsylvania State Police Department.[2] (Am. Compl. ¶ ¶ 3-6, ECF No. 13.)

Plaintiff's Amended Complaint alleges that on December 6, 2012, Plaintiff was playing poker at Harrah's. (Id. ¶ 8.) A female Harrah's employee approached Plaintiff and asked whether he had played poker on the prior night. (Id. ¶ ¶ 8, 9.) The Harrah's employee accused Plaintiff of being overpaid $100.00 and demanded repayment. (Id.) Plaintiff denied owing money to Harrah's, and requested to see video evidence. (Id. ¶ 10.) The Harrah's employee responded that Plaintiff would need a subpoena to view the video evidence. (Id. ¶ 11.) The Harrah's employee then advised Plaintiff to remain where he was so that she could call the police and have Plaintiff arrested. (Id.) Plaintiff returned to the poker table, and resumed playing poker. (Id. ¶ 12.)

Approximately 30 minutes later, State Troopers Gaines and Shores approached Plaintiff at the poker table. The troopers were not in police uniform; however, they showed Plaintiff their badges. (Id. ¶ 13.) The troopers requested that Plaintiff re-pay $100 to Harrah's. (Id. ¶ 14.) Plaintiff again denied being overpaid. (Id.) One of the troopers told Plaintiff that he had ten seconds " to either pay or go to jail." (Id. ¶ 15.) Plaintiff attempted to explain that he was not overpaid when the trooper told Plaintiff to " turn around, " a command commonly related to handcuffing. (Id. ¶ 16.) Plaintiff states that because he felt under duress, he agreed to pay the $100. (Id. at ¶ 17.) Plaintiff continues to deny that he owed Harrah's any money, and states that he felt humiliated and violated by this encounter with Defendants. (Id.)

B. Procedural History

The First Amended Complaint was filed on October 28, 2014, and asserts the following causes of action: due process violations under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, and state law (Count I); a claim under Monell v. Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658, 691, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978), against Harrah's (Count II); violations of Pennsylvania's Fair Credit Extension Uniformity Act (FCEUA), 73 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 2270.1 et seq., (Count III); conspiracy, aiding and abetting, and acting in concert (Count IV); false arrest under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and under state law (Count V); and wrongful seizure under § 1983 and under state law (Count VI). Plaintiff's initial complaint was filed on August 15, 2014. (ECF No. 1.) On Sept 24, 2014, Defendants Gaines and Shores moved to dismiss this complaint. (ECF No. 5.) This motion was dismissed as moot after Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 15.)

On November 13, 2014, Defendants, Corporal Gaines and Trooper Shores, filed the instant Motion to Dismiss. (Defs.' Mot. & Defs.' Br., ECF No. 14.) Defendant Harrah's did not move to dismiss any claims in the Amended Complaint, but instead filed an Answer on November 24, 2014. (ECF No. 17.) On January 13, ...


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