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Fake v. Commonwealth

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

May 16, 2018

BRANDON L. FAKE, et al., Plaintiff
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, et al., Defendants

          Schwab Chief Magistrate Judge.

          ORDER

          Yvette Kane, United States District Court.

         THE BACKGROUND OF THIS ORDER IS AS FOLLOWS:

         Before the Court is the March 22, 2018 Report and Recommendation of Chief Magistrate Judge Schwab (Doc. No. 13), recommending that this Court grant Defendants' motion to dismiss[1] (Doc. No. 5), Plaintiffs' amended complaint[2] (Doc. No. 3), pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(2), and deny Plaintiffs' pending motion for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order (Doc. No. 10).

         In her 57-page Report and Recommendation, Chief Magistrate Judge Schwab finds that: the Eleventh Amendment bars Plaintiffs' 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, and the claims asserted against Judge Murphy, Judge Thompson, and Chief Counsel Graci in their official capacities (Doc. No. 13 at 16-20); the Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1996 bars Plaintiffs' claims for injunctive relief against the Defendant-Judges (id. at 43-44); the doctrine of judicial immunity bars the claims for damages against the Defendant-Judges (id. at 38-43); and the doctrine of prosecutorial immunity, or alternatively, the doctrine of qualified immunity, bars the claims for damages against Defendant Robert A. Graci (id. at 44-51).[3] Chief Magistrate Judge Schwab also finds that the amended complaint fails to state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1985(2) and (3), 42 U.S.C. § 1986, 18 U.S.C. § 2382, 18 U.S.C. § 1031, and 31 U.S.C. § 3729. (Id. at 51-53.) As a final matter, Chief Magistrate Judge Schwab makes a futility finding and recommends on that basis that the Court deny Plaintiffs further leave to amend their operative pleading. (Id. at 57.)

         Plaintiffs have filed objections to the Report and Recommendation.[4] (Doc. No. 14.) While not a model of clarity, it appears from this filing that Plaintiffs challenge the timeliness of Defendants' motion to dismiss and accuse Chief Magistrate Judge Schwab of creating “a double standard for Defendant judges who have willfully violated the United States Constitution and have violated valid State and Federal statutes under color of law in their discriminatory actions against Plaintiffs.” (Id. at 4.) Much of the briefing in connection with their objections, however, is devoted to restating arguments considered by Chief Magistrate Judge Schwab in her Report and Recommendation. Having reviewed Plaintiffs' objections in conjunction with the Report and Recommendation, the Court is persuaded by Chief Magistrate Judge Schwab's sound reasoning supporting her findings and recommendations, and finds that Chief Magistrate Judge Schwab correctly and comprehensively resolved the substance of Plaintiffs' objections in the Report and Recommendation itself.[5] Thus, the Court will not write separately to address Plaintiffs' objections except where noted in the margin.[6]

         Accordingly, on this 16th day of May 2018, upon independent review of the record and the applicable law, IT IS ORDERED THAT:

1. The Court ADOPTS the Report and Recommendation of Chief Magistrate Judge Schwab (Doc. No. 13);
2. Defendants' motion to dismiss (Doc. No. 5), is GRANTED;
3. Plaintiffs' amended complaint (Doc. No. 3), is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE;
4. Plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order (Doc. No. 10), is DENIED;
5. Plaintiffs' motion to strike Defendants' motion to dismiss (Doc. No. 15), and motion to appoint counsel (Doc. No. 16), are DENIED AS MOOT; and
6. The Clerk is directed to CLOSE ...

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