United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
Darnell Jones, II J.
Lamont Campfield, an inmate at the State Correctional
Institution in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, filed this pro
se civil rights action against Philadelphia Detective
Raymond Dougherty, Philadelphia Detective William Schol,
Philadelphia Detective Michael Cahill, Philadelphia Detective
Chester Koninski, Philadelphia Police Officer Demetrius
Beasley, Philadelphia Police Officer Dave Hunter, the
Philadelphia Police Department (“Police
Defendants”), Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney
Hugh Colihan, Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney Ann
Ponterio, and the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office
(“DAO Defendants”) (collectively
“Defendants”) in connection with his 1991 arrest
and subsequent conviction for, among other things, the murder
of Philadelphia store owner named Kam Shing Yeung.
(Compl. ¶¶ 1-16, DAO Defs.' Mot.
Dismiss Ex. A, 2.) In response to Plaintiff's Complaint,
Defendants filed the instant Motions to Dismiss for failure
to state a claim. For the reasons set forth herein,
Defendants' Motions to Dismiss shall be granted and
Plaintiff's Complaint shall be dismissed with prejudice.
On May 15, 1991 at about 2:30 A.M., [Plaintiff] and two
friends were engaged in consuming drugs. One or two trips
were made out of the house to purchase more drugs. After
these purchases, they ran short of money and they also ran
out of cigarettes. [Plaintiff] volunteered to go out and get
more cigarettes and left the house, carrying with him a
hand-gun. [Plaintiff] went to a store at 2512 Ridge Avenue in
the City and County of Philadelphia which was in the process
of closing at that time. The store was owned by Kam Shing
Yeung, a 40 year old man. Also at closing time was Kam Yeung
Siu, the wife of the proprietor[, ] and their eight month old
baby [who] she was carrying in a back-pack. As soon as
[Plaintiff] entered the store, he struck the woman in the
face twice with this gun and she[, ] along with the baby,
fell to the floor. [Plaintiff] then turned and shot the owner
in the course of committing a robbery of the store.
(DAO Defs.' Mot. Dismiss Ex. A, 2 (quoting Trial Court
Opinion at 1-2)). Shortly thereafter, Police Defendants
arrested Plaintiff. (Compl. ¶ 16.) Plaintiff was
subsequently convicted of assault, reckless endangerment,
murder, and robbery, and sentenced to life imprisonment.
(Pl.'s Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Court
Summary 4-5.) Plaintiff appealed his conviction, which the
Superior Court affirmed. Commonwealth v. Campfield,
704 A.2d 1115 (Pa. Super. Ct., Sep. 29, 1997). Plaintiff
sought post-conviction relief six times without success.
Commonwealth v. Campfield, 200 A.3d 597 (Pa. Super.
Ct., Apr. 24, 2018). He now seeks relief in federal court
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Complaint refers to Pennsylvania's Declaratory Judgment
Act, 42 Pa.C.S. § 7531, and Pennsylvania's Abuse of
Office Statute, 18 Pa.C.S. § 5301. (Compl. ¶¶
23, 32,  33.) However, his express and implied
references to violation of his Constitutional rights at the
hands of public officials indicates he seeks redress for
alleged violations of such rights, which Defendants liberally
and properly construe as prisoner civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Police Defs.' Mot.
Dismiss 2; DAO Defs.' Mot. Dismiss 3-4.) Plaintiff's
Complaint alleges, in conclusory fashion, he was the victim
of baseless, unlawful arrest, malicious, perjury-ridden
prosecution, conspiracy, and official oppression.
alleges his prosecution was flawed in the following ways:
- he was erroneously considered to be carrying a firearm at
the time of his arrest (Compl. ¶ 19);
- the murder victim was killed with a .38 caliber pistol but
Plaintiff's gun was a .32 caliber pistol (Compl. ¶
- Police Defendants coerced a witness into saying Plaintiff
committed the murder for which he was convicted (Compl.
¶¶ 21, 28, 39);
- Police Defendants coached an interpreter to say that Mr.
Yeung's wife said Plaintiff shot her husband (Compl.
¶ 26); and,
- Police Defendants threatened to take Plaintiff's
wife's children from her if she did not say that
Plaintiff told her he killed Mr. Yeung (Compl. ¶ 25).
alleges these errors amount to violations of his civil
rights, and Defendants' conduct in committing said errors
was knowing, reckless, wanton, outrageous, and malicious.
(Compl. ¶¶ 30-31, 37.) Plaintiff maintains he is
totally innocent (Compl. ¶¶ 29, 38), and claims he
has suffered emotional distress and mental anguish as a
result of Defendants' conduct (Compl. ¶ 37).
Plaintiff specifically seeks equitable relief in the form of
a declaratory ...