United States District Court, D. New Jersey
JOSEPH H. RODRIGUEZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is the Defendant Jose M. Torres, Jr.'s
Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff Mary Bridges' Second Amended
Complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). The Court has
considered the written submission of the parties, pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 78 (b) and for the reasons that follow, grants
Mary Bridges (“Bridges”) is the owner and sole
resident of her home located at 12 Spruce Street, Bridgeton,
New Jersey. Compl. ¶¶ 5, 6. She complains that the
Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office targeted and
searched her residence in connection to a drug task force
investigation against a target named Wayne A. McClain
(“McClain”). Id. at ¶¶ 7-12.
McClain has no connection whatsoever to Bridges' home.
Id. at ¶¶ 17-19.
November 16, 2015, Defendant, Detective Jose M. Torres, Jr.
(“Torres”) successfully applied for a warrant to
permit entry and search of Bridges' home. Id. at
¶¶ 10- 12. At the time, Torres was temporarily
assigned to the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office.
The warrant was executed by the Bridgeton Police Department
Tactical Entry Team on November 24, 2015, at approximately
12:24 in the afternoon, while Bridges was home. Id.
at ¶¶ 13-17. Despite the warrant, Plaintiff claims
entry was made into her home without her permission and that
the Team determined that none of the evidence used to justify
the warrant was found. She challenges the veracity of the
information Torres proffered to obtain the warrant and claims
that Torres failed to “take reasonable professional
measures to ensure there was probable cause to search”
her residence. Id. at ¶¶ 18-22.
alleges that her rights under the Fourth Amendment and New
Jersey State law were violated when members of the City of
Bridgeton Police Department Tactical Entry Team mistakenly
entered her home based upon an error in a search
warrant/Affidavit prepared by City of Vineland Police Officer
Jose M. Torres, Jr. in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
N.J.S.A. § 10:6-2, the New Jersey Civil Rights Act
("NJCRA") and N.J.S.A. 59:1-1, et seq., the New
Jersey Tort Claims Act.
Torres moves for dismissal pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12 (b)
(6) on grounds that the search warrant was valid and/or that
Torres' actions, at best, constitute negligence. In the
alternative, Torres asserts he is entitled to qualified
immunity. For the reasons that follow the motion to dismiss
Standards of Review
Motion to Dismiss
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) allows a party to move for
dismissal of a claim based on “failure to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6). A complaint should be dismissed pursuant to Rule
12(b)(6) if the alleged facts, taken as true, fail to state a
claim. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). When deciding a motion to
dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), ordinarily only the
allegations in the complaint, matters of public record,
orders, and exhibits attached to the complaint, are taken
into consideration. See Chester County Intermediate Unit
v. Pa. Blue Shield, 896 F.2d 808, 812 (3d Cir. 1990). It
is not necessary for the plaintiff to plead evidence.
Bogosian v. Gulf Oil Corp., 561 F.2d 434, 446 (3d
Cir. 1977). The question before the Court is not whether the
plaintiff will ultimately prevail. Watson v. Abington
Twp., 478 F.3d 144, 150 (2007). Instead, the Court
simply asks whether the plaintiff has articulated
“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).
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, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
“Where there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a
court should assume their veracity and then determine whether
they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679.
motion to dismiss should be granted unless the
plaintiff's factual allegations are “enough to
raise a right to relief above the speculative level on the
assumption that all of the complaint's allegations are
true (even if doubtful in fact).” Twombly, 550
U.S. at 556 (internal citations omitted). “[W]here the
well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than
the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has
alleged-but it has not ‘shown'-‘that the
pleader is entitled to relief.'” Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 679 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)).
42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Qualified Immunity
constitutional claims are governed by Title 42 U.S.C. §
1983, which provides a civil remedy against any person who,
under color of state law, deprives another of rights
protected by the United States Constitution. See Collins
v. City ofHarker Heights, 503 U.S. 115, 120