Hans Scheing v. Officer Casey Fountain

NOT PRECEDENTIAL UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT _____________ No. 17-1007 _____________ HANS SCHEING; TINA WEBB-SCHEING, Individually & as H/W, Appellants v. OFFICER CASEY FOUNTAIN, in his individual capacity; DANIEL ALBANESE, in his individual capacity; DAVE SCHEPENS; ANDREW WHITMAN, in his individual capacity _____________ On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Delaware (D. C. Civil Action No. No. 1-15-cv-01028) District Judge: Honorable Richard G. Andrews _____________ Argued on January 11, 2018 Before: JORDAN, ROTH, Circuit Judges and ∗MARIANI, District Judge (Opinion filed: April 24, 2018) L. Anthony DiJiacomo, III, Esq. (ARGUED) Matthew B. Weisberg, Esq. Weisberg Law ∗ The Honorable Robert D. Mariani, United States District Court Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, sitting by designation. 7 South Morton Avenue Morton, PA 19070 Counsel for Appellants Joseph C. Handlon, Esq. (ARGUED) Delaware Department of Justice 820 North French Street Carvel Office Building Wilmington, DE 19801 Counsel for Appellees ________________ OPINION ∗∗ ________________ ROTH, Circuit Judge Hans Scheing appeals the District Court’s order, dismissing his malicious prosecution claims against various Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) employees under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Because Scheing has failed to state a claim for relief against any defendant, we will affirm. I. 1 Scheing installed septic tanks for Delaware Septic Service, LLC—a company owned by his wife. 2 On July 22, 2013, Scheing entered into a contract with Frank and ∗∗ This disposition is not an opinion of the full Court and pursuant to I.O.P. 5.7 does not constitute binding precedent. 1 The following facts are drawn from the Second Amended Complaint. App. 15-25. 2 Scheing’s wife, Tina Webb-Scheing, was a plaintiff in the District Court proceedings but only with respect to the loss-of-consortium claim. Because the dismissal of that claim is not at issue on appeal, we refer only to Hans Scheing throughout this opinion. 2 Winifred Vadala, an elderly couple, to replace their failing septic system. That same day, Scheing performed soil testing on the Vadalas’ property to determine the type of system to install. As alleged, Scheing informed the Vadalas that he could not begin the installation until he received the soil-test results, which could take several months, and he subsequently provided them with periodic updates. Fifty days later, on September 10, the Vadalas filed a complaint with DNREC alleging that Scheing did not perform any work to fix their septic tank—work that they had paid him to perform. According to Scheing, upon learning of the Vadalas’ complaint, several DNREC employees, David Schepens, Andrew Whitman, and Daniel Albanese, “brought” criminal charges against Scheing, sounding in theft and home-improvement fraud “to advance their careers” and “to benefit” Schepens’ son. 3 The son owned a competing septic- service company. Schepens, Whitman, and Albanese then “directed” DNREC Officer Casey Fountain to investigate the Vadalas’ complaint. Fountain met with the Vadalas at their property in September to discuss their complaint against Scheing; the Vadalas informed Fountain that Scheing had performed soil ...

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