United States District Court, D. Delaware
1, 2017, Plaintiff, Nasir El ("Plaintiff') initiated
this action against Delaware River Bay Authority
("DRBA") employees Thomas Cook, Michelle Hammel,
Richard Arroyo, and Derrick Capiak (collectively,
"Defendants") alleging violations of the United
States Constitution and a United States Treaty with Morocco.
(D.I. 1.) Presently before the court is Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim and for Lack
of Subject Matter Jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) and 12(b)(1). (D.I. 8.) The court
will grant Defendants' Motion in part and deny it in
6, 2017, Plaintiff was subject to a traffic stop near the
Delaware Memorial Bridge conducted by Defendant, DRBA
Patrolman Capiak, after an internal database search of the
vehicle's license plate revealed that the registered
owner of the vehicle had a suspended driver's license.
(D.I. 1 at 3.) During the stop, Capiak requested that
Plaintiff provide him with a driver's license, vehicle
registration, and proof of insurance. Id. After
being informed of the reason for the traffic stop, and being
requested to step out of the vehicle, Plaintiff requested
Capiak's supervisor be called to the scene. Id.
Upon the supervisor's arrival, an unspecified person
handcuffed and searched Plaintiff prior to placing him in
Capiak's vehicle. Id. Because Plaintiff did not
provide a valid driver's license or registration and
proof of insurance as required by Delaware law, Nick's
Auto Repair towed Plaintiffs vehicle. Id. About an
hour later, Plaintiff was driven and released at an
unidentified McDonald's parking lot. Id.
Although not entirely clear, Plaintiff appears to assert that
he is immune from the laws of the United States and the State
of Delaware because he is a Moorish American National and,
therefore, his vehicle and property should be released to
STANDARD OF REVIEW
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides for
dismissal where the plaintiff "fail[s] to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6). In considering a motion to dismiss, the court
"accept[s] all factual allegations as true, construe[s]
the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff,
and determine[s] whether, under any reasonable reading of the
complaint, the plaintiff may be entitled to relief."
Phillips v. Cnty. of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 233
(3d Cir. 2008). A Plaintiff must provide sufficient factual
allegations "to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). This requirement of
plausibility is satisfied when "the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). "Determining whether
a complaint states a plausible claim for relief will... be a
context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to
draw on its judicial experience and common sense."
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).
12(b)(1) allows for dismissal where the court lacks subject
matter jurisdiction over an action. Motions brought under
Rule 12(b)(1) may raise either a facial or factual challenge
to the court's jurisdiction. "In reviewing a facial
attack, the court must only consider the allegations of the
complaint and documents referenced therein and attached
thereto, in the light most favorable to the plaintiff."
Gould Elecs. Inc. v. United States, 220 F.3d 169,
176 (3d Cir. 2000). However, the party asserting subject
matter jurisdiction bears "the burden of proof that
jurisdiction does in fact exist." Mortensen v. First
Fed. Sav. and Loan Ass'n, 549 F.2d 884, 891 (3d Cir.
argue that Plaintiffs action "for declaratory relief and
to secure due process of law, equal protection and other
[constitutional] rights, privileges and immunities"
arising from the towing and storage of Plaintiff s vehicle
following a motor vehicle stop should be dismissed for
failure to state a claim, pursuant to Rules 12(b)(6) and
12(b)(1). The court agrees in part.
Claim Against Defendants Cook, Michelle Hammel., and
Motion, Defendants argue that the court should dismiss
Plaintiffs claim because it fails to allege any
facts concerning any conduct taken by Defendants
Cook, Hammel, and Arroyo. (D.I. 8 at 5.) Phillips v.
Cnty. Of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 232 (3d Cir. 2008) (to
survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), "some
factual allegation" must be pleaded). At best, according
to Defendants, Plaintiff has a cause of action under 42
U.S.C. § 1983.
state a claim under Section 1983, Plaintiff must show
"(1) that the conduct complained of was committed by a
person acting under color of state law; and (2) that the
conduct deprived the plaintiff of rights, privileges, or
immunities secured by the Constitution or laws of the United
States." Schneyder v. Smith, 653 F.3d 313, 319
(3d Cir. 2011). The court agrees with Defendants. Plaintiff
does not plead any conduct relating to Defendants
Tom Cook, Michelle Hammel, and Richard Arroyo in his
Complaint and, therefore, the claim against these Defendants
is frivolous and devoid of any merit. (D.I. 1 at 4.) Because
there are no facts to support any claim against
Cook, Hammel, and Arroyo, the court will grant
Defendants' motion as to these Defendants.
Claim Against Defendant Capiak
motion, Defendants argue the court should dismiss Plaintiffs
claim against Defendant Capiak because Plaintiff is not
immune from the laws of Delaware. (D.I. 8.) The purported
deprivation pleaded by Plaintiff is that it was improper to
tow his vehicle despite Plaintiffs failure to produce a valid
driver's license, vehicle registration, and proof of
insurance. (D.I. 1 at 3.) The bases for the allegation that
Capiak's conduct violated any right is that Plaintiff is
a Moorish-American and the reliance on a several hundred year
old U.S. Treaty with the Kingdom of Morroco, both of which
have been rejected as foundations for constitutional
violations by federal courts in the the Third Circuit. OC
Sorrells v. Philadelphia Police Dept.,652 Fed.Appx. 81,
83 (3d Cir. 2016) (dismissing complaint as "indisputably
meritless, " where plaintiff alleged that seizure of his
vehicle for failing to abide by state license plate law was
illegal "because of his purported status as a
'Moorish American National'"); ElAmeen Bey
v. Stumpf,825 F.Supp.2d 537, 545 (D.N.J. 2011).
Plaintiff seems to allege that the laws of the State of
Delaware do not apply to him and, thus, it was improper to
tow his vehicle. This ...