E.P. v. CITY OF ORANGE et al
LETTER OPINION. Signed by Judge Susan D. Wigenton on 9/28/17. (cm, )
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
MARTIN LUTHER KING COURTHOUSE
50 WALNUT ST.
NEWARK, NJ 07101
SUSAN D. WIGENTON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
September 28, 2017
Joel Silberman, Esq.
The Law Offices of Joel Silberman
549 Summit Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07306
Counsel for Plaintiff
Connie Bentley McGhee, Esq.
292 Lafayette Street
Newark, NJ 07105
Counsel for Defendant
LETTER OPINION FILED WITH THE CLERK OF THE COURT
E.P. v. City of Orange, et al.
Civil Action No. 16-6122 (SDW) (LDW)
Before this Court is Defendant Lieutenant T. Grundy’s (“Grundy” or “Defendant”) Motion
to Dismiss Plaintiff E.P’s (“Plaintiff”) Second Amended Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). This Court having considered the parties’ submissions, and having
reached its decision without oral argument pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 78, for the
reasons discussed below, GRANTS Defendant’s motion.
To survive a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a complaint
must include “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
FED. R. CIV. P. 8(a)(2). This Rule “requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Factual allegations must be enough to
raise a right to relief above the speculative level[.]” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007) (internal citations omitted); see also Phillips v. Cty. of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 231 (3d
Cir. 2008) (stating that Rule 8 “requires a ‘showing,’ rather than a blanket assertion, of an
entitlement to relief”). In considering a Motion to Dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court must
“accept all factual allegations as true, construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff, and determine whether, under any reasonable reading of the complaint, the plaintiff may
be entitled to relief.” Phillips, 515 F.3d at 231 (external citation omitted). However, “the tenet
that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to
legal conclusions. Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere
conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); see also
Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203 (3d Cir. 2009) (discussing the Iqbal standard).
Plaintiff, a resident of Essex County, New Jersey, alleges that she was unlawfully pulled
over and sexually assaulted by Officer Ricardo Arias-Vasquez (“Arias-Vasquez”) of the City of
Orange Police Department on November 18, 2015. (Second Am. Comp. ¶¶ 11-28.) Grundy was
Arias-Vasquez’s supervisor at the time and conducted his own investigation into Plaintiff’s
claims. (Id. ¶ 41.) On June 27, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Complaint in this Court against officers of
the City of Orange Police Department, including Arias-Vasquez and Grundy, the City of Orange,
the City of Orange Police Department and others, claiming that defendants’ actions violated
federal and state law. (Dkt. No. 1.) On August 25, 2017, Defendant Grundy filed the instant
motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6), arguing that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim or claims upon which relief
could be granted. (Dkt. No. 81.) Plaintiff filed her opposition on September 16, 2017. (Dkt. No.
84.) No reply was filed.
Plaintiff concedes that Counts One, Two, Three, Four, Seven, Nine, and Ten do not apply
to Defendant Grundy. (Pl.’s Opp’n. Br. at 8.) Therefore, only Counts Five (Conspiracy), Six
(Negligent and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress), and Eight (Negligence), all of which
are state law claims, remain as to this defendant. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1367, federal courts may
exercise jurisdiction over state law claims, however, “if the federal claims are dismissed before
trial, even though not insubstantial in a jurisdictional sense, the state claims should be dismissed
as well.” United Mine Workers of Am. v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 726 (1966); see also Stehney v.
Perry, 907 F. Supp. 806, 825 (D.N.J. 1995) (“[A] federal district court may decline to exercise
its supplemental jurisdiction over state law claims if all federal claims are dismissed.”);
Washington v. Specialty Risk Servs., Civ. No. 12-1393, 2012 WL 3528051, at *2 (D.N.J. Aug.
15, 2012) (noting that “where the claim over which the district court has original jurisdiction is
dismissed before trial, the district court must decline to decide the pendent state claims”)
(alterations in original) (citing Hedges v. Musco, 204 F.3d 109, 123 (3d Cir. 2000)) (internal
citations omitted). Plaintiff has conceded that her federal claims must be dismissed as to
Grundy. Consequently, this Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s
state law claims and those claims are dismissed. 1
Even if this Court were to reach Plaintiff’s state law claims, they are insufficiently pled to survive a motion to
dismiss. Plaintiff alleges only that Defendant Grundy, upon learning of Plaintiff’s allegations against Officer AriasVasquez, conducted his own investigation into the events giving rise to Plaintiff’s claims. (Second Am. Compl. ¶¶
41, 52-55.) Plaintiff alleges no facts to support claims that Defendant Grundy acted negligently, or engaged in
activities that would constitute a civil conspiracy or give rise to a cognizable claim of emotional distress.
Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint will be GRANTED.
An appropriate order follows.
__/s/ Susan D. Wigenton________
SUSAN D. WIGENTON, U.S.D.J
Leda D. Wettre, U.S.M.J.
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