639 Fed.Appx. 827 (3rd Cir. 2016), 15-2033, Miller v. Brady

Docket Nº:15-2033
Citation:639 Fed.Appx. 827
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM
Party Name:DAVID A. MILLER, Appellant v. M. BRADY, in his official and individual capacities; A. MANTZ, in his official and individual capacities; C. BONNER, in his official and individual capacities; D. QUINTERO, in his official and individual capacities; F. LARKIN, in his official and individual capacities; SEASIDE PARK BOROUGH
Attorney:David A. Miller, Plaintiff - Appellant, Pro se, Seaside Park, NJ. For M. BRADY, in his official and individual capacities, A. MANTZ, in his official and individual capacities, C. BONNER, in his official and individual capacities, D. Quintero, Defendants - Appellees: Michael J. McKenna, Esq., Hier...
Judge Panel:Before: JORDAN, BARRY and VAN ANTWERPEN, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:February 11, 2016
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
 
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Page 827

639 Fed.Appx. 827 (3rd Cir. 2016)

DAVID A. MILLER, Appellant

v.

M. BRADY, in his official and individual capacities; A. MANTZ, in his official and individual capacities; C. BONNER, in his official and individual capacities; D. QUINTERO, in his official and individual capacities; F. LARKIN, in his official and individual capacities; SEASIDE PARK BOROUGH

No. 15-2033

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

February 11, 2016

Submitted February 11, 2016, Pursuant to Third Circuit LAR 34.1(a)

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NOT PRECEDENTIAL

Editorial Note:

This opinion is not regarded as Precedents which bind the court under Third Circuit Internal Operating Procedure Rule 5.7. (See Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure Rule 32.1)

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. (D.N.J. No. 3-14-cv-04310). District Judge: Honorable Peter G. Sheridan.

David A. Miller, Plaintiff - Appellant, Pro se, Seaside Park, NJ.

For M. BRADY, in his official and individual capacities, A. MANTZ, in his official and individual capacities, C. BONNER, in his official and individual capacities, D. Quintero, Defendants - Appellees: Michael J. McKenna, Esq., Hiering Gannon & McKenna, Toms River, NJ; Guy P. Ryan, Esq., Toms River, NJ.

For F. LARKIN, in his official and individual capacities, Borough of Seaside Park, Defendants - Appellees: Kevin B. Riordan, Esq., Toms River, NJ.

Before: JORDAN, BARRY and VAN ANTWERPEN, Circuit Judges.

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OPINION [*]

PER CURIAM

David Miller appeals pro se from the District Court's order dismissing his civil rights complaint brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. For the reasons set forth below, we will affirm in part and vacate in part the District Court's order, and remand the matter for further proceedings.

Miller filed the complaint against four police officers in Seaside Park, New Jersey, M. Brady, A. Mantz, C. Bonner, and D. Quintero, as well as Chief of Police, Frank Larkin, and the Borough of Seaside Park, alleging that the defendants acted under color of state law to deprive him of his First Amendment right to free speech, and to retaliate against him for exercising his free speech rights.1 Miller sued the defendants in their official and individual capacities, and sought punitive and compensatory damages.

The action stems from Miller's display of a sign advertising his website alleging government corruption in the Borough. The sign was attached to his truck, and the truck was parked in front of his home " on the shoulder" of Route 35 in Seaside Park. In June 2010, Miller received notice from local officials that the display of the sign violated Seaside Park Municipal Code § 25-624E, which prohibited " [t]he placement of any sign on public property or within any public right-of-way . . . without approval by resolution of the governing body." Miller continued to display the sign and failed to appear in Seaside Park Municipal Court in response to the ensuing summonses. A warrant was issued for his arrest for failure to appear.

On January 21, 2012, Defendant Brady arrested Miller pursuant to the warrant. The matter was transferred to the Monmouth Beach Municipal Court, which upheld the violation and imposed a fine. Miller continued to display his sign and received a second notice of violation of § 25-624E. He again disregarded multiple

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summonses, and failed to pay the fine; as a result, his driver's license was suspended on August 31, 2012. On September 1, 2012, Defendants Brady and Mantz observed Miller driving in Seaside Park when he failed to yield the right of way to a group of pedestrians crossing Route 35. The officers attempted to initiate a motor vehicle stop, but Miller continued to drive for three-quarters of a mile, and then parked in front of his home. During the course of their pursuit, the officers observed Miller making numerous motor vehicle violations. Miller was arrested and charged with 18 motor vehicle violations; he was subsequently convicted on 13 of the charges.

On September 4, 2012, Miller was arrested by Defendant Bonner for driving while his license was suspended. Bonner reported that Miller became enraged during the course of the arrest; he also reported that Miller made " paranoiac statements" and was " irrational" and acting " inconsistent with his normal behavior." Bonner contacted the Psychiatric Emergency Screening Services Unit (PESS) and informed it of his observations. The Unit sent a psychiatric screener to the police station to evaluate Miller; the screener concluded that Miller should be transported to the hospital for further evaluation. Miller was released from the Community Medical Center on September 5, 2012, following a psychiatric evaluation.

On November 29, 2013, Miller was arrested by Defendant Brady pursuant to a warrant for his arrest, issued after his failure to appear in Municipal Court on the charge of driving with a suspended license. In March 2014, Miller was found guilty of this charge. Subsequently, on March 11, 2014, Miller was arrested by Defendant Quintero for driving with a suspended license. According to Miller, he then paid a fine to have his driver's license restored, but he was subsequently arrested by Defendant Bonner on May 7, 2014, and charged with " contempt of court for driving." 2

In his complaint, Miller alleged that the code violations were an attempt to suppress his right to free speech and that his arrests were an...

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