IPPOLITO et al v. AHERNE et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER THAT THE PLAINTIFFS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT IS DENIED. THE DEFENDANTS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT IS GRANTED IN PART; ETC.. SIGNED BY HONORABLE WENDY BEETLESTONE ON 10/22/15. 10/26/15 ENTERED AND E-MAILED.(jl, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
NICKOLAS IPPOLITO and RACHEL
OFFICER DENNIS AHERNE; OFFICER
RYAN MURPHY; OFFICER STEVEN
SCOTT; OFFICER JOHN MCBRIDE;
DETECTIVE DONALD D’GINTO; and
This case arises out of the arrest of Plaintiff Nickolas Ippolito on charges of Hindering
Apprehension or Prosecution and Disorderly Conduct. Plaintiff sues police officers Dennis
Aherne, Ryan Murphy, and Steven Scott, and Detectives John McBride and Donald D’Ginto
(collectively, the “Individual Defendants”) alleging claims for excessive force and malicious
prosecution under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, conspiracy under 42 U.S.C. § 1985, and state-law claims
for assault and battery, false arrest, and false imprisonment. Plaintiffs also sue the Individual
Defendants’ employer, Uwchlan Township, asserting a claim under Monell v. City of N.Y. Dept.
of Social Servs., 436 U.S. 658 (1978). Rachel Ippolito, Nickolas Ippolito’s spouse, sues the
Defendants for loss of consortium.
Nickolas Ippolito (hereinafter, “Ippolito”) moves for partial summary judgment on his
claims for malicious prosecution, false arrest and false imprisonment. The defendants move for
summary judgment as to each of Ippolito’s claims. For the reasons discussed below, Ippolito’s
motion is denied in its entirety; Defendants’ summary judgment is granted as to Counts I
(excessive force), II (malicious prosecution), III (conspiracy), and VII (Monell); and Ippolito’s
remaining claims under Counts IV (assault and battery), V (false arrest), VI (false
imprisonment), and VIII (loss of consortium), shall be dismissed as a matter of discretion
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c), without prejudice to those claims being asserted in state court.
On October 24, 2012, Helen Gaffney contacted the Uwchlan Township Police
Department regarding her daughter, Jacqueline Chambers. JA at 21. Mrs. Gaffney stated that
Chambers failed to report to a bail hearing in Caln Township and that a warrant was issued for
Chambers’ arrest. Chambers had jumped out of a van owned by the drug rehabilitation center
where she was being treated and was thought to be staying at the Extended Stay America Hotel
(“the Hotel”) in Exton, Pennsylvania. An Uwchlan Township police officer responded to the
Hotel but was unable to locate Chambers. Id.
On October 25, 2012, Chambers’ father, Bill Gaffney, called Uwchlan Township police
and reported that he had just left Chambers in room 128 of the Hotel, and that she had declined
to turn herself in in response to the outstanding warrant. JA 366-67; Plaintiffs’ Statement of
Undisputed Facts in Support of Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment ¶¶ 5-6 (“Pl. Facts”);
Response to Plaintiff’s Statement of Undisputed Facts in Support of Their Motion for Summary
Judgment ¶¶ 5-6 (“Def. Resp.”). Mr. Gaffney requested that the police go to the Hotel to serve
the warrant. Id.
That same day, Ippolito began his shift as the guest services representative at the Hotel at
7:00 a.m. When he arrived, the Hotel’s log reflected that a guest in room 128 had requested a
room change. JA 405. Around 7:10 a.m., Chambers came to the front desk and Ippolito moved
her to room 215. JA 407. Shortly thereafter, Officer Aherne arrived at the hotel desk and asked
Ippolito if he knew who was in room 128. JA 367. Ippolito declined to identify the guest in that
room. JA 367. Aherne and another officer then proceeded to knock on the door to room 128.
JA 367. While the officers were knocking on the door to room 128, Ippolito called his manager
on the telephone to inquire what information he could provide to the police. Ippolito testified
that his manager responded that Ippolito could not provide information to the police regarding
Chamber’s whereabouts absent a warrant. JA 155, 415, 494. As Aherne continued to knock on
the door, Ippolito informed him that the room was empty. JA 367, 416.
