United States District Court, D. New Jersey
WILLIAM J. MARTINI. U.S.D.J.
Krya Harrison ("Plaintiff) brings this action against
the New Jersey State Police ("NJSP"), various State
Troopers, and John Doe Defendants (collectively
"Defendants"). Plaintiff alleges she was pulled
over due to her race, assaulted, falsely arrested, and
maliciously prosecuted for knowingly calling 9-1-1 without a
purpose. The matter comes before the Court on Defendants'
motion to dismiss. ECF No.  ("Mot."). For the
reasons set forth below, the motion is GRANTED IN PART and
DENIED IN PART.
November 22, 2016, Plaintiff (an African-American woman) was
driving on Interstate 287 in Bridgewater Township, New
Jersey. Compl. ¶ 16, ECF No. . Plaintiff alleges that
after she drove past NJSP Officer Rafael R. Castro
("Castro"), he pulled her over because "she
was not supposed to pass him on the right and ... he did not
like the way she was wearing her seatbelt." Id.
¶ 19. Scared, Plaintiff "dialed 9-1-1 to request a
sergeant for back up." Id. ¶ 21. According
to the Complaint, Castro then questioned Plaintiff, asking:
"why are you on your phone? Do you see me on my phone?
Why are you on your phone?" Id. ¶ 22.
Plaintiff can allegedly be heard on Castro's Mobile Video
Recorder ("MVR") pleading: "I'm
scared," "I'm extremely scared," and
"I'm calling for help because I'm scared."
Id. ¶ 24.
alleges that Castro then requested her driver's license
and registration. Id. ¶ 26. But before
Plaintiff could turn over the documents, Castro said he was
arresting her for failing to give him her license,
registration, and insurance card. Id. ¶¶
26-27. According to the Complaint, Castro then grabbed
Plaintiff and "dragged her from her car, slammed her to
the ground, slammed her head to the concrete, stuck his knee
in her back and handcuffed her," then dragged her across
the ground to his patrol car. Id. ¶ 28. The
Complaint further alleges that while Plaintiff sat handcuffed
and crying in the patrol car, Castro approached the vehicle,
yanked her right arm, and screamed "shut the fuck
up." Id. ¶ 29. Plaintiff was eventually
transported to the hospital where she was examined for a head
injury. Id. ¶ 34.
same day Plaintiff was arrested, Castro signed a criminal
complaint accusing her of making a 9-1-1 call without a
lawful purpose, obstruction, and resisting arrest.
Id. ¶ 36. Castro also issued thirteen motor
vehicle summons to Plaintiff. Id. ¶ 38.
Plaintiff further alleges that she was never read her Miranda
Rights. Id. ¶ 39.
November 23, 2016, Plaintiff returned to the hospital.
Id. ¶ 40. "[S]he was diagnosed with a
thoracic spine fracture, left shoulder sprain/strain and neck
sprain/strain with the mechanism of injury noted to be blunt
trauma, by physical assault." Id. ¶¶
March 22, 2017, a Somerset County Grand Jury returned a one
count indictment, charging Plaintiff with making a 9-1-1 call
without a lawful purpose. Id. ¶ 42. Castro
admitted to the Grand Jury that he heard Plaintiff tell the
9-1-1 operator, "I'm asking you for help because I
am scared." Id. ¶ 43. On October 24, 2017,
Plaintiffs motion to dismiss that indictment was granted.
Id. ¶ 44. A different Somerset County Grand
Jury re-indicted Plaintiff on the same charge in December
2017. Id. ¶ 45. In September 2018, Plaintiff
was tried and acquitted of making a 9-1-1 call without a
lawful purpose. Id. ¶ 53.
complaint survives a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)
motion to dismiss if the Plaintiff states a claim for relief
that is "plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 547 (2007). The movant
bears the burden of showing that no claim has been stated.
Hedges v. United States, 404 F.3d 744, 750 (3d Cir.
2005). Courts are required to accept all factual allegations
as true and draw "all inferences from the facts alleged
in the light most favorable" to plaintiffs. Phillips
v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 228 (3d Cir.
2008). But when deciding a motion to dismiss, courts are not
required to accept "legal conclusions" as true.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
Complaint alleges fourteen causes of action:
Count 1 Pattern and Practice Allegations (Governmental
Count 2 42 U.S.C. § 1983 Unreasonable and Excessive
Count 3 Common Law Assault and Battery
Count 4 42 U.S.C. § 1983 Unlawful and Unreasonable