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Hoffman v. City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

December 14, 2017

BARRY HOFFMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF PITTSBURGH BUREAU OF POLICE, ET AL., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

          Arthur J. Schwab United States District Court Judge

         On September 29, 2017, Plaintiff Barry Hoffman filed a Complaint against Defendants Allegheny County Police Department, (“ACPD”). City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police (“Pittsburgh PD”), Munhall Police Department (“Munhall PD”), and Pennsylvania State Police. Doc. No. 1. Plaintiff raises five claims stemming from a multi-police agency event that left his property severely damaged and in violation of the building code with multiple broken windows, damage to entryways, and tear gas damage. Doc. No. 1. Plaintiff alleges:

• Count I - Taking without just compensation in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution;
• Count II - Violation of due process for deprivation of property pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution;
• Count III - Negligence pursuant to 42 P.S. § 8542(b)(1);
• Count IV - Inverse Condemnation for deprivation of property without just compensation (withdrawn by Plaintiff in his Responses); and
• Count V - Taking without just compensation in violation of the Pennsylvania Constitution pursuant to Pennsylvania's Eminent Domain Code, 26 Pa. C.S.A. § 101, et seq. (withdrawn by Plaintiff in his Responses).

Doc. No. 1, and Doc. Nos. 29, 31, and 33.

         The Court has original jurisdiction over Counts I and II of the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331, and, though not specifically alleged in Plaintiffs Complaint, Plaintiff apparently seeks to invoke the Court's supplemental jurisdiction over his state-law claims in Counts III, IV, and V pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367.

         The Pennsylvania State Police moved to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint, doc. no. 12, and Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed that Defendant from the case. Doc. No. 17. Now pending before the Court are Motions to Dismiss by the remaining Defendants, ACPD, Pittsburgh PD, and Munhall PD. Doc. No. 19, Doc. No. 25, and Doc. No. 22. All three remaining Defendants raise similar arguments in their respective motions and Plaintiff filed nearly identical responses to each. SeeDoc. No. 29, Doc. No. 31, and Doc. No. 33. In his Responses, Plaintiff withdraws his Inverse Condemnation and Takings claims in Counts IV and V.

         For the reasons that follow, the Court will dismiss Counts I and II of Plaintiff's Complaint, because those claims are not yet ripe for adjudication and will decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Count III of Plaintiff's Complaint, stating a claim for negligence, as the Court has dismissed all claims for which it possessed original jurisdiction. Plaintiff's request for leave to amend his Complaint is denied, as amendment could not cure the deficiencies contained therein that show his federal claims are not yet ripe.

         I. Legal Standards

         1. Standing

         “Before a takings claim is ripe, plaintiffs should (subject to certain exceptions) comply with two prudential requirements set forth in the Supreme Court's decision in Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City, 473 U.S. 172 (1985).” Knick v. Township of Scott, 862 F.3d 310, 323 (3d Cir. 2017). First, the “finality rule” requires that a final decision regarding the applicability of any government action to the property at issue was made, and second, ...


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