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Thomas Suchocki v. Sergeant Chris Gilcrist

May 7, 2012

THOMAS SUCHOCKI, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SERGEANT CHRIS GILCRIST, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Joseph E. Irenas

OPINION

IRENAS, Senior District Judge:

Plaintiff initiated this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged constitutional violations stemming from a traffic stop and subsequent arrest. Pending before the Court is Defendant Logan Township's Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) and Defendant Borough of Paulsboro's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c).

I.

On May 28, 2010, Defendant Gilcrist of the Paulsboro Police Department was directing traffic at the intersection of Broad and Delaware Streets. (Compl. ¶ 11.) Plaintiff was traveling in his vehicle on Broad Street and was involved in a verbal confrontation with Defendant Gilcrist near a pedestrian crosswalk. (Id. ¶¶ 13-25.) Plaintiff was ultimately arrested and charged with harassment and obstruction of administration. (Id. ¶¶ 26, 34, 43.)

On June 14, 2010, Plaintiff appeared in Paulsboro Municipal Court and entered not guilty pleas on both counts. (Id. ¶ 44.) Between June 14, 2010 and August 18, 2011, the matter was scheduled to be heard on eleven separate occasions. (Id. ¶ 54.) In August 2011, the matter was transferred to Logan Township, where it was scheduled to be heard an additional five times. (Id. ¶ 55.)

According to the Complaint, on December 7, 2011, Plaintiff and his attorney met with Ms. Wentz, who was acting as the prosecutor, but was unauthorized to do so. (Id. ¶¶ 59-62.) Because Ms. Wentz was allegedly not the appointed prosecutor and not authorized to prosecute cases on the Township's behalf, the matter was rescheduled for January 4, 2012. (Id. ¶ 64.)

On January 4, 2012, Plaintiff's Motion to Dismiss for lack of a speedy trial was granted and all charges against Plaintiff were dismissed. (Id. ¶ 65.)

In May 2011, Plaintiff initiated the instant action to recover for, inter alia, a violation of his Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial. On March 16, 2012, Defendant Logan Township filed a Motion to Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint. On April 11, 2012, Defendant Borough of Paulsboro filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings with respect to Count Four of the Second Amended Complaint.

II.

A.

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides that a court may dismiss a complaint "for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." In order to survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must allege facts that raise a right to relief above the speculative level. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2).

While a court must accept as true all allegations in the plaintiff's complaint, and view them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 231 (3d Cir. 2008), a court is not required to accept sweeping legal conclusions cast in the form of factual allegations, unwarranted inferences, or unsupported conclusions. Morse v. Lower Merion Sch. Dist., 132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997). The complaint must state sufficient facts to show that the legal allegations are not simply possible, but plausible. Phillips, 515 F.3d at 234. "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009).

When evaluating a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court considers "only the allegations in the complaint, exhibits attached to the complaint, matters of public record, and documents that form the basis of a claim." Lum v. Bank of America, 361 F.3d 217, 221 n.3 (3d Cir. 2004). A document that forms the basis of a claim is one that is "integral to or explicitly relied upon in the ...


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