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Rose v. Hoffman Insurance Consultants, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

July 18, 2018

JIMI ROSE, Plaintiff,
v.
HOFFMAN INSURANCE CONSULTANTS, LLC, et al., Defendants.

          OPINION

          SLOMSKY, J.

         I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Jimi Rose, proceeding pro se, has filed an Amended Complaint, his third in this litigation, against Defendants Hoffman Insurance Consultants, LLC (“Hoffman Insurance”), Mark Hoffman, Ryan Stocker and Baskim (Bobby) Husenaj. (Doc. No. 96.)[1] Plaintiff's claims stem from a fire at a property located at 2327 Hanover Avenue, Allentown, Pennsylvania, that Plaintiff owned and leased to Defendant Husenaj so that Husenaj could operate an exotic night club. (Id.) The property was damaged by the fire and Defendant Hoffman Insurance did not pay out the claim because it believed that Plaintiff set the fire. (Id.)

         On May 6, 2016, Plaintiff initiated the suit in forma pauperis by filing a Complaint. (Doc. No. 1.) On May 23, 2016, the Honorable Legrome D. Davis, a former judge of this Court, from whom this case was reassigned, dismissed the Complaint without prejudice sua sponte and gave Plaintiff 30 days to file an amended complaint. (Doc. No. 2.) On June 17, 2016, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint. (Doc. No. 4.) That same day, Plaintiff filed a motion for an extension of time to file another amended complaint. (Doc. No. 5.)

         The Court granted the motion (Doc. No. 6) and Plaintiff timely filed the next amended complaint on August 25, 2016 (Doc. No. 9). On September 19, 2016, the Court ordered that summons be issued and the Amended Complaint be served on the named Defendants. (Doc. No. 10.) As Defendants emphasize, this was the first time service was attempted on any Defendant named in the amended complaints. (Doc. No. 98 at 1 n.1.) The Amended Complaint named nine defendants, including Baskim (Bobby) Husenaj, Hoffman Insurance, Mark Hoffman and Ryan Stocker. (Doc. No. 9.)

         On January 5, 2017, Mark Hoffman and Ryan Stocker filed a Motion to Dismiss this Amended Complaint (Doc. No. 27) and Hoffman Insurance joined the Motion to Dismiss on January 24, 2017. (Doc. Nos. 27, 48.) On September 5, 2017, based in part on this Motion to Dismiss, the Court dismissed the Amended Complaint without prejudice in its entirety. (Doc. No. 88.) Plaintiff then sought a 14-day extension to file another Amended Complaint, which the Court granted. (Doc. No. 89.) On October 5, 2017, this case was transferred to the Honorable Joel H. Slomsky. (Doc. No. 90.)

         Plaintiff was given until October 26, 2017, to file an amended complaint. (Doc. No. 91.) Plaintiff filed another motion for extension of time, which the Court granted. (Doc. No. 94.) The Court gave Plaintiff leave file his amended complaint by November 27, 2017. (Doc. No. 94.)

         On November 27, 2017, Plaintiff filed the present Amended Complaint (Doc. No. 96), which is the subject of the instant Motions to Dismiss (Doc. Nos. 98-99). Upon review of the Amended Complaint, which comprises long, single-spaced paragraphs and rambling, stream-of-conscious narrative, it is difficult to discern what claims are being alleged against whom. From what the Court can decipher from the Amended Complaint, construing it liberally, it appears to allege the following claims: violations of Plaintiff's civil rights under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1985(3), 1986; violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. § 1962; Common Law Fraud; Pennsylvania's Unfair Insurance Practices Act (UIPA), 40 Pa. Stat. § 1171.4; and Pennsylvania's Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL), 73 Pa. Stat. § 201-1.[2] (Id. at 8.)

         Defendants have filed Motions to Dismiss the Amended Complaint in its entirety. (Doc. Nos. 98-99.) The Motions are ripe for disposition.[3]

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         The motion to dismiss standard under Rule 12(b)(6) is set forth in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009). After Iqbal it is clear that “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice” to defeat a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Id. at 678; see also Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544. “To survive dismissal, ‘a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Tatis v. Allied Interstate, LLC, 882 F.3d 422, 426 (3d Cir. 2018) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). Facial plausibility is “more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). Instead, “[a] claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678).

         Applying the principles of Iqbal and Twombly, the Third Circuit in Santiago v. Warminster Township, 629 F.3d 121 (3d Cir. 2010), set forth a three-part analysis that a district court in this Circuit must conduct in evaluating whether allegations in a complaint survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss:

First, the court must “tak[e] note of the elements a plaintiff must plead to state a claim.” Second, the court should identify allegations that, “because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth.” Finally, “where there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement for relief.”

Id. at 130 (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 675, 679). The inquiry is normally broken into three parts: “(1) identifying the elements of the claim, (2) reviewing the complaint to strike conclusory allegations, and then (3) looking at the well-pleaded components of the complaint and evaluating whether all of the elements identified in part one of the inquiry are sufficiently alleged.” Malleus v. George, 641 F.3d 560, 563 (3d Cir. 2011).

         A complaint must do more than allege a plaintiff's entitlement to relief, it must “show” such an entitlement with its facts. Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210-11 (3d Cir. 2009) (citing Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 234-35 (3d Cir. 2008)). “[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not ‘show[n]'-‘that the pleader is entitled to relief.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 (alteration in original) (citation omitted). The “plausibility” determination is a “context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Id.

         When analyzing the sufficiency of a pro se complaint, courts in the Third Circuit must liberally construe the pleading. Higgins v. Beyer, 293 F.3d 683, 688 (3d Cir. 2002).

         III. ...


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