Wood et al v. Showers et al
ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 6 Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART, in accordance with the parties' stipulations, as follows: The Motion is GRANTED WITH PREJUDICE as to Counts Three through Six; The Motion is GRANTE D WITH PREJUDICE as to the state law claim advanced in Count Two; The Motion is DENIED as to the federal claims advanced by Mrs. Wood in Counts One and Two. Accordingly, and because the Motion did not request dismissal of any claims advanced by Mr. Wood, the case will proceed on all federal claims asserted pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 in Counts One and Two by both Plaintiffs. Signed by Honorable Matthew W. Brann on 6/8/2017. (jn)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
THOMAS A. WOOD and MELISSA
TROOPER PRESTYN K. SHOWERS
and TROOPER TIMOTHY M.
JUNE 8, 2017
This is a civil rights action brought pursuant to both 42 U.S.C. §1983
and state law by Plaintiffs Thomas A. Wood and his wife, Melissa
Wood, against Pennsylvania State Police Troopers Prestyn K.
Showers and Timothy M. Wesesky. Compl. ECF No. 1 at 2–3.
Plaintiffs’ claims arise out of an alleged use of force on, and the
subsequent issuance of a citation for disorderly conduct to, Mr. Wood.
Id. at 3–10.
On September 20, 2016, Plaintiffs filed a six-count Complaint that
contained the following claims:
Count II: False Arrest (42 U.S.C. § 1983 and State Law)
Count III: Assault and Battery (State Law)1
Count IV: Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (State
Count V: Malicious Prosecution (State Law)
Count I: Excessive Force and Physical Brutality (42 U.S.C.
Count VI: State Constitutional Violations (State Law)
On December 22, 2016, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss the
state law false arrest claim asserted in Count 2, as well as Counts 3
through 6 of Plaintiffs’ Complaint, in addition to all claims raised by
Mrs. Wood. ECF No. 6 at 1.
On April 26, 2017, Plaintiffs concurred in the dismissal of the state
law claims in Counts 2 through 6 of the Complaint due to
Pennsylvania’s sovereign immunity doctrine. ECF No. 11 at 1.
However, counsel for Plaintiffs noted that “Mrs. Wood has standing to
assert her own § 1983 claim(s) in Counts 1 and 2, and those claims
should not be dismissed.” Id. at 4.
Although the Complaint technically indicates that Count III (assault and battery) was also
brought pursuant to federal law, this Court will presume, as the parties’ briefing indicates,
that the assault and battery claims alleged in this Count are purely state law claims and that
any equivalent federal remedy is nevertheless fully captured by Count I’s excessive force
claim pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Thereafter, on May 10, 2017, counsel for Defendants agreed to
“withdrawal of the portion of their motion to dismiss regarding the
claims raised pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 by Melissa Wood . . . in
Counts 1 and 2 of the complaint.” ECF No. 12 at 1. Defense counsel
noted that “only the claims asserted under 42 U.S.C. §1983 in Counts
1 and 2 by both Plaintiffs should proceed.” Id. at 2.
AND NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss, ECF No. 6, is GRANTED IN PART
AND DENIED IN PART, in accordance with the parties’
stipulations, as follows:
The Motion is GRANTED WITH PREJUDICE as to Counts
Three through Six.
The Motion is GRANTED WITH PREJUDICE as to the state
law claim advanced in Count Two.
The Motion is DENIED as to the federal claims advanced by
Mrs. Wood in Counts One and Two.
Accordingly, and because the Motion did not request dismissal of any
claims advanced by Mr. Wood, the case will proceed on all federal
claims asserted pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 in Counts One and Two
by both Plaintiffs.
The Clerk of Court is directed to schedule an initial case management
conference and docket this Order as a “written opinion,” pursuant to
the E-Government Act of 2002.
BY THE COURT:
s/ Matthew W. Brann
Matthew W. Brann
United States District Judge
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