Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
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.

Wyche v. The City of Philadelphia

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

April 10, 2017

ANTWANETTE T. WYCHE, Plaintiff,
v.
THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM

          STENGEL, J.

         Pro se plaintiff, Antwanette Wyche, brings this action against the City of Philadelphia and a “Police Officer Moore, ” under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, based on an incident that occurred when she was filming Philadelphia police officers making an arrest.

         I previously granted the defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's original complaint on March 10, 2016 because the plaintiff failed to sufficiently plead municipal liability. (Doc. No. 12). I allowed the plaintiff leave to amend her complaint, which she did. Thereafter, the City filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff's amended complaint. I granted that motion to dismiss because, again, the plaintiff failed to state a claim against the City. (Doc. No. 24). I again allowed plaintiff leave to amend her complaint, which she did. The City filed a motion to dismiss plaintiff's second amended complaint on December 14, 2016. The plaintiff has not filed a response. I will grant the motion to dismiss.

         I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         On July 12, 2013, the plaintiff was recording police officers making an arrest on the 2200 block of Woodstock Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Compl., Doc. No. 3 ¶ 4). According to the plaintiff, the arresting officer, Officer Moore, did not want the arrest being recorded by the plaintiff so he assaulted and arrested the plaintiff and charged her with disorderly conduct. (Id.) After being released from the police precinct, the plaintiff went to Temple University Hospital where she was treated for injuries that she received during her arrest, including an ankle sprain, wrist pain, and back pain. (Id.) The plaintiff claims that she also suffered humiliation and embarrassment while being arrested in front of her children and neighbors. (Id.) Ultimately, the plaintiff's disorderly conduct charges were dismissed by court order on October 17, 2013. (Id.) The plaintiff now requests $25, 000 in compensatory damages, $25, 000 in punitive damages, and an injunction removing the arrest charges from her record. (Id. at ¶ 6(a)-(c)).

         II. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         The plaintiff has sued the City of Philadelphia and an unidentified “Police Officer Moore, Badge No. 4728.”

         Plaintiff first attempted to serve “Officer Moore” nearly two years ago on July 23, 2015. That summons was returned unexecuted. (Doc. No. 7). The summons indicated that there was no Officer Moore “employed as per city roster.” (Id.). On March 3, 2016, I ordered the plaintiff to properly serve “Police Officer Moore” by March 23, 2016. (Doc. No. 11). After March 23, 2016 had passed, plaintiff filed a motion for an extension of time to serve Police Officer Moore. (Doc. No. 14). I granted that motion and allowed plaintiff thirty more days with which to serve “Police Officer Moore.” (Doc. No. 15). On May 9, 2016, plaintiff filed an affidavit of service indicating she served a complaint on a person at the Philadelphia Police Department, but no summons has ever been returned executed as to Police Officer Moore. To date, no defendant other than the City of Philadelphia has been properly served.[1]

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted examines the legal sufficiency of the complaint. Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957). Following the Supreme Court decisions in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009), pleading standards in federal actions have shifted from simple notice pleading to a more heightened form of pleading, requiring a plaintiff to allege facts sufficient to show that the plaintiff has a “plausible claim for relief.” Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210-11 (3d Cir. 2009). A facially plausible claim may not be supported by conclusory allegations, but must allow the court “to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

         “Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), a pleading must contain a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the plaintiff is entitled to relief.” Id. at 677- 78. A pro se complaint must be liberally construed and held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 97 S.Ct. 285, 50 L.Ed.2d 251 (1976). A pro se action “can only be dismissed for failure to state a claim if it appears ‘beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.'” Jubilee v. Horn, 959 F.Supp. 276, 279 (E.D. Pa. 1997) (quoting Estelle, 97 S.Ct. at 292).

         IV. DISCUSSION

         The City moves to dismiss on two grounds. First, it argues plaintiff's second amended complaint pleads no facts regarding a municipal policy or custom. Second, it maintains that plaintiff's claim fails because none of the facts alleged relate to conduct by a municipal policymaker.

         A. Municipal ...


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.