United States District Court, D. New Jersey
OPINION & ORDER
MICHAEL VAZQUEZ, U.S.D.J.
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Robert Grady's
("Defendant") motion to dismiss the Amended
Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6). D.E. 34. Plaintiff Jonathan Gould ("Plaintiff)
filed a brief in opposition, D.E. 42, to which Defendant
replied. D.E. 43. The Court reviewed the submissions in
support and in opposition, and considered the motion without
oral argument pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 78(b) and L. Civ. R.
78.1(b). For the reasons stated below, Defendant's motion
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Court's February 8, 2018 Opinion dismissing Plaintiffs
Complaint without prejudice, D.E. 30, includes a detailed
recounting of the background of this matter. To the extent
relevant to this motion, the Court incorporates the factual
and procedural history into this Opinion and summarizes the
critical facts and procedural history here.
in 2014, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office
("ECPO") started investigating Plaintiffs use of
his mother's credit card. Plaintiff claims that the
mishandling of the investigation led to violations of his
constitutional rights. Defendants to this matter are
employees of the ECPO. O'Neal is a detective, Campo is a
sergeant, and Grady is an assistant prosecutor
("AP"). AP Grady, who is making the current motion,
was the prosecutor assigned to Plaintiffs case.
allegations in the Amended Complaint ("FAC")
concerning AP Grady differ only slightly from those in the
original Complaint. As the Court noted in the February
Opinion "[t]he factual allegations against AP Grady in
the Complaint are limited." February Opinion ("Feb.
Op.") at 8; D.E. 30. Plaintiff in the Complaint alleged
that "[d]espite a lack of probable cause, on or about
February 11, 2015 Assistant Prosecutor Grady told Detective
O'Neal that he had reviewed the case and decided that
[Plaintiff] should be charged with second degree theft."
Compl. ¶ 30. Now, in the FAC, Plaintiff alleges that:
[d]espite the lack of probable cause, on or about February
11, 2015, Assistant Prosecutor Grady advised the Detective
Defendants that probable cause existed for Mr. Gould's
arrest. Defendant Grady was aware of Detective
Defendants' investigative efforts and the information
obtained, and did not obtain, in connection with the
investigation. Defendant Grady knew, recklessly disregarded,
and/or was deliberately indifferent to the fact that the
information and evidence known to Defendants did not
constitute probable cause for Mr. Gould's arrest.
¶¶ 31-32. The only other allegation referring to AP
Grady in the FAC states that after O'Neal and Campo
visited Plaintiffs mother, they informed AP Grady of what she
had told them. Thereafter, the ECPO dismissed the charges
against Plaintiff. Id. ¶¶ 47-48.
filed the FAC on February 13, 2018. D.E. 32. The FAC
realleges claims of false arrest (Count One) and malicious
prosecution (Count Two), both in violation of 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. FAC ¶¶ 54-74. The current motion
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits a
defendant to move to dismiss a count for "failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted[.]" To
withstand a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a
plaintiff must allege "enough facts to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A complaint
is plausible on its face when there is enough factual content
"that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference
that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009). Although the plausibility standard "does not
impose a probability requirement, it does require a pleading
to show more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has
acted unlawfully." Connelly v. Lane Const.
Corp., 809 F.3d 780, 786 (3d Cir. 2016) (internal
quotation marks and citations omitted). As a result, a
plaintiff must "allege sufficient facts to raise a
reasonable expectation that discovery will uncover proof of
[his] claims." Id. at 789.
evaluating the sufficiency of a complaint, a district court
must accept all factual allegations in the complaint as true
and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff.
Phillips v. Cty. of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 231 (3d
Cir. 2008). A court, however, is "not compelled to
accept unwarranted inferences, unsupported conclusions or
legal conclusions disguised as factual allegations."
Baraka v. McGreevey, 481 F.3d 187, 211 (3d Cir.
2007). If, after viewing the allegations in the complaint
most favorable to the plaintiff, it appears that no relief
could be granted under any set of facts consistent with the
allegations, a court may dismiss the complaint for failure to
state a claim. DeFazio v. Leading Edge Recovery
Sols., 2010 WL 5146765, at *1 (D.N.J. Dec. 13, 2010).