United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
STENGEL, C. J.
Tucker filed this counseled amended complaint against the
City of Philadelphia and several members of its Police
Department, alleging civil rights violations pursuant to 42
U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1981, 1985, 1986, and several state
law torts. The Defendant City and Defendants John Smith,
David Anzideo, and Shawn Parker filed a motion to partially
dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to Rule
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. They
contend that Counts II, III, and V should be dismissed. Mr.
Tucker responded. For the following reasons, I will grant the
motion in part and deny it in part.
amended complaint alleges that Mr. Tucker was incarcerated in
state prison for a period of one and half years as a result
of false charges brought against him by certain police
officers of the City. Specifically, it alleges that, on June
19, 2014, Mr. Tucker was innocently riding his bicycle when
he was brutally attacked by the police without warning. The
police officer defendants tasered him and pushed him onto the
ground. Mr. Tucker was then thrown into a police vehicle
causing a fracture of his right hand and/or wrist. He alleges
that the police officers beat him about the head and face,
and other portions of his body. Mr. Tucker then alleges that
he was wrongfully arrested and charged with various crimes
including the possession of an instrument of crime, and
placed into custody at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional
Facility in Philadelphia from June 19, 2014 through February
amended complaint further alleges that Mr. Tucker was
released only after the Court of Common Pleas determined that
the police officers had engaged in an illegal search and
seizure, and that they had no probable cause to arrest,
charge, and/or confine Mr. Tucker.
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).
Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires
“a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief, ” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2), in order to “give the defendant fair notice of
what the . . .claim is and the grounds upon which it rests,
” Bell Atlantic, 550 U.S. 544, the plaintiff
must provide “more than labels and conclusions.”
Byrne v. Cleveland Clinic, 684 F.Supp.2d 641, 649
(E.D. Pa. 2010)(citing Bell Atlantic, 550 U.S. 544).
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.
three claims that are the subject of this motion to dismiss
were brought against the defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a private party may
recover in an action against any person acting under the
color of state law who deprives the party of his
constitutional rights. The relevant text of § 1983
provides, in part:
“Every person who, under color of any statute,
ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage . . . subjects, or
causes to be subjected, any citizen . . . or any other person
. . . to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or
immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be
liable to the party injured. . . .”
1983 does not by itself confer substantive rights, but
rather, provides a remedy for redress when a constitutionally
protected right has been violated. Oklahoma City
v. Tuttle, 471 U.S. 808, 816 (1985) (citing Baker v.
McCollan, 443 U.S. 137, 140, 144 n.3 (1979)). Thus, in
order to bring a successful claim for relief under §
1983, “a plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant,
acting under color of law, deprived him of a right secured by
the Constitution or the laws of the United States.”
Kaucher v. Cnty. of Bucks, 455 F.3d 418, 423 (3d
Count II, Mr. Tucker alleges a claim against the individual
police officer defendants in their individual capacities for
racial discrimination in violation of the Equal Protection
Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States
Constitution, and 42 U.S.C. § 1981. He contends that
his race, i.e., African American, was a motivating factor in
the defendants' decisions to use excessive force, and
then to maliciously arrest and prosecute him with false
charges. See Am.Compl. ¶ 82. The ...