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McKinnie v. Hudson County Prosecutor Office

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

October 3, 2017

DERECK MCKINNIE, Plaintiff,
v.
HUDSON COUNTY PROSECUTOR OFFICE et al., Defendants.

          OPINION

          KEVIN MCNULTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This Amended Complaint (ECF no. 31, cited as "AC"), filed by Dereck McKinnie, pro se, arises primarily, but not exclusively, from a family dispute over real property in Jersey City. The circumstances are described in detail in a prior opinion in this action which granted the motion of certain defendants to dismiss the Amended Complaint. (Opinion, ECF no. 48, cited as "Op.") Now before the court is the motion (ECF no. 62) of additional defendants (the "Jersey City Defendants") to dismiss the Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). Having received no response to the motion, I issued an order to show cause. (ECF no. 64) In response, Mr. McKinnie filed a short statement to the effect that he opposed the motion, referring to prior papers that he had filed. (ECF no. 66) It was accompanied by a letter application to permit filing of this opposition out of time, which I will grant. (ECF no. 67) The Jersey City Defendants' motion to dismiss is therefore ripe for decision.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Prior Dismissals and This Motion

         The Amended Complaint cites extensively to 100 pages of exhibits (ECF no. 1-1) that were attached to the original complaint, which was dismissed (ECF nos. 29, 30). The plaintiff continues to rely on them, and in the prior Opinion I reviewed diem in order to get a sense of the allegations. (See Op. 2-8) That prior opinion, in which I dismissed the Amended Complaint as against certain defendants, is incorporated by reference, and familiarity widi its contents is assumed. Suffice it to say that Mr. McKinnie, having already sued his relatives in state court and brought one prior federal action, now sues several groups of defendants, including Jersey City, its police department, and several police officers; County and municipal courts and court personnel; the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office (HCPO) and individual prosecutors; and two attorneys.

         Prior orders and opinions of the court dismissed the Amended Complaint as against three groups of defendants: the court and court personnel at the County level; the HCPO and prosecutors; and the two attorneys.[1] (See Orders, ECF nos. 49, 56) Here are the defendants that remain active on the docket:

1. Jersey City Municipal Court Prosecutor Office
2. Linda Artiston, DO
3. Joe Taallabaus
4. Steven Hummell
5. City of Jersey City
6. Jersey City Police Department
7. P.O. Evan
8. P.O. Green
9. P.O. Sgt. Sarno
10. P.O. Butler
11. Sgt. George Rolando
12. Det. William Jackson

         Those twelve defendants, all associated with the City of Jersey City and represented by Corporation Counsel, I will refer to as the "Jersey City Defendants." They are the movants on this motion to dismiss the Amended Complaint. (ECF no. 62) As to these defendants, I construe the Amended Complaint as primarily asserting a federal constitutional claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         II. STANDARD ON MOTION TO DISMISS

         The defendants move to dismiss the Complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Rule 12(b)(6) provides for the dismissal of a complaint, in whole or in part, if it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The defendant, as the moving party, bears the burden of showing that no claim has been stated. Animal Science Products, Inc. v. China Minmetals Corp., 654 F.3d 462, 469 n. 9 (3d Cir. 2011).

         At a minimum, a complaint must contain

(1) a short and plain statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction, unless the court already has jurisdiction and the claim needs no new jurisdictional support; (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief; and (3) a demand for the relief sought, which may include relief in the alternative or different types of relief

Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a).

         From the seminal modern cases of Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,550 U.S. 544 (2007), and Ashcroft v. Iqbal,556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009), the Third Circuit has ...


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