The opinion of the court was delivered by: Martini, U.S.D.J.
This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Frank Corrente's ("Corrente") motion to dismiss Plaintiffs Ronald and Susan Flammer's ("Flammer") complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) or, alternatively, for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. Also before the Court is Flammer's motion for partial reconsideration of our previous opinion and order granting in part, and denying in part, Defendants Morris County, Morris County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Edward V. Rochford and Chief Ralph McGrane's (the "Non-Moving Defendants") motion for summary judgment. See Flammer v. Morris County, No. 05-5039, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17804 (D.N.J. Mar. 24, 2006) (hereinafter, "Flammer I"). There was no oral argument. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 78. For the following reasons, Corrente's motion to dismiss is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART, and Flammer' motion for reconsideration is DENIED.
The facts of this case are set forth in Flammer I. See Flammer, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17804, at *1-4 (D.N.J. Mar. 24, 2006). Familiarity with those facts is presumed. For purposes of the present motions, the Court will recite certain relevant facts.
Flammer filed an eight-count complaint against Corrente and the Non-Moving Defendants (together, "Defendants") on October 19, 2005. Count I alleges that Defendants violated Flammer's rights to freedom of speech and association under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and are therefore liable to Flammer under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983"). (Compl. ¶¶ 47-48). Count II alleges that Defendants violated Flammer's equal protection, substantive due process, and procedural due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, and are therefore liable to Flammer under Section 1983. (Id. ¶¶ 50-52). Count III alleges that Defendants violated Flammer's rights to freedom of speech, assembly, and association under the New Jersey State Constitution. (Id. ¶¶ 53-54). Count IV alleges that Defendants engaged in a civil conspiracy to injure Flammer. (See id. ¶¶ 55-56). Count V alleges that Defendants are liable for purposeful acts of misfeasance, malfeasance, and nonfeasance. (See id. ¶¶ 57-59). Count VI alleges that Defendants intentionally inflicted emotional distress. (Id. ¶¶ 60-63). Count VII alleges that Defendants defamed Flammer. (Id. ¶¶ 64-77). Finally, Count VIII alleges that Defendants are liable to Ronald Flammer's wife, Susan Flammer, for loss of consortium. (Id. ¶¶ 78-81).
Two motions are presently before the Court. First, Corrente moves to dismiss Flammer's complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) or, alternatively, for summary judgment under Rule 56. Second, Flammer moves for reconsideration of our dismissal of Count V in Flammer I.
Since Corrente's motion does not rely on any matters outside the pleadings, the Court shall treat it as a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6); see also In re Burlington Coat Factory Sec. Litig., 114 F.3d 1410, 1426 (3d Cir. 1997). In deciding a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), all allegations in the complaint must be taken as true and viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 501 (1975); Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, Inc., v. Mirage Resorts Inc., 140 F.3d 478, 483 (3d Cir. 1998). In evaluating a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a court may consider only the complaint, exhibits attached to the complaint, matters of public record, and undisputedly authentic documents if the plaintiff's claims are based upon those documents. Pension Benefit Guar. Corp. v. White Consol. Indus., 998 F.2d 1192, 1196 (3d Cir. 1993). If, after viewing the allegations in the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, it appears beyond doubt that no relief could be granted "under any set of facts which could prove consistent with the allegations," a court may dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim. Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984); Zynn v. O'Donnell, 688 F.2d 940, 941 (3d Cir. 1982).
II. Corrente's Motion to Dismiss Counts I and III is DENIED
Corrente moves to dismiss Counts I and III of Flammer's complaint. In Flammer I, the Court denied the Non-Moving Defendants' motion for summary judgment to dismiss these counts. See Flammer, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17804, at *5-9. Since the allegations in Counts I and III are identical as to Corrente and the Non-Moving Defendants, and the Court relied only on Plaintiffs' complaint in denying the motion for summary judgment as to these counts, the Court will adopt the reasoning in Flammer I regarding these counts. Therefore, Corrente's motion to dismiss Counts I and III is denied.
III. Corrente's Motion to Dismiss Count II is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART
Count II alleges that Defendants violated the substantive due process, procedural due process, and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. In Flammer I, the Court granted the Non-Moving Defendants' motion for summary judgment to dismiss Flammer's substantive due process claim, but denied their motion for summary judgment to dismiss the procedural due process and equal protection claims. See Flammer, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17804, at *9-12.
The Court shall adopt the reasoning in Flammer I regarding the substantive and procedural due process claims. The facts alleged in these claims are identical as to Corrente and the Non-Moving Defendants. Furthermore, the Court did not rely on any documents outside of Flammer's complaint in reaching its decision as to these claims.*fn1 Therefore, Corrente's motion to dismiss Flammer's substantive due ...