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Wilson v. Somerset Cnty. Prosecutors Office

United States District Court, Third Circuit

May 20, 2013

DAVID WILSON, Plaintiff,
v.
SOMERSET CNTY. PROSECUTORS OFFICE, et al., Defendants.

DAVID WILSON, Plaintiff pro se, 233521-B, Northern State Prison, Newark, NJ.

JOHN C. CONNELL, Archer & Greiner P.C., Counsel for Defendants. Haddonfield, N.J.

OPINION

PETER G. SHERIDAN, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court by way of Defendants Somerset County Prosecutors' Office, Assistant Prosecutor Peter DeMarco and Assistant Prosecutor Robert Pollock's motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 13.) The Court has considered the parties' submissions and decides this matter without oral argument pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 78. For the reasons expressed below, Defendants' motion will be granted and the Court will decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining claims.

I. BACKGROUND

In his amended complaint (ECF No. 12), Plaintiff makes the following allegations. On December 3, 2008, Plaintiff was arrested by the Bernards Township Police Department. During the course of the arrest, Officer Piazza discharged his weapon and failed to report it to his superiors. Plaintiff alleges that in February 2012, he learned that the Defendants named in the complaint "failed and refused to retrieve, obtain and disclose [an] Internal Affairs Summary report required, by state law and department policy, pertaining to a Bernards Twp N.J. police officer discharging his weapon, related to plaintiffs [sic] arrest." (Am. Compl. 3-4.) Plaintiff states that while reviewing grand jury transcripts in May 2012, he learned that Defendants Demarco and Pollock maliciously withheld evidence, during and after the grand jury, regarding the use of a firearm by Officer Piazza, which negated Plaintiff's guilt on the resisting arrest charge. Plaintiff alleges the failure to properly disclose the evidence is based on the Somerset County Prosecutors' Office failure to adequately train its employees.

Plaintiff alleges the following causes of action in his amended complaint based on these facts: (1) violation of his substantive due process rights; (2) violation of his equal protection rights; (3) failure to act/report in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1986;[1] (4) failure to train; (5) gross negligence; (6) violation of procedural due process rights; and (7) various state law claims. Plaintiff is seeking monetary damages and that the Court "restore the plaintiff's liberty.[2] Defendants have moved to dismiss the Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim. (ECF No. 13.)

II. DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard

At this time, Defendants move for a dismissal of the amended complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. In considering Defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the Court must accept all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true and view them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Evancho v. Fisher, 423 F.3d 347, 350 (3d Cir. 2005). It is well settled that a pleading is sufficient if it contains "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." FED. R. CIV. P. 8(a)(2). A district court, in weighing a motion to dismiss, asks "not whether a plaintiff will ultimately prevail but whether the claimant is entitled to offer evidence to support the claims[.]" Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 563 n.8 (2007) (quoting Scheuer v. Rhoades, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974)); see also Ashcrofl v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1953 (2009) ("Our decision in Twombly expounded the pleading standard for all civil actions[.]") (citation omitted).

First, under the Twombly/Iqbal standard, a district court "must accept all of the complaint's well-pleaded facts as true, but may disregard any legal conclusions." Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210-11 (3d Cir. 2009) (citing Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949)., a district court "must then determine whether the facts alleged in the complaint are sufficient to show that the plaintiff has a plausible claim for relief.'" Fowler, 578 F.3d at 211 (citing Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1950). "[A] complaint must do more than allege the plaintiff's entitlement to relief." Fowler, 578 F.3d at 211; see also Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 234 (3d Cir. 2008) ("The Supreme Court's Twombly formulation of the pleading standard can be summed up thus: stating... a claim requires a complaint with enough factual matter (taken as true) to suggest' the required element. This does not impose a probability requirement at the pleading stage, ' but instead simply calls for enough facts to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of' the necessary element.") (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). "The defendant bears the burden of showing that no claim has been presented." Hedges v. U.S., 404 F.3d 744, 750 (3d Cir. 2005).

B. Analysis

1. § 1983 Claims

Defendants move to dismiss the amended complaint on several bases, including that the claims are barred ...


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