United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
JERON D. BROWN, Plaintiff,
EUGENE RIAZZI, JR., ORLANDO HARPER, JEFFERY MANNING, EDWARD BORKOWSKI, STEVEN STADTMILLER, and JOHN DOE, Defendants.
FLOWERS CONTI, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the court are motions to dismiss pursuant to Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) with
supporting briefs filed by Magisterial District Judge Eugene
Riazzi, Jr. ("Judge Riazzi"), the Honorable Jeffery
Manning ("Judge Manning") and the Honorable Edward
Borkowski ("Judge Borkowski") (collectively, the
"Judicial Defendants") and by Allegheny County
Assistant District Attorney Steven Stadtmiller ("ADA
Stadtmiller"). (ECF Nos. 22, 23, 27 and 28.) The
Judicial Defendants and ADA Stadtmiller seek to dismiss the
complaint filed by Jeron D. Brown ("plaintiff) for lack
of subject-matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim.
Plaintiff filed a response in opposition (ECF No. 37), ADA
Stadtmiller filed a reply (ECF No. 41), and plaintiff filed a
sur-reply. (ECF No. 42.) For the reasons explained herein,
the motions to dismiss will be granted, and plaintiffs
complaint will be dismissed.
15, 2017, plaintiff filed a pro se complaint under 42 U.S.C.
§§ 1983 and 1985(2) and (3) against the Judicial
Defendants, ADA Stadtmiller, Orlando Harper, who is the
warden of the Allegheny County Jail ("ACJ")
("Warden Harper") and an unknown Allegheny County
Public Defender identified as a John Doe defendant
("Public Defender Doe") (collectively, "all
defendants") in their official and individual
capacities alleging violations of his constitutional
rights concerning a case against him in the Allegheny County
Court of Common Pleas. (ECF No. 3, ¶¶ 3-10).
Plaintiff generally claims that all defendants conspired to
violate his civil and due process rights under
Pennsylvania's Uniform Criminal Extradition Act, 42 PA.
CONS. STAT. § 9121, et seq. ("UCEA"), the
Federal Extradition Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3182, and the
Fourth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States
Constitution. (Id., Prelim. Stmt.; ¶¶
27-31.) Plaintiff also alleges state tort law claims against
all defendants for malicious intent, fraud, negligence,
"breach of duty, " and "any other torts
deem[ed] appropriate from the facts." (Id.,
Prelim Stmt.) Plaintiff seeks an award of compensatory,
punitive and nominal damages, and a declaratory judgment that
all defendants violated his civil and due process rights
under federal and state law. (Id. ¶¶
A.l-5; B.1; C.1-3; D.1.)
March 27, 2015, plaintiff was arrested by the McKeesport,
Pennsylvania Police for violations of the Pennsylvania Crimes
Code. (ECF No. 30 at 1-5.) On that same date,
plaintiff also was arrested on an outstanding fugitive
warrant from Delaware. (Id. at 7; ECF No. 3, ¶
11.) Judge Riazzi set bail at $100, 000 on the fugitive
warrant and at $1, 000 on the Pennsylvania criminal charges.
(ECF Nos. 30-1 and 30-2.) Plaintiff was unable to post bail
in either case and he was committed to the ACJ.
(Id.; ECF No. 3, ¶ 11.) Plaintiff alleges that
Judge Riazzi failed to specify that his commitment was not to
exceed a period of 30 days on the fugitive warrant, and
therefore he was wrongfully confined for an indefinite period
of time. (ECF No. 3, ¶¶ 11, 27.)
September 24, 2015, plaintiff was convicted of some of the
Pennsylvania charges and sentenced to time served in the ACJ
and a six-month term of probation. (ECF No. 30-3.) On
December 21, 2015, Governor Wolf issued a Pennsylvania
Governor's Warrant to effectuate plaintiffs extradition
to Delaware to face the charges pending against him there.
(ECF Nos. 29 and 29-1.)
claims, however, that hearings to extend his commitment at
the ACJ based on the fugitive warrant did not occur in a
timely manner. Plaintiff alleges that Judge Borkowski and ADA
Stadtmiller conspired to conduct an untimely hearing on
November 13, 2015, to extend his commitment at the ACJ.
