United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
I. QUINONES ALEJANDRO, J.
Marchesu Minor, who is currently incarcerated at the
Riverside Correctional Facility, brings this civil action
against "Commonwealth MC51CR0001900 2017."
Minor has also filed a Motion for Leave to Proceed In
Forma Pauper is. (ECF No. 6.) For the following reasons,
Minor is granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 (e)(2)(B)(ii), her
complaint is dismiss for failure to state a claim.
following narrative is gleaned from Minor's complaint.
Minor contends that on January 4, 2017, she told her tenants
that they needed "to find other residency." (Compl.
at 1.) Minor claims that after this event occurred, she was
"harassed threatened intimidated and assaulted till
1-12-17." (Id.) She vaguely asserts that the
police allowed the tenants to destroy her property.
(Id. at 1-3.)
January 19, 2017, Minor was "falsely arrested on
aggravated assault by [her] tenant and a Stay Away order
issued." (Compl. at 1.) Minor claims that the
"Criminal Justice Agency has failed to compensate [her]
in damages as . . . Docket # [MC51CR0001900 2017] was a false
arrest." (Id.) She appears to assert that the
Judge who issued the Stay Away order did so without
considering that she was the victim of "outrageous
conduct by Law Enforcement." (Id. at 4.) Minor
also states that "[t]he ADA in the criminal process
violated the law in forcing [her] to a fake plea
independent review of state court dockets reveals that on
January 20, 2017, Minor was arrested on charges of aggravated
assault, possession of an instrument of crime, simple
assault, and recklessly endangering another person.
Commonwealth v. Minor, Docket No. MC-5
l-CR-0001900-2017 (Phila. Municipal Ct). On May 16, 2017, the
charges were dismissed either for lack of evidence or for
failure to prosecute. Id.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Court will grant Minor leave to proceed in forma
pauperis because it appears that she is incapable of
paying the fees to commence this civil action. Accordingly,
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) applies. This provision
requires the Court to dismiss a complaint if it fails to
state a claim. Whether a complaint fails to state a claim
under § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is governed by the same
standard applicable to motions to dismiss under Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), see Tourscher v.
McCullough, 184 F.3d 236, 240 (3d Cir. 1999), which
requires the Court to determine whether the complaint
contains "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true,
to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (quotations omitted). Conclusory allegations do not
suffice. Id. As Minor is proceeding pro se,
her allegations are construed liberally. Higgs v.
Att'y Gen., 655 F.3d 333, 339 (3d Cir. 2011).
Court construes the Complaint as attempting to raise
constitutional claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
"To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege the violation of a right secured by the Constitution
and/or laws of the United States, and must show that the
alleged deprivation was committed by a person acting under
color of state law." West v. Atkins, 487 U.S.
42, 48 (1988). In light of these requirements, Minor's
noted, Minor has named "Commonwealth" as the sole
Defendant in this matter. Presumably, Minor is referring to
the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. However, the Commonwealth
of Pennsylvania is entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity
from claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and is not considered
a "person" subject to liability under that statute.
Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S.
58, 65-66 (1989). For this reason alone, Minor's
Complaint is subject to dismissal.
also appears to take issue with the Judge who issued the Stay
Away order, as well as the Assistant District Attorney who
apparently prosecuted her on the aggravated assault and other
charges. While these individuals were not named as
defendants, nevertheless, the Judge is entitled to absolute
immunity from Minor's claims, as it is apparent that
Minor is upset about actions the Judge allegedly undertook in
his or her judicial capacity. See Stump v. Sparkman,
435 U.S. 349, 355-56 (1978); Weldon v. Cywinski, 222
Fed.Appx. 205, 207 (3d Cir. 2007) (per curiam); Azubuko
v. Royal, 443 F.3d 302, 303-04 (3d Cir. 2006) (per
curiam). In addition, the Assistant District Attorney is
also entitled to absolute immunity from liability under
§ 1983 for acts that are "intimately associated
with the judicial phase of the criminal process" such as
"initiating a prosecution and . . . presenting the
State's case," Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S.
409, 430-31 (1976), as well as for claims based on his role
in pursuing the prosecution on behalf of the Commonwealth,
see Van de Kamp v. Goldstein, 555 U.S. 335, 348-49
(2009). Moreover, to the extent Minor is trying to bring
claims based on a failure to investigate her allegations or
prosecute alleged crimes of which she is the victim, her
claims fail. See Linda R.S. v. Richard D., 410 U.S.
614, 619 (1973) ("[A] private citizen lacks a judicially
cognizable interest in the prosecution or nonprosecution of
another."); Boseski v. N. Arlington
Municipality, 621 Fed.Appx. 131, 135 (3d Cir. 2015)
(per curiam) ("Boseski has no cognizable claim
against a government entity for its failure to investigate or
bring criminal charges against another individual.").
false arrest claim also fails. To state a claim for false
arrest under the Fourth Amendment, a plaintiff must allege
facts establishing that she was arrested without probable
cause. See Orsatti v. N.J. State Police, 71 F.3d
480, 482 (3d Cir. 1995). "[P]robable cause to arrest
exists when the facts and circumstances within the arresting
officer's knowledge are sufficient in themselves to
warrant a reasonable person to believe that an offense has
been or is being committed by the person to be
arrested." Id. at 483. Here, Minor has not
alleged sufficient facts to support a plausible claim that
she was falsely arrested. She has not alleged what aspect of
the arrest she challenges and why the events that occurred
did not provide probable cause for the arresting officer to
arrest her. See Godfrey v. Pennsylvania, 525
Fed.Appx. 78, 80 (3d Cir. 2013) (per curiam)
(explaining that, to the extent plaintiff was asserting
claims for false arrest and imprisonment, "[plaintiff]
needed to point to facts suggesting that Defendant Thompson
lacked probable cause to believe he had committed the offense
for which he was arrested"). To the extent that Minor is
reasserting the false arrest claims that were dismissed in
Civil Action No.18-825, she may not relitigate those claims
here, as they would be barred by the doctrine of res