United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
William I. Arbuckle, U.S. Magistrate Judge.
October 7, 2019, Tevin Jordan (“Plaintiff”), a
state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed a civil
rights complaint against the following Defendants: Scranton
Police Officer Donald Hofsommer, Lackawanna County District
Attorney Mark Powell, and Lackawanna County. (Doc. 1). Along
with his Complaint, Plaintiff filed a Motion requesting leave
to file in forma pauperis. (Doc. 2).
has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
Because he is proceeding in forma pauperis,
Plaintiff is subject to the screening provisions in 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e). See Atamian v. Burns, 236 Fed.Appx.
753, 755 (3d Cir. 2007) (“the screening procedures set
forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) apply to in forma
pauperis complaints filed by prisoners and non-prisoners
alike”). Under this statute, the Court is required to
dismiss any action that is frivolous or malicious, fails to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). See Collins v.
Cundy, 603 F.2d 825, 828 (10th Cir. 1979)
(“[T]here is no constitutional right to the expenditure
of public funds and the valuable time of federal courts to
prosecute an action which is totally without merit.”).
reviewing Plaintiff's Complaint, I conclude that it fails
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Granting
Plaintiff leave to amend would be futile. Thus, I RECOMMEND
that Plaintiff's Complaint be DISMISSED.
BACKGROUND & PROCEDURAL HISTORY
to his Complaint, Plaintiff is a prisoner at Lackawanna
County Prison. (Doc. 1, p. 2). On July 5, 2019, Defendant
Officer Hofsommer claims to have observed the following
events near 629 Pittston Ave in Scranton:
On this day at 1228hrs I was on a dispatched call at the CIC
for a 302 warrant service. While on scene I was informed that
a black male was seen riding the stolen bike in the area of
the Downtown Deli. We completed the warrant service and were
walking back to our vehicles when the suspect, later id as
Tevin Jordan, pulled up onto the front porch area of the CIC.
I immediately recognized the bike as the one described to me
from the burglary. I attempted to get the males attention and
asked to speak with him. He jumped back on the bike and
pulled away traveling towards Providence RD. We gave chase
notifying communications and other units. The male was picked
up in motion by Capt. Lukasewicz and followed into Redners
parking lot. The male proceeded down side 2 of the building.
At that time he bailed off the bike and fled on foot down a
trail towards the river. Myself and the Captain persued (sic)
and could hear him crashing through the brush on the
embankment of the river. We notified responding units and set
up a perimeter. K9 officer Marino arrived on scene. We
proceeded to track the suspect at the wood line of the
walking trail. The embankment was to (sic) steep for a safe
descent. We doubled back and proceeded into the river and
followed it up river. At that time K9 made contact with the
suspect on the bank. He was ordered down and placed in
custody. Cuffs double locked. We escorted him back down river
where he was assisted out of the river and transported to HQ.
The bike was taken to HQ by the Captain for evidentiary
purposes. Charges for Receiving and theft will be issued,
Nothing further to report.
Id. at pp. 3-4.
Officer Hofsommer arrested Plaintiff. Id. According
to Plaintiff, Defendant Officer Hofsommer did not have
probable cause to make the arrest. Id. Charges were
filed against Plaintiff in Lackawanna County. Id. at
pp. 2-4. Plaintiff's Lackawanna County Docket can be
found at Docket No. CP-35-CR-0002538-2019.
October 7, 2019, Plaintiff filed his Complaint (Doc. 1). In
his Complaint, Plaintiff names the following as defendants:
Scranton Police Officer Donald Hofsommer, Lackawanna County
District Attorney Mark Powell, and Lackawanna County.
Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Officer Hofsommer
arrested him without probable cause. (Doc. 1, p. 2). In the
Police Criminal Complaint (PCC), Defendant Officer Hofsommer
alleges four (4) counts against Plaintiff: (1) Receiving
Stolen Property; (2) Theft by Unlawful Taking-Movable
MV-Trucks and buses; (3) Burglary-Not Adapted for Overnight
Accommodation, No. Person Present-Forcible Entry; and (4)
Criminal Trespass- Enter Structure. Id. at pp. 9-10.
Charge 1, Plaintiff argues: “No where in the affidavit
do (sic) it state that I knew that the bike was stolen or
that I was questioned about a bike or anything.”
Id. at p. 9. As for Charge 2, Plaintiff argues:
“Nowhere in the affidavit do (sic) it contain (sic)
information that I took possession of a stolen bike. Lack of
sufficient evidence. Dismiss charge.” Id. As
for Charge 3, Plaintiff, argues: “Insufficient
evidence. This charge does not have an accompanying affidavit
establishing probable cause for this charge.”
Id. at p. 10. Finally, as to Charge Four, Plaintiff
argues: “The affidavit do (sic) not contain information
of a forced entry or the defendant broke into 629 Pittson
(sic). Dismiss charges for insufficient.” Id.
alleges that “these four offenses above is (sic)
without an accompanying affidavit establishing probable cause
for these 4 offenses and this violates due process rights of
the [P]laintiff.” Id. at p. 3. Plaintiff
alleges “Hofsommer and Attorney Powell actions of
depriving the plaintiff of his liberty knowing the arrest was
without probable cause and the imprisonment is without due
process, notice, and was not wihin (sic) the scope of their
employment.” Id. at p. 4.
alleges numerous Causes of Action, including:
(1) Count I: False Arrest claim against
Defendants Lackawanna County and Officer Hofsommer;
(2) Count II: False Imprisonment claim
against Defendants District Attorney Powell and Officer
(3) Count III: Monell claim against
Defendant Lackawanna County;
(4) Count IV: Malicious Prosecution claim
against Defendant District ...