KEEL v. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA et al
MEMORANDUM AND/OR OPINION. SIGNED BY HONORABLE GENE E.K. PRATTER ON 3/29/2012. 3/30/2012 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED TO PRO SE PLAINTIFF.(sg, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
JESSE LEE KEEL, III
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA,
Plaintiff Jesse Lee Keel, III, filed this pro se civil
rights action against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the
Municipal Court, the First Judicial District, and the City of
28 U.S.C. §
On March I, 2012, the Court granted Mr. Keel leave
forma pauperis, dismissed his complaint pursuant to
(2) (B), and granted him leave to file an
Mr. Keel's amended complaint is now before
For the following reasons, the Court will dismiss the
As with the initial complaint, the amended complaint is
premised on Mr. Keel's assertion that the defendants unjustly
refused to refund his bail money.
Mr. Keel contends that the
bail money was improperly or mistakenly credited toward payment
of costs and fees in a court case to which he was not a party.
Although it is not entirely clear, it appears that Mr. Keel is
attempting to assert due process claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983, based on those allegations.
he paid for bail.
He seeks return of the money
As the Court has granted Mr. Keel leave to proceed in forma
pauperis, 28 U.S.C.
1915(e) (2) (B) applies.
requires the Court to dismiss the amended complaint if it is
frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim, or seeks monetary
relief against a defendant who is immune.
See Grayson v. Mayyiew
State Hosp., 293 F.3d 103, 113 n.19 (3d Cir. 2002)
indigent plaintiffs are "clearly within the scope of
Whether a complaint fails to state a claim under §
1915(e} is governed by the same standard applicable to motions to
dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b) (6).
Tourscher v. McCullough, 184 F.3d 236, 240 (3d Cir. 1999).
that standard, the Court must determine whether the complaint
contains "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face."
Igbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009)
As noted in the Court's order dismissing the initial
complaint, Mr. Keel's claims against the Commonwealth, the
Municipal Court, and the First Judicial District are barred by
the doctrine of sovereign immunity.
See will v. Mich. Dep't of
State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 66 (1989)
"does not provide a federal forum for litigants who seek a remedy
against a State for alleged deprivations of civil liberties")
Benn v. First Judicial Dist. of Pa., 426 F.3d 233, 235 n.1 & 241
(3d Cir. 2005)
(holding that Pennsylvania's judicial districts,
which are comprised of three courts including the Municipal
Court, are entitled to sovereign immunity).
Keel has failed to state a claim against the City of Philadelphia
because nothing in the amended complaint suggests that the
alleged violation of Mr. Keel's constitutional rights stemmed
from a municipal policy, custom, or practice.
Dep't of Soc. Servs. of N.Y., 436 U.S. 658, 694 (1978).
For the foregoing reasons, the Court will dismiss Mr. Keelts
amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) (2) (B) (ii) &
Mr. Keel will not be given leave to amend because the
Court concludes that further attempts at amendment would be
Grayson t 293 F.3d at 113-14.
An appropriate order
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