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Glospie v. Castiglia

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

March 5, 2014

EDWARD T. GLOSPIE, Plaintiff,
v.
ADAM CASTIGLIA, UNNAMED SUPERVISORY OFFICER (S) OF THE NEW ROCHELLE POLICE DEPARTMENT, Defendants.

OPINION

KEVIN McNULTY, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court upon Defendant Adam Castiglia's Motion (Docket No. 13) to dismiss the Complaint ("Compl.", Docket No. 1) of pro se Plaintiff Edward T. Glospie. For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's motion will be granted and the Complaint will be dismissed.

I. BACKGROUND

On June 27, 2008, Castiglia and other members of the New Rochelle Police Department arrested the plaintiff, Edward T. Glospie, in New Rochelle, New York. Compl. at 3. Plaintiff alleges that Castiglia searched Glospie's person and vehicle. Id. While conducting the search, the officers removed from the center console of the vehicle an ammunition clip for a 9mm Beretta 92FS handgun. Id. at 4. Castiglia and other New Rochelle police officers also conducted a K-9 (i.e., trained dog) search of the surrounding area. Glospie further alleges that Castiglia and other unnamed officers conducted a "roadside criminal investigation and interrogation" without administering Miranda warnings. Id.

Glospie was arrested, allegedly without probable cause. Castiglia brought Glospie to the New Rochelle police headquarters, where Glospie was further questioned. Glospie was held on a felony complaint pursuant to New York Penal Law Section 265.02(8) (criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree). Id. at 6; N.Y. Penal Law § 265.02 (McKinney). Glospie alleges that those charges were dismissed on December 1, 2008. Id. at 1.

Thereafter, on November 21, 2011, Glospie filed this action. His Complaint asserts the following claims: (1) Violations of the Fourth Amendment (unreasonable search and seizure, false arrest, and unlawful detention), Compl. at 7-9; (2) violation of his Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, id. at 9-12; (3) violation of Article IV, Section I (Full Faith and Credit Clause) and II (Privileges and Immunities Clause) of the United States Constitution, id. at 12-13; (4) violation of the Firearm Owner's Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. § 921, id. at 13-14; (5) Libel, id. at 14; (6) Malicious Prosecution, id. at 14-16; (7) violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause, id. at 16-17; violation of the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution, id. at 17-18; (9) "Unconstitutional Action, " id. at 18; (10) Conspiracy, id. at 18-19; (11) Malicious Process, id. at 19; and (12) Negligence, id. at 20.

On December 30, 2011, Judge Hochberg granted Glospie's in forma pauperis application, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d). Docket No. 4. On April 26, 2012, Defendant Castiglia filed a motion to dismiss the Complaint in its entirety. Docket No. 13. On April 27, 2012, Judge Hochberg granted Glospie's request for a stay of this matter pursuant to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Docket No. 15. At the same time, Judge Hochberg administratively terminated Defendant's motion to dismiss.

This matter was reassigned to me on August 1, 2012. On December 10, 2012, Glospie was ordered to show cause why the stay pursuant to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act should not be lifted. Docket No. 17. Plaintiff failed to show cause or otherwise respond, and, on May 21, 2013, the case was administratively terminated without prejudice. Docket No. 21. While administratively terminating, I also granted Plaintiff leave to request that the matter be reopened within ninety days of the May Order. On May 30, 2013, the Court received a letter from Plaintiff indicating that he was no longer on active duty and that he could proceed in this matter. Docket No. 22. Accordingly, I reopened the case and deemed Defendant's motion to dismiss to have been refiled. Docket No. 23.

Defendant argues that the Complaint should be dismissed in its entirety because he was not properly served. He also seeks dismissal because this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over him. Defendant further contends that Plaintiff's claims are barred by the applicable statute of limitations and are procedurally barred under applicable municipal law. As to certain claims, he also contends that the Complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Docket No. 13-3.

I find service of process to be invalid under Fed.R.Civ.P. 4. Because Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, I would likely be inclined to permit him leave to properly effectuate service. However, because I also find that this Court could not assert personal jurisdiction over Castiglia even if service were properly effected, the Complaint will be dismissed.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Service of Process

"It is axiomatic that in order for there to be in personam jurisdiction there must be valid service of process." Lee v. A to Z Trading LLC, CIV.A. 12-4624 ES, 2013 WL 2182330, at *1 (D.N.J. May 20, 2013) (quoting Atwell v. Lasalle Nat. Bank, 607 F.2d 1157, 1159 (5th Cir. 1979)). Here, Defendant argues that he was not properly served with process in this matter and that, therefore, the Court does not have personal jurisdiction over him. Glospie contends that service was proper.

Fed. R. Civ. P 4(e) governs proper service of process. The Rule provides that an individual may be served with the summons and complaint by:

(1) following state law for serving a summons in an action brought in courts of general jurisdiction in the state where the district court is ...

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