United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
Jerry Eugene Walker, a prisoner incarcerated at the
Montgomery County Correctional Facility, brings this civil
action based on his numerous arrests and prosecutions in
Montgomery County as well as the conditions at the Montgomery
County Correctional Facility. Plaintiff seeks leave to
proceed in forma pauperis. The Court will grant
plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis and
dismiss his complaint.
complaint appears to be a collection of at least two
complaints combined with several exhibits and grievances that
plaintiff submitted as one filing totaling ninety-two pages.
Because of the manner in which the complaint has been
submitted to the Court, it is difficult for the Court to
understand the precise factual basis for plaintiffs claims
and who plaintiff intended to name as defendants in this
case. Having reviewed plaintiffs submission, the Court
understands plaintiff to be raising claims based on several
events that can be divided into two general sets. The first
set of claims relate to plaintiffs numerous arrests and
prosecutions since 2014. The second set of claims relate to
plaintiffs recent incarceration at the Montgomery County
Correctional Facility in 2017.
Claims Related to Plaintiffs Arrests and
caption of the document that plaintiff submitted as his
complaint identifies the following defendants: (1) Honorable
Steven T. O'Neill; (2) Meghan LaCheplle (identified as a
parole agent); (3) Michael R. Gordon (identified as
"chief); (4) Todd Bergman (identified as "deputy
chief); (5) Kathleen Subbio (identified as "deputy
chief); (6) Stephanie Landes (identified as "deputy
chief); (7) the Honorable Francis Lawrence Jr. (misspelled
Fransic); (8) Mark Talbot (identified as "chief of
police"); (9) Andrew Bixler (identified as
"officer"); (10) Officer Tim William (identified as
"Sgt.");and (11) Emrich Raymond E. Jr.
(identified as "officer").
generally alleges that "since being released from state
prison in 2014, [he has been] doing nothing but getting
arrested every other day and night by the Norristown Police
Police [sic] Department and placed in a few of their holding
cells for false charges which went on for almost 3 years
straight!" The complaint reflects that the basis for
many of the arrests was public drunkenness and disorderly
conduct. Plaintiff alleges that on several occasions, he was
forced "to sleep in the cold cells freezing to
review of public dockets reflects several criminal actions
filed against plaintiff in Montgomery County, where
Norristown is located, since 2014. Plaintiff was repeatedly
charged with summary offenses, including public drunkenness
and driving offenses, during that time period. In some cases
he pled guilty and in others he was found not guilty.
Magisterial District Judge Francis J. Lawrence Jr. has
presided over most of plaintiff s criminal proceedings.
complaint specifically references the following criminal
proceedings, which the Court presumes provide the primary
basis for plaintiffs claims in this lawsuit. In May of 2015,
plaintiff was charged with criminal trespass, simple assault,
burglary, and public drunkenness and similar misconduct.
See Commonwealth v. Walker, Docket No.
CP-46-CR-0003959-2015 (Montgomery Cty. Ct. of Common Pleas).
On May 20, 2015, Judge Lawrence held a preliminary hearing,
dismissed the burglary charge, and held the remaining charges
for court. Plaintiff subsequently pled guilty to simple
assault and was sentenced to a period of incarceration.
plaintiffs release, public dockets reflect that he was
arrested by Officer Emrich on December 19, 2015 for
terroristic threats, disorderly conduct, risking catastrophe,
institutional vandalism at an educational facility, and
public drunkenness and similar misconduct. See
Commonwealth v. Walker, Docket No. CP-46-CR-0000499-2016
(Montgomery Cty. Ct. of Common Pleas). Plaintiff alleges that
after his arrest, he was cuffed to the bars in a cell and was
so upset that he set himself on fire and was taken to the
hospital. Plaintiff alleges that Officer Emrich should have
searched him more thoroughly before putting him in the cell
and taken the lighter that he used to set himself on fire.
Judge Lawrence held the charges over for court after a
preliminary hearing and plaintiff ultimately pled guilty
before Judge Steven T. O'Neill to disorderly conduct and
institutional vandalism. Plaintiff was again sentenced to a
period of imprisonment.
22, 2016, plaintiff was arrested by Officer Bixler for
criminal trespass, loitering, criminal mischief, and
burglary. See Commonwealth v. Walker, Docket No.
CP-46-0005074-2016 (Montgomery Cty. Ct. of Common Pleas).
Judge Lawrence dismissed the burglary charge and held the
remaining charges for court after a preliminary hearing. The
remaining charges were nolle prossed on September 27, 2016.
of 2017, Judge O'Neill denied plaintiffs motion to remove
Ms. Lacheplle as his probation/parole officer. Also in May of
2017, plaintiff was arrested by Officer Bixler and, according
to plaintiff, accused of a crime he did not commit. The
docket for the resulting criminal proceeding reflects that
plaintiff was charged with simple assault and harassment.
See Commonwealth v. Walker, Docket No.
CP-46-CR-0004041-2017 (Montgomery Cty. Ct. of Common Pleas).
He recently pled guilty to three lesser charges of
"disorderly conduct engaging in fighting" and was
sentenced to ninety days of probation. Id. The
complaint also references charges filed against plaintiff on
January 11, 2017, which were dismissed after proceedings
before Magisterial District Judge Lawrence. See
Commonwealth v. Walker, Docket No.
sought release from imprisonment while the charges were
pending so he could be with his ailing mother, but Judge
O'Neill denied his requests and plaintiffs mother
unfortunately passed away while he was incarcerated.
Plaintiff alleges that he was deprived of the opportunity to
be with his mother "thanks to Hon. Steven T. O'Neill
and Mrs. Meghan Lacheplle along with Michael B. Gordon, Chief
of Probation/Parole and those under him, all not caring at
all!" He appears to be alleging that Lacheplle was also
responsible for improperly charging him with violating his
parole on various occasions.
regard, plaintiff attached to his complaint motions and
letters that he filed with the state court in which he
claimed that Lacheplle improperly charged him with technical
violations of his parole and that officers of the Norristown
Police Department pursued false charges against him. He also
attached to his complaint notices of parole violations and
other notices that he received from the state court in
connection with his various criminal proceedings. Despite
alleging that Lacheplle had no basis to seek revocation of
his parole, plaintiff admits in one filing to having
committed at least one violation, i.e., having tested
positive for cocaine.
attached to his complaint additional exhibits and portions of
form complaints that he completed, which suggest his
intention to raise additional claims against additional
defendants. For instance, one page indicates that plaintiff
would like to bring claims against the prosecutor on one of
his cases for "intimidating" one of plaintiff s
witnesses by informing her that testifying in plaintiffs case
could affect her own criminal case. Additional exhibits
reflect that he was dissatisfied with the conditions at the
Montgomery County Correctional Facility, as discussed further
Claims Related to the Conditions in which Plaintiff was
Incarcerated at the Montgomery County Correctional
second portion of plaintiffs complaint includes a page
reflecting a second caption naming the following defendants:
(1) William J. Catania; (2) Rev. Jerome F. Coleman; (3)
Eileen W. Behr; (4) Stanley M. Turtle; (5) Julio Algarin; (6)
Martha (Marcy) D'Orazio; (7) Paul Corbo; (8) Jonath
Cohen; and (9) Chuck Colure. A few pages later in the
complaint, plaintiff includes pages of a form complaint that
he completed to identify the following individuals as
defendants: (1) Julio Algarin; (2) Martha (Marcy)
D'Orazio; (3) Paul Carbo; (4) Chuck Colar; (5) Jonathen
Cohen; (6) Ms. Kielly; (7) G. Andrew Szekely; (8) Nancy L.
Weiman; (9) William J. ...