Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Reilly v. Lebanon County

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

December 22, 2016

LEBANON COUNTY, et. al., Defendants.


          John E. Jones III

         Plaintiff Brandon Reilly brings the above-captioned action pursuant to allegations of a deprivation of Fourteenth Amendment rights by Defendants, Lebanon County and its Sheriff Bruce Klingler. Presently pending before the Court is the Defendants' motion to dismiss (the “Motion”) (Doc. 17), seeking to dismiss both counts of Plaintiff's amended complaint. (Doc. 9). The Motion has been fully briefed (Docs. 18, 32, 34) and is therefore ripe for our review. For the reasons that follow, the Motion shall be granted.

         I. BACKGROUND

         In accordance with the standard of review applicable to a motion to dismiss, the following facts are derived from Plaintiff's amended complaint and viewed in the light most favorable to him.

         On July 3, 2014 around 2:30a.m., Plaintiff Brandon Reilly was sitting outside the Reamstown Athletic Association building in Reamstown, Pennsylvania. (Doc. 9, ¶ 6) (see also Doc. 17, att. 1). East Cocalico Township Police Officers arrived at the building after receiving reports of disorderly conduct from within. (Doc. 9, ¶ 7). Plaintiff was not inside the building when the alleged disorderly conduct took place. (Id., at ¶ 8). The officers approached Plaintiff and asked him what he was doing. (Id., at ¶ 9). Plaintiff told the officers that he was waiting for a friend to pick him up. (Id., at ¶ 10). Without conducting any meaningful investigation, the officers demanded Plaintiff to get in the police car and took him to the police station. (Id., at ¶¶ 11-12). There was no investigation conducted at the police station and Plaintiff was picked up by a friend. (Id., at ¶ 12).

         About a week later, Plaintiff received a citation for public drunkenness in the mail. (Id., at ¶ 14). He attended a hearing and paid a fine for public drunkenness. (Id., at ¶ 15). During the hearing, a police officer admitted to making false statements in the citation and that his only basis for the citation was that the Plaintiff repeated himself. (Id.).

         Several months later, around November 2014, Plaintiff was informed by his employer that the Lebanon County[1] Sherriff was revoking his concealed carry license due to the public drunkenness citation. (Id., at ¶ 16). Plaintiff called the Sheriff and asked why his permit was being revoked and was told that the East Cocalico Township Police had directed him to do so. (Id., at ¶ 17). Plaintiff asked the Sheriff if there was a way to challenge the revocation, and he said no. (Id., at ¶ 18). Plaintiff was never contacted in writing that his concealed carry permit was being revoked. (Id., at ¶ 20). The Lebanon County Sheriff did not conduct a meaningful background check before revoking the Plaintiff's concealed carry permit. (Id.). It was a custom and practice of the Lebanon County Sheriff's office to revoke concealed gun carry permits without conducting meaningful investigation. (Id., at ¶ 22). As a result of the revocation, the Plaintiff suffered financial loss, the loss of his permit, and severe emotional distress. (Id., at ¶ 21).

         Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on June 14, 2016 bringing two counts against the Defendants. (Doc. 9). In Count I, Plaintiff alleges that the Defendants violated his substantive and procedural due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment.[2] (Id., at ¶¶ 23-27). Count II is labeled only as “Monell”, though the Court recognizes this as a reference to Monell v. Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978), and alleges that it was the custom and policy of the Defendants that deprived the Plaintiff of his rights. (Id., at ¶¶ 28-30). While Plaintiff's claim does not delineate his Counts as such, the Court assumes that Count I is against Defendant Bruce Klingler and Count II is against Lebanon County, both for claims of deprivation of procedural and substantive due process. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss on July 22, 2016 (Doc. 17) and a brief in support on August 1, 2016. (Doc. 18). After several extensions, Plaintiff filed a brief in opposition on October 10, 2016. (Doc. 32). Defendants filed a reply on October 14, 2016. (Doc. 34). Plaintiff filed a motion for leave to file a sur-reply on November 1, 2016, but provided the Court with no argument or brief in support of that motion. (Doc. 35). We denied Plaintiff's motion to file a sur-reply by Order dated December 1, 2016. (Doc. 38). For the reasons that follow, we shall grant the Defendants' motion to dismiss.


         In considering a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), courts “accept all factual allegations as true, construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and determine whether, under any reasonable reading of the complaint, the plaintiff may be entitled to relief.” Phillips v. Cty. of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 231 (3d Cir. 2008) (quoting Pinker v. Roche Holdings, Ltd., 292 F.3d 361, 374 n.7 (3d Cir. 2002)). In resolving a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), a court generally should consider only the allegations in the complaint, as well as “documents that are attached to or submitted with the complaint, . . . and any matters incorporated by reference or integral to the claim, items subject to judicial notice, matters of public record, orders, [and] items appearing in the record of the case.” Buck v. Hampton Twp. Sch. Dist., 452 F.3d 256, 260 (3d Cir. 2006).

         A Rule 12(b)(6) motion tests the sufficiency of the complaint against the pleading requirement of Rule 8(a). Rule 8(a)(2) requires that a complaint contain a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, “in order to give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). While a complaint attacked by Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss need not contain detailed factual allegations, it must contain “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). To survive a motion to dismiss, a civil plaintiff must allege facts that “raise a right to relief above the speculative level….” Victaulic Co. v. Tieman, 499 F.3d 227, 235 (3d Cir. 2007) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Accordingly, to satisfy the plausibility standard, the complaint must indicate that defendant's liability is more than “a sheer possibility.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. “Where a complaint pleads facts that are ‘merely consistent with' a defendant's liability, it ‘stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.'” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).

         Under the two-pronged approach articulated in Twombly and later formalized in Iqbal, a district court must first identify all factual allegations that constitute nothing more than “legal conclusions” or “naked assertions.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 557. Such allegations are “not entitled to the assumption of truth” and must be disregarded for purposes of resolving a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Next, the district court must identify “the ‘nub' of the … complaint - the well-pleaded, nonconclusory factual allegation[s].” Id. Taking these allegations as true, the district judge must then determine whether the complaint states a plausible claim for relief. See id.

         However, “a complaint may not be dismissed merely because it appears unlikely that the plaintiff can prove those facts or will ultimately prevail on the merits.” Phillips, 515 F.3d at 231 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556-57). Rule 8 “does not impose a probability requirement at the pleading stage, but instead simply calls for enough facts to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of the necessary element.” Id. at 234.

         III. ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.