Aherne believed that he heard noises and voices coming from inside the room. As a
result, he returned to the front desk and questioned Ippolito regarding whether anyone was in the
room. JA 367. Ippolito declined to answer and retreated to an inner office to call his manager.
JA 367, 416. The manager informed him that, in light of the fact the room was empty, he could
provide the police with a key, and he did so. JA 416-17.
When Aherne returned to the hotel desk, he heard the lobby stairway door open and
observed a girl with dark brown hair retreating into the stairwell. JA 367. Aherne followed the
girl and heard her enter room 215, then returned to the hotel desk and asked Ippolito to identify
the guest in room 215. Id. Ippolito declined to provide the information. Pl. Facts ¶ 19; Def.
Resp. ¶ 19. Aherne testified that he telephoned Mr. Gaffney and confirmed that Chambers had
brown hair rather than the blond hair shown in her photograph. JA 367-68.
Another officer, D’Ginto, telephoned Stacy Izzo, the Hotel’s district manager, whom he
knew from a prior case, and asked for her assistance in obtaining the information the officers
sought. JA 116-17, 343. D’Ginto testified that Izzo informed him that the officers could go
behind the hotel desk and take whatever they needed and that she would call the hotel and
instruct Ippolito to provide the information, to be cooperative, and to give the officers a key to
Chambers’ room.1 Pl. Facts ¶¶ 28-29; Def. Resp. ¶¶ 28-29.
D’Ginto again went to Ippolito, asked him whether he had spoken to Izzo, and requested
information about Chambers whereabouts. Ippolito still refused to provide the information.
Officer Scott, who also was present, informed Ippolito that, if he did not comply with D’Ginto’s
requests, he would be arrested for obstruction. Pl. Facts ¶¶ 30-32; Def. Resp. ¶¶ 30-32; JA 344.
Ippolito was then told he was under arrest. Pl. Facts ¶ 34; Def. Resp. ¶ 33.
At this point, Ippolito was located behind a locked door, and the only means of access to
him would have been by jumping over the hotel counter. Pl. Facts ¶¶ 13, 35-36; Def. Resp. ¶¶
13, 35-36. Scott drew his Taser and threatened that if Ippolito did not open the door to the
office, Scott would tase him for failing to cooperate. Pl. Facts ¶ 35; Def. Resp. ¶ 35. Ippolito
opened the office door and the officers placed him under arrest. 2 Pl. Facts ¶ 36; Def. Resp. ¶ 36.
Ippolito was charged by the Individual Defendants with Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution,
18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5105, and Disorderly Conduct, 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. 5503. JA 111-14. At a
preliminary hearing, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office withdrew the Hindering
Apprehension charge and replaced it with a charge of Obstruction of the Administration of
Justice, 18 Pa Cons. Stat. § 5101. Id. The judge found that probable cause existed and bound the
case over for trial. Defendants’ Statement of Undisputed Material Facts (“Def. Facts”) ¶ 46;
Plaintiffs’ Response to Defendants’ Statement of Undisputed Material Facts (“Pl. Resp.”) ¶ 46.
Izzo disputed this in her testimony before the Magisterial District Court, stating that she did not authorize Ippolito
to give the officers a key or to permit them behind the counter. JA 117-19.
A maintenance worker at the Hotel subsequently opened room 215 for the officers, where they found Chambers
and placed her under arrest. Pl. Facts ¶ 22-23; Def. Facts ¶¶ 38-39.
The criminal case was eventually resolved when the court dismissed the obstruction
charge and the District Attorney’s Office “nolle prossed” the disorderly conduct charge.3 JA
Summary judgment, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a), “is appropriate
where there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Alabama v. North Carolina, 560 U.S. 330, 345 (2010) (citations
and internal quotation marks omitted). “By its very terms, this standard provides that the mere
existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise
properly supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is that there be no genuine
issue of material fact.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986) (emphasis
in original). “A genuine issue is present when a reasonable trier of fact, viewing all of the record
evidence, could rationally find in favor of the non-moving party in light of his burden of proof.”
