Stewart Smith Obtains Dismissal of Suit on Behalf of Police Officer Client

Stewart Smith’s Nancy Zangrilli obtained an order granting a Motion to Dismiss in the Eastern District of PA on behalf of the defendant, the arresting officer.

The pro se plaintiff, Jason L. Brown, filed a § 1983 suit against the officer in connection with his 2002 arrest and 2003 robbery conviction in Delaware County. He contended that his constitutional rights were violated under state law, that his due process/speedy trial rights were denied during his state court criminal proceedings, and that the officer failed to file a formal charge against him.

Notably, this case was the seventh civil rights lawsuit the plaintiff filed attacking his robbery conviction. Nancy and the Stewart Smith team responded to the complaint by filing a R. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss while the plaintiff filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings. The court concluded that Mr. Brown is barred from asserting his claims at this point because the state court conviction has yet to be reversed or invalidated. The court also denied his request that his state court criminal case be removed to federal court and denied his motion for judgment on the pleadings.

The court further admonished the plaintiff noting that, while the court is unable to dismiss this action with prejudice at this point, § 1983 cannot be utilized to assert constitutional violations in connection with his state court conviction or the related proceedings in his criminal case unless or until his state conviction is reversed or invalidated.