United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
Richard Caputo, United States District Judge
before me is a motion to dismiss (Doc. 11) Plaintiff Anthony
Adamitis' Amended Complaint (Doc. 10) filed by Defendants
Borough of Dickson City, Rick Cesar, Michael Fedorka, Robert
Hall, Jack Horvath, Jeffrey Kovaleski, Rose Louryk, and
Barbara Mecca (collectively “Defendants”).
alleges violations of his First Amendment rights when
Defendants retaliated against him for supporting,
campaigning, and associating with Georgia Adamitis and Paul
Kwiec in their campaign for Borough of Dickson City Council
in 2015. (Doc. 10, at ¶ 26).
reasons that follow, Defendants' motion to dismiss the
Amended Complaint will be granted.
facts, as set forth in Plaintiff's Amended Complaint
(Doc. 10), are as follows:
Anthony Adamitis is an elected Tax Collector for the Borough
of Dickson City. Plaintiff was an active supporter of his
wife, Georgia Adamitis, and Paul Kwiec in their campaign for
are five current and two former members of the Council who
were politically against Georgia Adamitis and Paul Kwiec,
instead supporting Defendants Michael Fedorka, John Horvath,
Jeffrey Kovaleski, and Rose Louryk. Defendants were aware of
Plaintiff's support for and association with Georgia
Adamitis and Paul Kwiec in their campaign for Borough
19, 2015, Georgia Adamitis and Paul Kwiec won the primary
election. The following day, Defendants took away
Plaintiff's access card to the Borough's
administrative offices; Plaintiff, however, continues to have
access to the building, where he retrieves his mail and
faxes, if another employee is present in the administrative
offices. Plaintiff was also told to move all tax records out
of a storage area where they had been kept for more than
in May 2015, Defendants Fedorka, Horvath, Kovaleski, and
Louryk publicly disparaged Plaintiff. They disclosed
personal, private, and incorrect information about Plaintiff
to the public.
five months later, on October 19, 2015, Defendant Fedorka,
pursuant to Pennsylvania Right-to-Know disclosure laws,
requested from Plaintiff “all receipts, cancelled
checks or other forms of payment made to the Dickson City Tax
Collector or his office for fees charged for duplicates or
replacement bills from the year 2011 to October 17,
2015.” (Id. at ¶ 29). According to
Plaintiff, this request was unfounded because Plaintiff, as
an elected Tax Collector, is not subject to the Right-to-Know
later, in November 2015, both Georgia Adamitis and Paul Kwiec
won the general election. In mid-December, Plaintiff's
computer was allegedly “tampered with on at least two
occasions and his paperwork was reviewed even though his
office was locked.” (Id. at ¶ 31). That
same month, Defendant Hall, pursuant to Right-to-Know laws,
sought “a copy of any and all documents, correspondence
sent or received concerning payment, fees or other
instruction on requesting a tax duplicate for the year 2015,
2014, 2013, and 2012.” (Id. at ¶ 32).
thereafter, on or about December 28, 2015, the Council passed
a motion to seek “submissions to the Pennsylvania Right
To Know Office to AP 2015-2806 and to take appropriate action
to secure the requested material.” (Id. at
¶ 33). Two days later, Defendant Hall, pursuant to
Right-to-Know laws, again requested from Plaintiff a
“copy of the Dickson City Tax Collector yearly report
of total gross compensation for the years 2011, 2012, 2013,
and 2014.” (Id. at ¶ 35).
months later, on March 8, 2016, the Council passed an
ordinance requiring the elected Tax Collector “to
assess and collect $11 for each tax certificate/assessed
property and forward the same to the Borough to be deposited
in the general fund.” (Id. at ¶ 38). The
Borough “will then issue a check to the Tax Collector
subject to withholdings.” (Id.). According to
Plaintiff, the ordinance requires him “to perform his
elected position in a more expensive way to taxpayers and
others seeking information on tax certification
duplicates.” (Id. at ¶ 37).
Plaintiff claims that the Borough ordinance passed on March
8, 2016 is invalid because, according to the Pennsylvania Tax
Collector's Manual, any change in compensation of the Tax
Collector must be adopted prior to the 15th day of February.
(Id. at ¶ 40).
light of the above, Plaintiff instituted the instant lawsuit
(Docs. 1, 10), asserting that Defendants' actions
constituted a “campaign of harassment” in
retaliation for Plaintiff's political support for Georgia
Adamitis and Paul Kwiec. (Id. at ¶ 41).
have moved to dismiss all claims. (Docs. 11, 13). The motion
has been fully ...