Doe v. Abington Friends Sch., 480 F.3d 252, 256 (3d Cir. 2007) (citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 322-26 (1986); Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248-52). A fact is material if it might affect
the outcome of the suit under the governing law. Scheidemantle v. Slippery Rock Univ. State
Sys. of Higher Educ., 470 F.3d 535, 538 (3d Cir. 2006). “The reviewing court should view the
facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all reasonable inferences in
that party’s favor.” Burton v. Teleflex Inc., 707 F.3d 417, 425 (3d Cir. 2013). However, to
prevail on a motion for summary judgment, “the non-moving party must present more than a
mere scintilla of evidence; ‘there must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for
A nolle prosequi action (colloquially referred to by the parties as a past tense verb, i.e. “nolle pross’ed”) is a
voluntary withdrawal by the prosecuting attorney of present proceedings on a particular bill of indictment. Pa. R.
Crim. P. 585; see also Commonwealth v. Whitaker, 467 Pa. 436 (1976).
the [non-movant].’” Jakimas v. Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc., 485 F.3d 770, 777 (3d Cir. 2007)
(citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252).
Section 1983 Malicious Prosecution
Ippolito contends that he is entitled to summary judgment on his Section 1983 claim
because the Individual Defendants lacked probable cause for his arrest, imprisonment, and
prosecution. Pl. Mot. at 3-9. In response, the Individual Defendants contend that probable cause
existed (Def. Mot. at 8-11)4 and that even if it did not, they are entitled to qualified immunity for
their conduct. Id. at 13-15.
The Individual Defendants argue that, in accordance with Supreme Court precedent,
qualified immunity shields government officials from civil damages liability unless the official:
(1) violated a statutory or constitutional right; and, (2) the right was clearly established at the
time of the challenged conduct. See e.g., Reichle v. Howards, 132 S.Ct. 2088, 2093 (2012);
Taylor v. Barkes, 135 S.Ct. 2042 (2015). To be clearly established, the “right must be
sufficiently clear [such] that every reasonable official would have understood that what he is
doing violates that right.” Reichle, 132 S.Ct. at 2093. When the material facts surrounding the
arrest are not in dispute, as is the case here, the question of whether a government official has
established the defense of qualified immunity is a matter of law. See Anderson v. Creighton, 483
U.S. 635, 639 (1987).
In analyzing the applicable law pursuant to the second prong of the test, see Egolf v.
Witmer, 526 F.3d 104, 110 (3d Cir. 2008); Ashcroft v. al-Kidd, 563 U.S. 731, 731 (2011) (courts
have discretion as to the order in which to address the two-part test), there need not be a case
Claims for malicious prosecution require as an element that the prosecution be undertaken without probable cause.
Strickland v. Univ. of Scranton, 700 A.2d 979, 984 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1997).
“directly on point, but existing precedent must have placed the statutory or constitutional
question beyond debate.” al-Kidd, 563 U.S. at 731. The test for whether probable cause exists
for an arrest is an objective one. See Barna v. City of Perth Amboy, 42 F.3d 809, 819 (3d Cir.
1994). “Evidence that may prove insufficient to establish guilt at trial may still be sufficient to
find the arrest occurred within the bounds of the law. As long as the officers had some
reasonable basis to believe [Ippolito] had committed a crime, the arrest is justified as being based
on probable cause.” Id. In the present case, the precedent regarding whether there was probable
cause to believe that Ippolito committed the offense of Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution, a
felony, is open to debate.5 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5105(a), (b). The statute provides that:
A person Commits an offense if, with intent to hinder the apprehension,
prosecution, conviction, or punishment of another for a crime or violation of the
terms of probation [or] parole . . . , he:
(1) Harbors or conceals the other;
(2) Provides or aids in providing a weapon, transportation, disguise, or other
means of avoiding apprehension or effecting escape;
(3) Warns the other of impending discovery or apprehension . . . ;
(4) Provides false information to a law enforcement officer.
Case law interpreting this provision is clear that a person confronted by an officer in a
“mere encounter” on the street has no obligation to speak with the officer or to answer his
questions. Pennsylvania v. Matos, 672 A.2d 769, 775 (Pa. 1996); Pennsylvania v. Barnes, 14
A.3d 128, 132 (Pa. Super Ct. 2011). However, the obligations of a person who has knowledge
regarding the location of a fugitive, and control over access to that location, are far less defined.
