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Howarth v. City of New Port Richey

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division

August 20, 2019

RONALD HOWARTH, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF NEW PORT RICHEY, Defendant.

          ORDER

          AMANDA ARNOLD SANSONE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         The city of New Port Richey (the City) moves to dismiss Ronald Howarth's fourth amended complaint. (Doc. 23). Ronald Howarth opposes the City's motion. (Doc. 25). Because Mr. Howarth properly alleges he provided adequate notice under Florida Statute and his fourth amended complaint alleges plausible claims for relief under federal and state law, the City's motion to dismiss is DENIED.

         I. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

         Mr. Howarth is a resident of Pasco County, Florida. (Doc. 21, ¶2). He owns many houses and mobiles homes, which he leases to residential tenants. (Id. at ¶5). Mr. Howarth alleges various officials and agencies of the City have had a custom or policy of harassing him for several years. (Id. at ¶5). According to Mr. Howarth, this policy manifested itself in these examples:

(1) the City demolished one of Mr. Howarth's rental properties;
(2) the City wrongfully ordered Mr. Howarth to remove one of his mobile home trailer frames and prevented him from making repairs under threat of arrest;
(3) the City prevented Mr. Howarth from making repairs to a separate mobile home under threat of arrest for trespass;
(4) the City arrested Mr. Howarth for burglary after he entered one of his vacant rental properties;
(5) the City submitted an inaccurate police report to the Pasco County State Attorney's Office leading to Mr. Howarth's arrest and incarceration for violating an injunction;
(6) the City advised another citizen to use deadly force against Mr. Howarth;
(7) the City advised Mr. Howarth's tenants not to pay him rent;
(8) the City failed to follow up on fingerprint evidence submitted by Mr. Howarth about a burglary on his property;
(9) the City ignored reported elder abuse and hate crimes perpetrated against Mr. Howarth;
(10) the City failed to investigate evidence submitted by Mr. Howarth pertaining to arsons within their community; and
(11) the City issued a violation to a contractor for repairing one of Mr. Howarth's mobile homes. (Id. at ¶6 (A)-(L)).

         In his latest complaint, Mr. Howarth pleads a claim for false arrest and violation of his Fourth Amendment rights when the City arrested him for burglary of an occupied dwelling on January 9, 2014. (Id. at ¶8). This dwelling (a rental unit), was owned by Mr. Howarth when he allegedly burglarized it. (Id. at ¶7). The dwelling was not rented. (Id. at ¶9). To secure his release, Mr. Howarth posted a $10, 000 bond. (Id. at ¶11). The state attorney later filed a “No Information” on the case. (Id. at ΒΆ12). Mr. ...


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