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Mountain v. Harper

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

May 11, 2015

LESTER R. MOUNTAIN, Plaintiff,
v.
ORLANDO HARPER, Defendant.

ORDER

LISA PUPO LENIHAN, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff, Lester R. Mountain, initiated this action by submitting a Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis, which was granted by the Court on March 11, 2015. His Complaint is rather sparse and alleges only that he was overdetained for approximately thirteen (13) hours after he was released from the Allegheny County Jail on an unspecified day in August 2014. He also alleges that he did not receive his necklace back after they took it from him upon entering the jail. However, he provides no factual allegations to support his claims and the Complaint lacks reference to any individuals, dates, times or places. Because it is defective in several regards, Plaintiff is hereby ordered to file an amended complaint that is in compliance with the following instructions.

I. Instructions for Filing an Amended Complaint

A. Caption and Heading

Plaintiff must place his full name at the top of the amended complaint. Plaintiff must also add the names of each defendant. Plaintiff must name as defendants only those persons who are responsible for the alleged constitutional violation(s).[1]

B. Jurisdiction

Plaintiff must inform the Court why the case should be heard in federal court rather than state court or some other forum. If Plaintiff's action is generally one for a violation of civil rights, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 will normally be the basis for the claim. In order for Plaintiff's action to be heard in federal court under Section 1983, he must be able to show that the defendant(s), at the time of the claims alleged in the amended complaint, were acting under the authority or color of state law.

C. Parties

As the person initiating the lawsuit, Plaintiff must identify himself as such. Also, for each defendant named in the amended complaint, Plaintiff should list their current address and description of their employment. In addition, Plaintiff should explain briefly how or in what capacity each defendant acted under authority given to them by state or local government.

D. Statement of Claim

Plaintiff must state what rights under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States have been violated. It is improper for Plaintiff to merely list constitutional rights or federal rights. Plaintiff must provide a description of how the defendant(s) violated his rights.

E. Statement of Facts

Plaintiff must provide specific details of precisely how his civil rights were allegedly violated. Plaintiff should note that, in civil rights cases, more than conclusory and vague allegations are required to state a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff should clearly describe how each named defendant is involved in the alleged constitution violation(s). This description should include references to relevant dates, times, and locations. It should explain to the Court what happened by specifically describing each defendant's behavior or action and how that behavior or action - or lack of action - resulted in the alleged violations. Plaintiff should not include legal argument in his amended complaint. Citations to case law and other statutes are not appropriate in the complaint, but rather may be included in a response to a dispositive motion or at the time of trial. However, Plaintiff should be specific about the particulars of the event, each defendant's misconduct, and how such misconduct resulted in a violation or denial of the civil right at issue.

Where the amended complaint includes more than one incident, Plaintiff should clearly distinguish between them by preparing a separate description - usually a paragraph - for each incident. Each incident should be identified as a separate count, and each count must include appropriate facts and evidence in support of the claims made in the count. Each incident must be clearly and specifically described; it should include the relevant time, date, and location. Each ...


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