(Id. ¶ 19.) Plaintiff also asserts that Judge
Manning, ADA Stadtmiller and Public Defender Doe conspired to
conduct another untimely hearing on November 16, 2015, to
further extend his commitment. (Id ¶¶ 21,
28.) Plaintiff alleges that Judge Borkowski, ADA Stadtmiller
and Public Defender Doe conspired to conduct a third untimely
hearing on December 23, 2015, which resulted in his
extradition to Delaware on January 7, 2016. (Id.
¶¶ 25, 26, 30.)
claims that he filed several writs of habeas corpus
contesting his confinement, but he received no response from
the state court. (ECF No. 3, ¶¶ 12, 14, 18, 20,
23.) Plaintiff alleges that he also wrote to Warden Harper to
request immediate release from confinement, but he did not
receive a response until November 23, 2015, indicating that
his confinement had been extended. (Id. ¶¶
17, 24.) According to plaintiff, Warden Harper and ADA
Stadtmiller conspired to manipulate arrest records in order
to continue to detain him. (Id. ¶ 29.)
Judicial Defendants moved to dismiss plaintiffs complaint for
the following reasons: (1) plaintiffs claims are barred by
Eleventh Amendment immunity, absolute judicial immunity and
the doctrine set forth in Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S.
477 (1994); (2) abstention is proper pursuant to Younger
v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971); and (3) plaintiff failed
to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. (ECF No.
23 at 3-9, 11-14.) ADA Stadtmiller also moved to dismiss the
complaint because: (1) plaintiffs claims are barred by
prosecutorial immunity; and (2) plaintiff failed to state a
claim which would entitled him to relief (ECF No. 28 at
responded that the motions should be denied primarily because
the Judicial Defendants lacked jurisdiction to take any
action concerning his case and ADA Stadtmiller was not acting
in a prosecutorial role, consequently he is not entitled to
immunity. (ECF No. 37 at 7, 9, 13, 14, 17). Plaintiff also
contends that he stated a conspiracy claim against all
defendants. Id. at 18-19.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1)
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), "a court must
grant a motion to dismiss if it lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction to hear a claim." In re Schering Plough
Corp. Intron/Temodar Consumer Class Action, 678 F.3d
235, 243 (3d Cir. 2012). Jurisdictional challenges may be
treated as either "facial" or as
"factual." See Constitution Party of Pa. v.
Aichele, 757 F.3d 347, 357 (3d Cir. 2014). A facial
attack asserts that a claim "is insufficient to invoke
the subject matter jurisdiction of the court because, for
example, it does not present a question of federal law, or
because there is no indication of a diversity of citizenship
among the parties, or because some other jurisdictional
defect is present." Id. at 358. A facial attack
"can occur before the moving party has filed an answer
or otherwise contested the factual allegations of the
complaint." Id. (citation omitted). On the
other hand, a factual challenge "attacks the factual
allegations underlying the complaint's assertion of
jurisdiction, either through the filing of an answer or
'otherwise presenting] competing facts.'"
Davis v. Wells Fargo, 824 F.3d 333, 346 (3d Cir.
2016) (quoting Constitution Party of Pa., 757 F.3d
the Judicial Defendants make a facial challenge, arguing that
Eleventh Amendment immunity bars plaintiffs
claims. When analyzing a facial attack on
subject-matter jurisdiction, "the court must only
consider the allegations of the complaint and documents
referenced therein and attached thereto, in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff" Gould Elecs. Inc. v.
United States, 220 F.3d 169, 176 (3d Cir. 2000).
"Thus, a facial attack calls for a district court to
apply the same standard of review it would use in considering
a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), i.e., construing the
alleged facts in favor of the nonmoving party."
Constitution Party of Pa., 757 F.3d at 358 (citing
In re Schering Plough, 678 F.3d at 243).
Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6)
survive a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6), a complaint must allege "enough
facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly. 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007). "A claim has facial plausibility when
the pleaded factual content allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at
District Court must accept all of the complaint's
well-pleaded facts as true, but may disregard any legal
conclusions." Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578
F.3d 203, 210-11 (3d Cir. 2009) (citing Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678). "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a
cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do
not suffice." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. In short,
a motion to dismiss should be granted if a party does not
allege facts which could, if established at trial, entitle
him to relief. See Fowler, 578 F.3d at 211.
pleadings, "however inartfully pleaded, " must be
held to "less stringent standards than formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers." Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S.
519, 520(1972). Because plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the
court will liberally construe his complaint and employ less
stringent standards than when judging the ...