United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
MEMORANDUM RE: DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON
Emma Zahner alleges that she was involuntarily and
erroneously incarcerated, in violation of her Eighth and
Fourteenth Amendment rights. Defendant Jan Lamper
(“Lamper”), the only remaining defendant in the
case, now moves for judgment on the pleadings with respect to
Count Five, the only remaining Count in this case, alleging a
42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim against Lamper. (ECF 24,
reasons stated below, Lamper's Motion will be DENIED.
filed this action in the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia
County on May 11, 2016, (ECF 1, Ex. A “Amended
Complaint”), which defendants City of Philadelphia and
Terence Clark (together, the “City Defendants”)
timely removed on May 27, 2016. (ECF 1, Notice of Removal).
Defendants Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, Robert
Smith and Lamper (together, the “Corrections
Defendants”) consented to the removal. (Id. at
31, 2016, both the City Defendants and the Corrections
Defendants moved to dismiss the Amended Complaint. (ECF 3,
4). On June 30, 2016, this Court Ordered as follows: (1)
Counts One, Two and Four would be dismissed without
prejudice, and with leave to file a Second Amended Complaint;
(2) Counts Three and Six would be dismissed with prejudice;
and (3) the motion to dismiss Count Five was denied. (ECF
10); Zahner v. City of Philadelphia, No. CV 16-2635,
2016 WL 3569255, at *1 (E.D. Pa. July 1, 2016), appeal
dismissed (Oct. 27, 2016).
12, 2016, Plaintiff filed the Second Amended Complaint (ECF
11), which contained all of the Counts originally contained
in the Amended Complaint. On July 13, 2016, the City
Defendants moved to dismiss the Second Amended Complaint, and
on July 25, 2016, the Corrections Defendants did the same.
(ECF 12, 14). On August 18, 2016, the Court granted both
motions, and ordered that Counts One, Two, Three, Four and
Six would be dismissed, this time with
prejudice. (ECF 18); Zahner v. City of
Philadelphia, No. CV 16-2635, 2016 WL 4409105, at *1
(E.D. Pa. Aug. 18, 2016). Because the defendants had not
challenged Count Five of the Second Amended Complaint, the
Court ordered that the case would continue against Lamper
September 16, 2016, Lamper filed an Answer to the allegations
contained in Count Five of the Second Amended Complaint (ECF
21), and on October 27, 2016, Lamper filed the instant Motion
for Judgment on the Pleadings. On November 4, 2016, Plaintiff
filed an Opposition to Lamper's Motion (ECF 26,
“Pl.'s Opp'n”), to which Lamper filed a
reply brief on November 7, 2016 (ECF 27, “Def.'s
following facts are taken from the Second Amended Complaint,
and are accepted as true for purposes of the pending motion.
See Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6); United States Express
Lines, Ltd. v. Higgins, 281 F.3d 383, 388 (3d Cir.
2002). Lamper is an employee of the Pennsylvania Department
of Corrections (“DOC”) and serves as a supervisor
of the Intermediate Punishment Program at the Pennsylvania
State Correctional Institute-Muncy (“Muncy”), a
Pennsylvania state prison. (Second Am. Compl. ¶ 11). On
January 5, 2012, Plaintiff received a 2-year state
intermediate sentence for drug related offenses.
(Id. ¶ 13). In May 2013, Plaintiff absconded
from Gaudenzia Addiction Treatment and Recovery Center, where
she was serving part of her 2-year sentence. (Id.
¶¶ 13-15). On March 10, 2014, Plaintiff
“surrendered herself” to Judge Rayford A. Means
of the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County.
(Id. ¶ 17). That same day, Judge Means revoked
the state intermediate sentence, and ordered a new sentence
of 18 months of telephone reporting. (Id. ¶
18). Also that day, “representatives” of the DOC
wrote a letter “censuring Judge Means” for
revoking the state intermediate sentence and “informing
Judge Means that the [DOC] intended to detain [Plaintiff]
notwithstanding his Order.” (Id. ¶
19-21). According to Plaintiff, Lamper “directed,
encouraged, approved, condoned, acquiesced or otherwise
ratified” the contents of that letter. (Id.).
December 23, 2014, Plaintiff was (1) arrested by Philadelphia
law enforcement for absconding from Gaudenzia, (2) charged by
the Philadelphia District Attorney with 18 Pa. C.S.A. §
5121, an escape violation, and (3) detained at Riverside (a
City of Philadelphia prison). (Id. ¶¶
24-25). The Judge hearing the case set bail at $50, 000.
(Id. ¶ 25). That day, the DOC also issued a
detainer requesting that Plaintiff be detained until she can
be returned to the custody of the DOC. (Id. ¶
27). According to Plaintiff, Lamper “directed,
encouraged, approved, condoned, acquiesced or otherwise
ratified” the issuance of the detainer, (id.),
and “representatives” of the DOC notified
employees at Riverside about the detainer (id.).
March 17, 2015, the judge hearing Plaintiff's escape
violation case issued an order changing Plaintiff's bail
terms to unsecured bail in the amount of $50, 000 (the
“March 17, 2015 Order”). (Id. ¶
32). Despite this modification, Plaintiff remained
incarcerated at Riverside from March 17 through June 29,
2015, and then was transferred to Muncy from June 29 through
July 2, 2015. (Id. ¶¶ 33, 38, 39,
to Plaintiff, Lamper “deliberately chose” not to
follow the March 17, 2015 Order, which, inferably, would have
allowed Plaintiff to be released on her signature, but for
the DOC detainer. (Id. ¶¶ 124, 126).
Lamper also (1) “facilitated the transfer of the
custody of [Plaintiff] from [Riverside] to [Muncy] under the
false pretense” of the DOC's detainer (id.
¶ 127); (2) was “notified” of the March 17,
2015 Order on June 30, 2015, by telephone, and again on July
1, 2015, by written ...