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Ye v. Police Department In New Castle, Delaware

United States District Court, D. Delaware

August 2, 2019

NING YE, Plaintiff,
v.
POLICE DEPARTMENT IN NEW CASTLE, DELAWARE, et al., Defendants.

          Ning Ye, Flushing, New York. Pro Se Plaintiff.

          Megan Trocki Mantzavnos, Marks, O'Neill, O'Brien, Doherty & Kelly, P.C., Wilmington, Delaware. Counsel for Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          NOREIKA, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Ning Ye (“Plaintiff) appears pro se. He is a composer and part-time attorney and resides in the State of New York. Plaintiff commenced this action on July 7, 2018, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York and it was transferred to this Court on November 13, 2018. (D.I. 1, 7, 8). Before the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss, Plaintiffs opposition and cross motion for summary judgment, and Plaintiffs motion for judicial notice. (D. I. 9, 10, 11). Briefing is complete.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The Complaint attempts to raise federal and state claims. Named Defendants are Police Department in New Castle, Delaware (“Police Department”); police officer W. Cuzco-Benites (“Cuzco-Benites”), and arresting officer Mary Roe (“Roe”). Plaintiff is not certain if Cuzco-Benites and Roe are the same person. (D.I. 1 ¶ 16).

         On July 28, 2017, Cuzco-Benites, a police officer with the Delaware River and Bay Authority, responded to a domestic incident involving Plaintiff and his wife, Wuyi Pan (“Pan”), while Plaintiff was driving a vehicle on I-295 in New Castle, Delaware. (D.I. 1 at 19). Plaintiffs wife was a passenger. (Id.). The two were having a verbal argument and, when Pan attempted to jump from the moving vehicle, Plaintiff grabbed Pan by the hair. (Id. ¶ 36 and Aff at 19). Plaintiff also struck Pan in the chest with his right palm. (Id. at Aff. at 19). Plaintiff alleges that his actions saved Pan's life in a very dangerous and difficult situation. (Id. ¶ 39, 46).

         Cuzco-Benites observed an abrasion on Pan's right shoulder at the neckline, the right forearm was showing signs of bruising, and the left wrist had scratches. (Id. at 20). Plaintiff was charged with: (1) assault third degree intentionally or recklessly causes physical injury to another as a result of striking Pan in the front chest with his right palm and; (2) offensive touching. (Id. at 21). Plaintiff alleges that Cuzco-Benites' affidavit is “exculpatory evidence fully exonerating [him] for his noble action leading to his wrongful arrest, detention, prosecution and arraignment.” (Id. ¶ 47).

         Plaintiff alleges that Roe made the decision to arrest Plaintiff at the scene and that it was a false arrest without probable cause. (Id. ¶¶ 16-19, 40). Plaintiff was taken to the “New Castle Police Precinct” where he remained from 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. (Id. ¶ 42). He alleges that he “remained handcuffed inside the fully locked police cell . . . for six hours.” (Id. ¶ 41). Plaintiff appeared in the Delaware Family Court “to answer criminal charges without meaningful due process and without jury.” (Id. ¶ 42). The Court entered a restraining order and Plaintiff signed all papers “under protest.” (D.I. 1 ¶ 42; D.I. 1 at 32, Family Court 12/06/2017 docket entry “as a bail condition the JP Court ordered that the Defendant have no unlawful or unwanted contact with the victim”). A motion to modify the no contact order was granted on December 11, 2017. (D.I. 1 at 33, Family Court 12/11/2017 docket entry). Plaintiff “was offered to take ‘anger management course' as the condition to get the case dismissed.” (Id. ¶ 50). The charges were nolle prossed on April 2, 2018. (D.I. 1 ¶ 50; D.I. 1 at 33, Family Court 04/02/2018 docket entry). A no-contact order had been in place for nine months at the time the case was dismissed. (Id. ¶ 50).

         The Complaint contains eight counts: (1) Count 1, false arrest under federal and state law; (2) Count 2, false imprisonment under state law; (3) Count 3, battery under state law; (4) Count 4, assault under state law; (5) Count 5, excessive force under federal law; (6) Count 6, violation of Plaintiff's civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, including due process violations under the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments and excessive force under the Eighth Amendment; (7) Count 7, deprivation of consortium; and (8) Count 8, violation of due process and other constitutional safeguards under the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments and excessive force under the Eighth Amendment. (Id. ¶ 52).

         Cuzco-Benites is sued in her official capacity, and Roe is sued in her individual and official capacities. (D.I. 1 at 1 and ¶ 17). Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages, as well as declaratory relief, and injunctive relief. (Id. at 17).

         Defendants move to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) on the grounds that: (1) the Complaint does not contain sufficient facts to support a claim for relief under state or federal law; (2) the Complaint is “perplexing and incomprehensible”; (3) the Complaint fails to present adequate facts necessary to sufficiently respond to the allegations; and (4) the Complaint fails to articulate clearly accusations and facts that are aimed at Defendants. Plaintiff filed a combined opposition to the motion to dismiss and motion for summary judgment as well as a motion for judicial notice.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Generally, when a plaintiff proceeds pro se, his pleading is liberally construed and his complaint, “however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (citations omitted). Plaintiff, however, indicates that he is an attorney and practices part-time in the State of New York. (see D.I. 1 ¶ 8). The Court does not extend the indulgence of the pro se liberal construction rule to pro se litigants who, like Plaintiff, are also attorneys. See Tatten v. ...


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