MCKIE v. CITY OF PHILADELPHIA
MEMORANDUM AND/OR OPINION. SIGNED BY HONORABLE C. DARNELL JONES, II ON 4/5/17. 4/7/17 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED TO PRO SE PLAINTIFF.(rf, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
CRYSTALEAN E. MCKIE
CITY OF PHILADELPHIA
APRIL 5, 2017
Currently before the Court is plaintiff Crystalean E. McKie's amended complaint, which
primarily asserts claims based on harm suffered by Ms. McKie's son and husband. For the
following reasons, the Court will dismiss the amended complaint.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Ms. McKie filed her initial complaint against the City of Philadelphia, apparently raising
civil rights claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 based on allegations that her son was beaten by
correctional officers, her husband was beaten because he is an informant, and City officials had
been "bullying" her family. The only allegations that related to her were allegations that: (a)
someone tried to run her over on her way to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting; (b) people called
her ex to tell him what she shared in a meeting; and (c) drugs are being purchased "in [her] name
illegally." (Compl. if 111.C.)
The Court dismissed the complaint and explained to Ms. McKie that she lacked standing to
bring claims based on harm suffered by her husband, son, or other family members. The Court
also explained that the complaint was too vague to state a claim and that, in any event, the City
of Philadelphia is not subject to liability under§ 1983 unless a municipal policy or custom
caused a violation of Ms. McK.ie's constitutional rights. The Court also explained that certain
claims appeared to be barred by the two-year statute of limitations.
Ms. McK.ie was given leave to file an amended complaint, which she did. The amended
complaint adds James E. Williams as a plaintiff, even though Mr. Williams did not sign the
complaint, and names as defendants the City of Philadelphia, "Philadelphia Correction Prison
CFCF," Friends Hospital, and "Philadelphia Court System." It alleges that Mr. Williams was
beaten by nine correctional officers and that Ms. McK.ie had a nervous breakdown after seeing
her son sexually assaulted at Friends Hospital. The amended complaint also suggests that Ms.
McKie's husband was "abused" by the court system. Ms. McK.ie attached to the amended
complaint a copy of a final protection from abuse order she obtained against Carl McKie (who
appears to be her husband), a copy of a docket from a criminal proceeding against Mr. McKie,
and complaints that Ms. McK.ie filed with Friends Hospital. Ms. McK.ie alleges that she has
been "in fear for [her] life for years" and that the City has allowed ongoing corruption to destroy
her family. (Am. Compl. at 2.)
STANDARD OF REVIEW
As Ms. McKie is proceeding informapauperis, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) applies, which
requires the Court to dismiss the amended complaint if it fails to state a claim. To survive
dismissal, a complaint "must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to
reliefthat is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quotations
omitted). "[M]ere conclusory statements do not suffice." Id. As plaintiff is proceedingpro se,
the Court construes her allegations liberally. Higgs v. Att'y Gen., 655 F.3d 333, 339 (3d Cir.
The amended complaint fails to state claims for many of the same reasons as the initial
complaint. As the Court previously explained to Ms. McKie in its earlier order, "a plaintiff must
assert his or her own legal interests rather than those of a third party" to have standing to bring a
claim. Twp. of Lyndhurst, NJ v. Priceline.com, Inc., 657 F.3d 148, 154 (3d Cir. 2011)
(quotations omitted)). Accordingly, Ms. McKie cannot bring claims based on harm sustained by
her son as a result of having been beaten or harm suffered by her husband as a result of his
experiences with the criminal justice system. The Court will therefore dismiss for lack of
standing any claims raised by Ms. McK.ie seeking relief based on injuries sustained by her family
members. If Ms. McKie's husband and son seek to raise claims on their own behalf, they must
file their own lawsuits.
To the extent Ms. McK.ie is raising§ 1983 claims based on harm she sustained, the amended
complaint does not support a basis for a claim against the named defendants. In order to state a
claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that a person acting under color of state law deprived
her of her constitutional rights. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). Here, Ms. McK.ie has
not stated a claim against the City of Philadelphia, because the amended complaint does not
identify a specific policy or custom that caused the violation of her constitutional rights. See
Monell v. Dep't ofSoc. Servs. ofNY, 436 U.S. 658, 694 (1978); McTernan v. City of York, 564
F.3d 636, 658 (3d Cir. 2009). Furthermore, county prisons are not "persons" subject to liability
under§ 1983. See Regan v. Upper Darby Twp., No. CIV A 06-1686, 2009 WL 650384, at *4
(E.D. Pa. Mar. 11, 2009) (explaining that a "prison or correctional facility is not a 'person' that is
subject to suit under federal civil rights laws"), ajj'd, 363 F. App'x 917 (3d Cir. 2010). Nor are
the Philadelphia courts subject to liability under§ 1983. See Will v. Mich. Dep't ofState Police,
491 U.S. 58, 66 (1989); Benn v. First Judicial Dist. of Pa., 426 F.3d 233, 235 n.1 & 241 (3d Cir.
2005). As Friends Hospital is not a state actor, it is also not subject to liability under§ 1983.
In sum, nothing in the amended complaint suggests that Ms. McK.ie has a plausible basis for
a federal claim against the named defendants seeking relief for harm she suffered. Ms. McKie
was given an opportunity to correct the defects in her initial complaint, but her amended
complaint does not cure those defects. To the contrary, it confirms that the primary basis for Ms.
McKie's lawsuit is to recover for harms suffered by her family members. Accordingly, the
Court concludes that further attempts at amendment would be futile.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court will dismiss the amended complaint. An appropriate
Order follows, which shall be docketed separately.
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