LAWRENCE v. NUTTER et al
MEMORANDUM. AN APPROPRIATE ORDER FOLLOWS.. SIGNED BY HONORABLE GERALD J. PAPPERT ON 8/1/17. 8/1/17 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED TO PLFF., E-MAILED TO COUNSEL.(pr, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
MICHAEL NUTTER, et al.,
August 1, 2017
Lionel Lawrence sued former Mayor of Philadelphia Michael Nutter,
Philadelphia Prison System Commissioner Louis Giorla, Curran-Fromhold Correctional
Facility Warden John Delaney and the City of Philadelphia alleging that they violated
his constitutional rights by, among other things, housing Lawrence in a three-person
cell that was originally designed for two people. The Court grants Defendants’ motion
to dismiss because Lawrence has not alleged that any of the individual Defendants
were personally involved in the alleged underlying constitutional violation. He has also
failed to state a claim against the City under Monell.
Lawrence’s original action was one of approximately 700 overcrowding cases
consolidated against the City of Philadelphia. See Lawrence v. Nutter, 655 F. App’x 129
(3d Cir. 2016). Lawrence was initially represented by counsel. In December 2013, the
City reached an agreement with Plaintiffs’ counsel. Lawrence rejected the settlement,
his attorney withdrew from the case in April 2014 and Lawrence continued with this
litigation pro se. Id. at 130.
On July 15, 2014, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss Lawrence’s Complaint.
(ECF No. 12.) Lawrence did not file a response and was subsequently ordered to do so
by Judge Shapiro. Lawrence did not heed Judge Shapiro’s Order and she granted the
Defendants’ motion. (ECF No. 17.) Lawrence appealed the dismissal of his case and
the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded, concluding that the district
court abused its discretion by dismissing Lawrence’s suit without addressing the factors
set forth in Poulis v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Company, 747 F.2d 863, 868 (3d Cir.
1984). See Lawrence, 655 F. App’x at 131. Lawrence unfortunately believes that the
Third Circuit ruled on the merits of his lawsuit and that he won the case.1
After the Third Circuit remanded the case, Chief Judge Tucker ordered
Lawrence to file an Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 22.) Lawrence filed his Amended
Complaint on July 25, 2017. (ECF No. 23.) Defendants filed a second motion to dismiss
on July 27, 2016. (ECF No. 24.) On December 20, 2016, the case was reassigned to this
Court. (ECF No. 28.) On January 27, 2017, the Court ordered Lawrence to file a
response to the Defendants’ motion. (ECF No. 30.) Lawrence responded on February
On June 20, 2017, the Court issued a Memorandum and Order granting the
Defendants’ motion to dismiss. (ECF Nos. 35 & 36.) In the Memorandum, the Court
explained that Lawrence did not allege that any of the individual Defendants were
personally involved in the alleged underlying constitutional violation and that
Lawrence also failed to state a claim against the City of Philadelphia under the
standards articulated in Monell v. Department of Social Services of the City of New
Lawrence has asserted this incorrect belief in several filings and in telephone conversations
with court staff.
York, 436 U.S. 658 (1978). The Court then explained, in detail, what Lawrence needed
to do in order to successfully state a claim against each of the Defendants. The Court
granted Lawrence leave to file a Second Amended Complaint.
Lawrence filed a Second Amended Complaint on June 28, 2017. (ECF No. 37.)
The Defendants’ filed a motion to dismiss on July 3, 2017. (ECF No. 38.) After
Lawrence failed to respond to the motion within the time allotted by the Local Rules of
Civil Procedure, the Court ordered him to respond. (ECF No. 39.) Lawrence filed his
response on July 28, 2017. (ECF No. 40.)
Lawrence’s Second Amended Complaint is nearly identical to his Amended
Complaint. He has failed to address the concerns outlined in the Court’s June 20th
Memorandum. Accordingly, the Court grants the Defendant’s motion to dismiss.
An appropriate order follows.
BY THE COURT:
/s/ Gerald J. Pappert
GERALD J. PAPPERT, J.
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