MONCALVO v. THE CITY OF PLAINFIELD et al
OPINION. Signed by Judge William J. Martini on 5/4/17. (gh, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
Civ. No. 2:16-cv-03513 (WJM)
THE CITY OF PLAINFIELD, et al.,
WILLIAM J. MARTINI, U.S.D.J.:
Plaintiff Hector Monclavo filed, through counsel, this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action
against, inter alia, the City of Plainfield.1 This matter now comes before the Court upon
a motion by the City for judgment on the pleadings. There was no oral argument. Fed.
R. Civ. P. 78(b). For the reasons set forth below, the City’s motion is GRANTED
insofar as the Complaint is DISMISSED without prejudice. Plaintiff may file an
amended Complaint within 30 days of this Opinion and the accompanying Order.
The Court writes for the benefit of the parties and assumes familiarity with the
underlying facts, as described more thoroughly in this Court’s November 2016 Opinion.
See Moncalvo v. City of Plainfield, 2016 WL 6662694, at *1 (D.N.J. Nov. 10, 2016).
What follows is a brief recitation of the facts relevant to the presently pending motion.
In May 2016, Plaintiff filed his § 1983 Complaint in the Superior Court of New
Jersey. ECF No. 1. In his Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he was arrested and
subsequently incarcerated with no evidence that he had committed a crime or that there
was probable cause to arrest him. Id. at 4-5. In June 2016, the action was removed to
this Court. Id.
The City now moves for judgment on the pleadings under Rule 12(c), arguing that
Plaintiff has not set forth sufficient factual matter in his Complaint to show that he has a
The Plainfield Police Department initially joined this motion; however, Plaintiff has voluntarily dismissed the
action as to the Police Department. ECF No. 21. All other Defendants in this action have also been dismissed;
therefore, the City is the only remaining Defendant.
plausible claim for relief. Plaintiff opposes the motion, but also requests leave to amend
the Complaint, acknowledging that the Complaint was originally filed in state court and
was not tailored to meet the federal pleading standard. In its reply, the City states that it
does not object to Plaintiff being permitted to file an Amended Complaint within 30 days
of this Court’s Order.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) provides: “After the pleadings are closed –
but early enough not to delay trial—a party may move for judgment on the pleadings.”
Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c). “A motion for judgment on the pleadings based on the defense that
the plaintiff has failed to state a claim is analyzed under the same standards that apply to
a Rule 12(b)(6) motion.” Revell v. Port Auth. of N.Y., New Jersey, 598 F.3d 128, 134 (3d
Cir. 2010). Under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint must allege “sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’” Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). The Court “must accept all allegations in the complaint as true and draw all
reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff.” New Jersey Carpenters & Trs. Thereof v.
Tishman Constr. Corp. of N.J., 760 F.3d 297, 302 (3d Cir. 2014).
Here, the City contends that Plaintiff has failed to provide any factual basis for his
claim that he was arrested without evidence. In opposition, Plaintiff asserts that the
Plainfield Police Department did not provide him with any police records, thereby
suggesting that no evidence existed to arrest him. However, Plaintiff further indicates
that he could benefit from filing an Amended Complaint now that his case is in federal
court. In its Reply, the City bolsters this contention by stating that, because its Rule 26
disclosures have now been made, Plaintiff should have more information than he did at
the time of the filing of his Complaint. The City further states that it does not oppose
Plaintiff’s filing of an Amended Complaint within 30 days of this Court’s Order.
Because both parties consent to Plaintiff filing an Amended Complaint, the Court will not
address the sufficiency of Plaintiff’s Complaint at this time, but merely grants the City’s
motion insofar as Plaintiff’s Complaint is dismissed without prejudice to Plaintiff’s
amending his Complaint within 30 days of this Opinion and Order.
For the reasons stated above, the City’s motion is GRANTED and the Complaint
is DISMISSED without prejudice. An appropriate order follows.
/s/ William J. Martini
WILLIAM J. MARTINI, U.S.D.J.
Date: May 4, 2017
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