United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
CHARLES W. CARSON and TOMOKO CARSON, Plaintiffs,
THE NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORPORATION (AMTRAK); S. CAMPBELL, Amtrak Police Officer; ADRIAN GIBB DAVIS, Amtrak Police Officer; JOHN DOE, Amtrak Police Officer, Defendants.
OPINION PLAINTIFFS' REVISED MOTION TO AMEND
COMPLAINT, ECF NO. 29 - GRANTED IN PART PLAINTIFFS'
MOTION TO RECONSIDER, ECF NO. 32 - DENIED
F. LEESON, JR., United States District Judge
Charles W. Carson and Tomoko Carson have filed a Revised
Motion to Amend their Complaint and a Motion to Reconsider their
Request for an Evidentiary Hearing. For the reasons set forth
below, the Revised Motion to Amend is granted in part and the
Motion to Reconsider is denied.
The Initial Complaint
Carsons filed their Complaint in this matter in April 2017.
ECF No. 1. The Complaint alleges that on the evening of March
5, 2017, the Carsons purchased tickets at
30thStreet Station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
to travel on Amtrak train number 671 to Lancaster,
Pennsylvania. Compl. ¶ 10. Before descending to the
train platform, Mr. Carson approached the Amtrak information
desk and asked the station manager, Defendant Adrienne
Gibbs-Davis, whether it was possible to upgrade the
Carsons' tickets to business class. Compl. ¶ 12.
Gibbs-Davis replied that the ticket office was closed but
that Mr. Carson could upgrade by using the kiosk nearby.
Compl. ¶ 13. Mr. Carson asked Gibbs-Davis for further
instructions, but Gibbs-Davis responded rudely and asked for
the Carsons' tickets. Compl. ¶¶ 14-17. Mr.
Carson provided the tickets and asked for Gibbs-Davis's
name. Compl. ¶¶ 18-19. Gibbs-Davis raised her voice
and provided her first name. Compl. ¶¶ 20-22. Mr.
Carson began to write down her name and stated that he may
write a letter to Amtrak concerning the service he received.
Compl. ¶¶ 22-23. Gibbs-Davis then “angrily
pronounced” her full name and stated that she would
have the Amtrak police take a picture of Mr. Carson once he
began to board. Compl. ¶ 24.
after the Carsons boarded the train, Defendant Amtrak Officer
Sean Campbell approached them and told them that they needed
to leave the train and that they were not going to ride
Amtrak that night. Compl. ¶¶ 35-41.The Carsons
exited the train onto the platform, where they encountered
Officer Campbell along with “four or five uniformed
police officers as well as a few Amtrak personnel standing
nearby.” Compl. ¶¶ 42-46. Mr. Carson asked
Officer Campbell to provide him with his business card, and
Officer Campbell replied that he would provide his card in
exchange for the Carsons' tickets. Compl. ¶¶
48-50. Mr. Carson asked Officer Campbell if he would
guarantee a refund for their tickets, but Officer Campbell
declined. Compl. ¶ 51. The Carsons were then directed to
proceed up the stairway to the passenger lobby. Compl. ¶
53. After the Carsons reached the lobby, they began to walk
toward the station exit when they encountered another Amtrak
officer-identified in the Complaint as Officer John Doe-who
told them that there was now a no-trespass order against them
and ordered them not to return to the station. Compl. ¶
58. The Carsons left the station and called Mr. Carson's
son, who drove from Lancaster to pick them up; they arrived
home in Lancaster around 2:30 a.m., approximately four hours
later than their scheduled train arrival. Compl. ¶¶
60-61. On the basis of these allegations, the Carsons assert
claims under § 1983 for deprivation of their
constitutional rights, as well as claims under state law.
The Revised Proposed Amended Complaint
their Revised Motion to Amend, the Carsons state that they
seek to amend their Complaint in light of “additional
facts” that they learned during discovery-in
particular, surveillance footage of the train station from
the date of the incident. See Pls.' Rev. Mot.
Am. 1-2, ECF No. 29. Further, they seek to add allegations
and claims based on a series of incidents that occurred in
March 2018, a year after the events alleged in the initial
Complaint. See id.
review of the Revised Proposed Amended Complaint shows that
the Carsons seek to add two Defendants: Amtrak conductor
Danielle Rhodes, who was allegedly involved in the
Carsons' removal from the train on March 5, 2017, and
Amtrak Police Officer Matthew Rockey, who the Carsons allege
is the officer identified as “John Doe” in the
initial Complaint. See Rev. Proposed Am. Compl., ECF
No. 29-1. Further, the Carsons' Revised Proposed Amended
Complaint seeks to add over fifty paragraphs of factual
allegations and ten new causes of action, as detailed below.
paragraphs 29 to 44 of the Revised Proposed Amended
Complaint, the Carsons seek to add allegations concerning the
conduct of Rhodes, the train conductor, and Gibbs-Davis, the
station manager. These paragraphs allege that the
surveillance video shows that after Gibbs-Davis finished
speaking with Mr. Carson at the information desk, she
descended to the train platform to speak with Rhodes. Rev.