The individual defendants also charged Ippolito with disorderly conduct, 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5503, based on the
questionable theory that he had caused a disturbance of the peace by refusing to tell them Chambers’ location so that
they were forced to cause a disturbance by knocking loudly on the Hotel room door. Because the Court finds the
Individual Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity with respect to the hindering charge, it need not consider
the propriety of the disorderly conduct charge, since the hindering charge provided a basis for Ippolito’s arrest,
imprisonment, and prosecution. See Barna, 42 F.3d at 819 (“[p]robable cause need only exist as to any of offense
that could be charged under the circumstances).
In Pennsylvania v. Neckerauer, 617 A.2d 1281, 1285 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1992), the court held
that lying in response to police officers’ questions did not constitute the kind of affirmative
conduct required by the hindering apprehension or prosecution statute. In contrast, a defendant
who locked the door to her apartment, where the person sought by police was hiding in a shower
stall, was guilty of hindering. Pennsylvania v. Migdalia, 657 A.2d 1298, 1301 (Pa. Super. Ct.
1995). Here, neither party has been able to identify a case that sufficiently addresses the
circumstances found in this case. There is no guiding precedent regarding the rights of a hotel
employee who, having just facilitated a fugitive’s moving out of the hotel room which the police
intended to investigate (cf. Migdalia), and knowing the location of a fugitive, refuses to reveal
the fugitive’s new location to police (cf. Neckerauer).
Under the scant precedential guidance available to them, it cannot be said that “every
reasonable official would have understood” that Ippolito was not unlawfully harboring or
concealing Chambers, or providing her with a means of avoiding apprehension, in violation of
the Section 5105. al-Kidd, 131 S.Ct. at 2083 (internal citations omitted). Thus, it cannot be said
that “existing precedent [had] placed . . . beyond debate” that Ippolito had a right not to be
prosecuted for his conduct. al-Kidd, 131 S.Ct. at 2083. The Individual Defendants could not be
reasonably expected to know the law forbade the subject conduct, and the qualified immunity
defense must be sustained. See Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 819 (1982).6 Accordingly,
the Individual Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity, and summary judgment will be
granted against Ippolito on his malicious prosecution claim.
Section 1983 Excessive Force
While not dispositive, the fact the judge at the preliminary hearing found probable cause to bind Ippolito over for
trial also provides “weighty evidence” that the officers reasonably could have believed they had probable cause for
the charges against Ippolito. Snell v. Duffy, No. 02-3660, 2004 WL 62711, at 85 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 6, 2004).
Ippolito asserts that the Individual Defendants used excessive force in making his arrest
when Officer Scott brandished a Taser at him. Pl. Opp’n at 16. A claim that an officer used
excessive force to effect an arrest arises under the Fourth Amendment’s guaranty of individuals’
“right ‘to be secure in their persons . . . against unreasonable . . . seizures’ of the person.”
Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 394 (1989) (quoting U.S. Const. amend IV). The
determination of whether a police officer charged under Section 1983 with use of excessive force
is entitled to qualified immunity is also a two-part inquiry.
First, the court must determine whether the facts, taken in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff, show that the officers’ conduct violated a constitutional right. See Saucier v. Katz, 533
U.S. 194, 201 (2001). If so, the court must examine the law in question (here, the Fourth
Amendment's prohibition on unreasonable search and seizure) to determine whether the law put
the officer on notice that his conduct was unlawful. Id. at 202. Only if a reasonable officer
would recognize that the degree of force he used in a given situation was “clearly unlawful” will
he be deprived of qualified immunity. Id. at 202-07. In other words, the doctrine of qualified
immunity protects “all but the plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law.”
Id. at 202 (quoting Malley v. Briggs, 475 U.S. 335, 341 (1986)).
Measuring the reasonableness of a use of force “requires a careful balancing of ‘the
nature and quality of the intrusion on the individual’s Fourth Amendment interests’ against the
countervailing governmental interests at stake.” Graham, 490 U.S. at 396. The analysis is a
fact-specific one and includes consideration of such factors as: “the severity of the crime at issue,
whether the suspect poses an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others, and whether
he is actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight.” Id. The Third Circuit has
identified the following additional factors for consideration: “the possibility that the persons
subject to the police action are themselves violent or dangerous, the duration of the action,
whether the action takes place in the context of effecting an arrest, the possibility that the suspect
may be armed, and the number of persons with whom the police officers must contend at one
time.” Sharrar v. Felsing, 128 F.3d 810, 822 (3d Cir. 1997).
