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Sheroan v. City of Louisville

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, at Louisville

August 26, 2014

JUSTIN SHEROAN AND JASON TAYLOR, Plaintiffs,
v.
CITY OF LOUISVILLE, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

JOHN G. HEYBURN, II, District Judge.

Plaintiffs Justin Sheroan and Jason Taylor bring 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law claims in connection with an encounter with police on July 22, 2012. Defendants include the Louisville Jefferson County Metro Government ("Metro Government"); Louisville Metro Police Department ("LMPD"); LMPD Police Chief Steve Conrad, individually and in his official capacity; LMPD Officer Joseph Pence, individually and in his official capacity; and unknown LMPD officers, individually and in their official capacities.

Before the Court is Defendants Metro Government, LMPD, and Conrad's motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint. Plaintiffs do not object to the dismissal of its claims against LMPD or Chief Conrad, nor do they object to the dismissal of their state law claims against Metro Government. Therefore, these claims will be dismissed.

The only remaining issue before the Court is Metro Government's motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims against it. For the reasons that follow, these claims will be dismissed.

I.

The relevant facts alleged in Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint are these.

In the early morning hours of July 22, 2012, Officer Joseph Pence was driving his personal vehicle while intoxicated. While stopped at a stoplight on Bardstown Road in Louisville, Pence attempted to pull Justin Sheroan out of the passenger window of a vehicle. Prior to grabbing Sheroan, Pence stated, "You have fucked with the wrong person this time. I am a cop."

Pence then pursued Sheroan to the parking lot of Turtle Creek Apartments. He attempted to hit Sheroan and Justin Taylor with his vehicle for approximately ten minutes in the parking lot. Pence struck Taylor with his vehicle.

Four to six unknown LMPD officers appeared at the scene and placed Sheroan and Taylor on the ground and handcuffed them. One of the officers placed his foot on Sheroan's head. Neither Sheroan nor Taylor were read their Miranda rights. After ten minutes, Sheroan and Taylor were placed in a sitting position on the sidewalk, where they remained handcuffed for approximately five hours, from around 2:30 a.m. to around 7:30 a.m. After the first two to three hours, they were placed individually into a police vehicle, still handcuffed, and questioned by a detective. They were never arrested or cited.

During this time, the unknown LMPD officers investigated Pence's actions. After about four to five hours, Pence was charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, assault in the second degree, and wanton endangerment in the first degree in connection with his encounter with Sheroan and Taylor.

II.

Metro Government moves to dismiss Plaintiffs' claims against it for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). "The defendant has the burden of showing that the plaintiff has failed to state a claim for relief." DirecTV, Inc. v. Treesh, 487 F.3d 471, 476 (6th Cir. 2007) (citing Carver v. Bunch, 946 F.2d 451, 454-55 (6th Cir. 1991)). When considering a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, courts must "construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff" and "accept all well-pleaded factual allegations as true." La. Sch. Emps.' Ret. Sys. v. Ernst & Young, LLP, 622 F.3d 471, 477-78 (6th Cir. 2010) (citing League of United Latin Am. Citizens v. Bredesen, 500 F.3d 523, 527 (6th Cir. 2007)). The Court will draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. See Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 556 (2007). But the Court "need not accept as true legal conclusions or unwarranted factual inferences." Gregory v. Shelby Cnty., 220 F.3d 433, 446 (6th Cir. 2000) (citing Mixon v. State of Ohio, 193 F.3d 389, 400 (6th Cir. 1999)).

A plaintiff "must plead enough factual matter' that, when taken as true, state[s] a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Fabian v. Fulmer Helmets, Inc., 628 F.3d 278, 280 (6th Cir. 2010) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). "Plausibility requires showing more than the sheer possibility' of relief but less than a ...


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