Proposed Am. Compl. ¶ 30. Rhodes and Davis then ascended
to the concourse, where they met with Officer Campbell, who
then proceeded to descend to the platform and remove the
Carsons from the train, as alleged in the initial Complaint.
Id. ¶¶ 33-35. A number of the paragraphs
in this section also include allegations about a written
statement Gibbs-Davis made on May 8, 2017, concerning the
March 5 incident, which was produced in discovery and which
the Carsons allege includes “false and perjured
testimony.” See, e.g., id.
paragraphs 60 to 65 of the Revised Proposed Amended
Complaint, the Carsons seek to add allegations concerning
Amtrak Police Officer Steven Sibbert, who allegedly made a
written statement in May 2017 concerning his interactions
with the Carsons on the day of the incident.The Carsons allege
that, contrary to Officer Sibbert's statement, they never
encountered him on the day of the incident, and that his
statement is defamatory. The Carsons, however, do not seek to
add Officer Sibbert as a Defendant, and they allege that he
“is not involved in these proceedings.”
Id. ¶ 60.
paragraph 77 of the Revised Proposed Amended Complaint, the
Carsons seek to add allegations concerning two alleged
batteries committed by Officer Campbell against Mr. Carson
after the Carsons were removed from the train; these
batteries are allegedly shown in the surveillance footage
produced in discovery. First, the Carsons allege that the
surveillance video shows that as they ascended the escalator
back to the passenger lobby, Officer Campbell stood behind
Mr. Carson on the escalator and “did a pat down”
on him, which allegedly constituted a battery. Id.
¶ 77. The second alleged battery occurred when Mr.
Carson “turn[ed] to the right to depart” the
station; the Carsons allege that “[t]he videography
clearly shows” that Officer Campbell's
“second . . . unwanted offense contact” with Mr.
Carson occurred at this time. Id. The Revised
Proposed Amended Complaint does not further describe the
nature of this second alleged battery.
paragraph 83 of the Revised Proposed Amended Complaint, the
Carsons seek to add allegations that the officer identified
as John Doe in the initial Complaint-i.e., the officer who
allegedly told the Carsons that they were forbidden to return
to the station-is Amtrak Police Officer Matthew Rockey. In
paragraphs 84 to 86, they allege that Officer Rockey falsely
claimed in a May 9, 2017 statement that he did not interact
with the Carsons.
paragraphs 87 to 91 of the Revised Proposed Amended
Complaint, the Carsons seek to add allegations that
Defendants are “conspiring to obstruct justice”
by failing to produce all of the surveillance videos from
March 5, 2017.
paragraphs 103 to 127 of the Revised Proposed Amended
Complaint, the Carsons seek to add allegations concerning an
incident that occurred on March 4, 2018-nearly a year after
the events at the center of this case-involving a friend of
theirs named Loy Manes, II. This alleged incident is
described in detail in a document titled “Loy Manes
Statement of Facts, ” which is signed by Manes and
attached as Exhibit A to the initial Proposed Amended
Complaint. See Manes Statement, ECF No.
26-1. According to the statement, on March 4,
2018, Mr. Carson dropped Manes off at the 30th
Street Station in Philadelphia. There, Manes bought a ticket
for Amtrak train number 671 to Lancaster and, before
boarding, took pictures of the main concourse and of the
train conductor. After Manes boarded the train and it
departed for Lancaster, he called Mr. Carson on his cell
phone to describe what he had seen at the station. When Manes
ended his conversation with Mr. Carson, the woman sitting
next to Manes got up and spoke with the train conductor. When
the train arrived in Lancaster, the train conductor pointed
out Manes to several police officers, who then approached
Manes, asked him for his name and identification, and
questioned him about his behavior on the train. A few minutes
later, the officers learned that there was an outstanding
warrant for Manes's arrest, and they arrested him. The
following day, Manes was questioned by two FBI officers about
his conduct on the train. He told them he was taking pictures
of the train station to gather evidence for Mr. Carson's
lawsuit. On March 14, an Amtrak officer named DeGrazia
further questioned Manes about his conduct on the train.
their Revised Proposed Amended Complaint, the Carsons allege
that Danielle Rhodes-the conductor on their March 5, 2017
train-was also the conductor on the train ridden by Manes and
that she made false statements about Manes that resulted in
him being unlawfully arrested. Rev. Proposed Am. Compl.
¶ 106. They allege that on March 7, 2018, three days
after Manes was arrested, two Lancaster City detectives
visited the Carsons' home, falsely stated that they were
FBI agents, and searched the home, in violation of the