The Supreme Court has generally “been reluctant to expand the concept of substantive due process because the guideposts for responsible decisionmaking in this unchartered area are scarce and open-ended.” Collins v. Harker Heights, 503 U.S. 115, 125 (1992). Thus, the protections of substantive due process have been accorded primarily to matters relating to marriage, family, procreation, and the right to bodily integrity.” Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 272 (1994) (plurality opinion). In Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 395 (1989), the Supreme Court held that “[w]here a particular Amendment provides an explicit source of constitutional protection against a particular sort of government behavior, that Amendment, not the more generalized notion of substantive due process, must be the guide for analyzing these claims.” The Supreme Court expressly 26 recognized this constitutional principle in Albright, wherein the Court concluded that the petitioner’s allegations challenging the legality of his arrest and subsequent detention pending release on bail was not actionable as a Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process claim, but was instead governed by the Fourth Amendment. Albright, 510 U.S. at 273 (citing Graham). This concept has been consistently reinforced by the Supreme Court and the Tenth Circuit in other contexts. See, e.g., Lewis v. City of Sacramento, 523 U.S. 833, 842-43 (1998) (claims based on excessive force in the course of an arrest or other “seizure” are appropriately analyzed under the Fourth Amendment, “not under the rubric of substantive due process”) (citations omitted); Bateman v. City of West Bountiful, 89 F.3d 704 (10th Cir. 1996) (substantive due process claim was “subsumed within” takings claim when claims were based on same underlying facts). In the case sub judice, the alleged misconduct by Defendant Gilmore which is the basis of Plaintiff’s Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process claim is fully redressable in the context of Plaintiff’s § 1983 malicious prosecution claims based on asserted violations of Plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process rights. See, e.g., Pierce, 359 F.3d at 1285-86, 1293 (recognizing that plaintiff’s allegations that the defendant forensic chemist manufactured evidence against him and withheld exculpatory evidence, which resulted in the plaintiff being charged criminally and wrongfully prosecuted to conviction, were actionable under the Fourth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment Procedural Due Process Clause in the context of a malicious prosecution claim); see also Wilkins, 528 F.3d at 797 & n.4 (citing Pierce, and finding that plaintiffs’ allegations that police officers arrested them without probable cause, which led to lengthy detentions during the plaintiffs’ criminal prosecutions, stated a § 1983 malicious prosecution claim based on alleged Fourth Amendment violations; court further noted that a malicious prosecution claim may also be premised on Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process violations). Accordingly, because the Fourth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment Procedural Due Process Clause provide explicit sources of constitutional protection for Plaintiff’s alleged injuries, Plaintiff’s Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process claim must be dismissed.
“The core of the concept of due process is protection against arbitrary action . . . and that only the most egregious official conduct can be said to be arbitrary in the constitutional sense.” Kaucher v. Cnty. of Bucks, 455 F.3d 418, 425 (3d Cir. 2006) (quotation and citation omitted). A plaintiff may only establish a substantive due process violation when the alleged misconduct “can properly be characterized as arbitrary, or conscience shocking, in a constitutional sense.” Id. (quotation omitted).