Ippolito bases his excessive force claim entirely on the evidence that Officer Scott
pointed a Taser at him and threatened to tase him if he did not open the locked office door so that
the officers could place him under arrest. 7 Although there is no evidence or claim that Scott
used actual force against Ippolito in making his arrest, Ippolito argues that “an officer’s specific
threat to cause harm may, under the totality of the circumstances, contribute to an excessive
force claim.” Pl. Mot. at 16 (quoting Black v. Stevens, 662 F.2d 181, 188-89 (3d Cir. 1981)).
The case upon which Ippolito relies involved a policeman who held a gun eighteen inches from
the plaintiff’s head and threatened to shoot him. Black, 662 F.2d at 189. The immediate threat
of deadly force in Black was of a far different magnitude than the threat to Ippolito of non-deadly
force in the form of a Taser.
Here, the crime for which Ippolito was being arrested was a felony. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. §
5105(b); JA at 93. Ippolito was secured behind a hotel counter and a locked door. Def. Facts. ¶
34; Pl. Resp. ¶ 34. Although there was no specific reason to believe Ippolito was armed, Officer
Scott testified that, based on his experience with other hotels located in Uwchlan Township,
weapons are often kept behind the counter for the safety and protection of the hotel staff. JA
260. Up to that point, Ippolito had been uncooperative in responding to police requests.
Although he was not actively resisting arrest, he was failing to comply with the officer’s order
Defendants apparently assumed that Ippolito would base his claim on the allegation in the complaint that they used
his face to push open the door. Plaintiff did not raise that argument, but relied solely on the threat of the Taser as
excessive force. Defendants’ reply brief did not respond to the Taser argument.
and continuing to obstruct the officer’s efforts to obtain information regarding Chamber’s
whereabouts from the hotel records.
Ippolito has not identified any authority for the proposition that the threat of non-deadly
force in obtaining compliance from a subject, subsequent to an officer’s direction that the subject
is under arrest, is excessive. Thus, it cannot be said that using the threat of non-deadly force in
the form of a Taser was “clearly unlawful.” Defendants are therefore entitled to qualified
immunity for their conduct, and summary judgment is granted against Ippolito’s excessive force
Section 1985 Conspiracy
Plaintiffs allege that the Individual Defendants conspired to commit acts that constituted
excessive force and malicious prosecution. Complaint at ¶ 66. An official who is immune from
suit for a Section 1983 violation is also immune from liability under Section 1985 for a claim of
conspiracy to commit the conduct that is the subject of the Section 1983 violation. See Downey
v. Coalition Against Rape & Abuse, 143 F.Supp.2d 423, 452-53 (D. N.J. 2001) (citing Bisbee v.
Bey, 39 F.3d 1096, 1102 (10th Cir. 1994)); Snatchco v. Peters Twp., No. 12-1179, 2012 WL
6761369, at *12 (W.D. Pa. Dec. 28, 2012) (where complaint failed to state a claim for a civil
rights violation, township employees were entitled to qualified immunity); Perano v. Arbaugh,
No. 10-01623, 2011 WL 1103885, at *18 (E.D. Pa. March 25, 2011) (applying qualified
immunity to conspiracy claim). Accordingly, the Individual Defendants are entitled to summary
judgment against Ippolito’s conspiracy claim.8
Although the parties both argue their case on the merits, because the Individual Defendants are entitled to qualified
immunity, the Court need not extend its analysis further.
Ippolito asserts a claim against Uwchlan Township for its alleged failure to train its
police officers. That claims suffers from a number of deficiencies. First, stating a claim under
Monell requires that a municipal policy or custom has caused a constitutional violation. Monell
v. Dept. of Social Services of City of New York, 436 U.S. 691 (1978); Groman v. Township of
Manalapan, 47 F.3d 628, 637 (3d Cir. 1995). As discussed in Sections III(A)-(C), supra,
Ippolito has failed adequately to allege any constitutional violation on which to base a Monell
claim. Second, Ippolito fails to present any evidence that any individual municipal policymaker
or decision maker had knowledge of the alleged policy or custom of arresting and prosecuting
people without probable cause or of using excessive force. See McTernan v. City of York, 564
F.3d 636, 658-59 (3d Cir. 2009); Santiago v. Warminster Township, 629 F.3d 121, 135 n.11 (3d
Cir. 2010) (noting a plaintiff’s “obligation to plead in some fashion that [a natural person] had
final policymaking authority, as that is a key element of a Monell claim”).
