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Ally v. Commonwealth

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

October 31, 2019

JONATHAN ALLY, Plaintiff,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PA, et al., Defendants.

          Kane Judge

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          SUSAN E. SCHWAB CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         I. Introduction.

         The plaintiff Jonathan Ally claims that the defendants violated his rights during two traffic stops. We recommend that the claims against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania be dismissed. We further recommend that the court remand the case to the undersigned for further proceedings as to defendants the West Shore Regional Police Department, Officer Joshua Stambaugh, and Officer Grant Cox.

         II. Background and Procedural History.

         Ally, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed his complaint on July 22, 2019, against the Commonwealth, the West Shore Regional Police Department, Officer Stambaugh, and Officer Cox. Ally asserts that he is bringing his complaint under the “KKK Act of 1871, ” and he also mentions harassment, invasion of privacy, the Fourth Amendment, obstruction of justice, and stalking. Doc 1 at 1. He does not attribute claims to specific defendants. Id. at 1-3. Where Ally seeks relief, he asks for an end to the police's behavior and twenty billion dollars. Id. at 1-2.

         Ally's claims stem from two separate traffic stops by Officers Cox and Stambaugh for failure to have headlights on his bicycle on July 19th and 22nd of 2019. Id. at 2. Ally claims these stops were discriminatory and part of the West Shore Regional Police Department's effort to exclude people of color from the region. Id. at 3. He believes that the officers are trying to get information on his comings and goings. Id. According to Ally, Officer Cox had previously stopped, but not cited, white people in similar situations. Id. at 2. Additionally, Ally alleges these stops were unnecessary because the street on which he was stopped is well lit. Id. at 3. He also alleges that he is unable to afford a bicycle light. Id. Ally has previously sued the Commonwealth, and he believes these stops are part of a pattern of oppression and retaliation from the Commonwealth, including a prior eviction, bail restrictions, and loss of his license. Id.

         III. Screening of In Forma Pauperis Complaints Standard of Review.

         We review the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) which provides:

(2) Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines thatC
(A) the allegation of poverty is untrue; or
(B) the action or appealC
(i) is frivolous or malicious
(ii) fails to state a claim upon which relief may be ...

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