Ippolito has also failed to present any evidence that the misconduct he alleges was part of
a pattern of constitutional violations caused by Uwchlan Township’s failure to train its officers.
“A pattern of similar constitutional violations by untrained employees is ‘ordinarily necessary’ to
demonstrate deliberate indifference for purposes of failure to train.” Connick v. Thompson, 131
S.Ct. 1350, 1360 (2011) (citation omitted). In support of his claim, Ippolito points to testimony
from Izzo in which she recalled an incident where Uwchlan Township police came to another
hotel with a warrant for the arrest of a hotel guest, and refused to explain their actions to the
hotel manager. Opp. at 20-21. However, Ippolito fails to explain how the officers’ conduct on
that occasion violated a constitutional right, or how any such violations are of a pattern to the
constitutional violations alleged here. Accordingly, Uwchlan Township is entitled to summary
judgment as to Ippolito’s Monell claim.
State Tort Claims
Plaintiffs’ only remaining claims are based on state torts: assault and battery; false arrest;
false imprisonment; and loss of consortium. The Pennsylvania Tort Claims Act permits a
government employee to raise the defense of official immunity in a number of circumstances,
including where “the conduct of the employee . . . was authorized or required by law, or [where]
he in good faith reasonably believed the conduct was authorized or required by law.” 42
Pa.C.S.A. § 8546(2). Section 8550 of the Code abrogates the immunity defenses when it is
“judicially determined that the act of the employee caused the injury and that such act constituted
a crime, actual fraud, actual malice or willful misconduct.” 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 8550; see also Renk
v. City of Pittsburgh, 537 Pa. 68, 75 (1994). As discussed throughout this opinion, Pennsylvania
precedent insufficiently defines the obligations of a person with knowledge regarding the
location of a fugitive and control over access to that location to cooperate with police, or how
police must respond in those circumstances. Given the uncertainty, it is rash to speculate on
what a Pennsylvania court would or should decide regarding the state tort claims here, where the
only remaining claims are state law claims and the district court has discretion to decline to
exercise pendent jurisdiction if it has dismissed all claims over which it has original jurisdiction.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c); Carnegie-Mellon Univ. v. Cohill, 484 U.S. 343, 357 (1988) (“wide
discretion to remand rather than to dismiss . . . best serves the principles of judicial economy,
procedural convenience, fairness to litigants, and comity to the States”); United Mine Workers of
America v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 726 (1966) (pendent jurisdiction “is a doctrine of discretion, not
of plaintiff’s right”).
Where, as here, all federal claims have been “dismissed on summary judgment, ‘the court
should ordinarily refrain from exercising [supplemental] jurisdiction in the absence of
extraordinary circumstances.’” Angeloni v. Diocese of Scranton, 135 F.App’x 510, 514-15 (3d
Cir. 2005) (alteration in original) (citing Tully v. Mott Supermarkets, Inc., 540 F.2d 1187, 1196
(3d Cir. 1976)). Neither party has identified any extraordinary circumstances that would warrant
the state claims being heard in federal court. Consequently, the decision to remand the
remaining tort claims “reflects the court’s judgment . . . that at the present stage of litigation it
would be best for supplemental jurisdiction to be declined so that state issues may be adjudicated
by a state court.” Combs v. Homer-Center Sch. Dist., 540 F.3d 231, 253 (3d Cir. 2008).
Accordingly, the Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiffs’
state torts and shall dismiss Counts IV (assault and battery), V (false arrest), VI (false
imprisonment), and VIII (loss of consortium), without prejudice to those claims being asserted in
BY THE COURT:
/S/WENDY BEETLESTONE, J.
WENDY BEETLESTONE, J.
“When a District Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over state law claims, the statute of limitations
is tolled while the federal suit is pending and for a period of 30 days after the suit is dismissed.” Petrossian v. Cole,
613 Fed. App’x 109 (3d Cir. 2015) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1367(d)) (“The period of limitations for any claim asserted
under subsection (a) . . . shall be tolled while the claim is pending and for a period of 30 days after it is dismissed
unless State law provides for a longer tolling period”).
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