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Wright v. Beard

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Bowling Green Division

April 15, 2015

ASHLEY WRIGHT, Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERT BEARD, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

GREG N. STIVERS, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on the Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendant Robert Beard ("Beard") (DN 18). The motion has been fully briefed by the parties. For the reasons outlined below, the motion is GRANTED.

I. SUMMARY OF FACTS AND CLAIMS

This action arises out of the death of one person and the injury to two others-including Plaintiff Ashley Wright ("Wright")-in an apparent murder/suicide. Wright and her mother lived together in Green County, Kentucky, behind the home of Barry Moore ("Barry") and Pamela Moore ("Pamela"). (2d Am. Compl. ¶ 5, DN 16). Although the Moores had been divorced for approximately 20 years, they still lived together. (2d Am. Compl. ¶ 6).

Plaintiff alleges that law enforcement had been to the Moores' residence on various occasions due to reports of domestic violence prior to the murder/suicide. (2d Am. Compl. ¶¶ 7-9). On or about May 22, 2013, law enforcement responded to a complaint of domestic violence at the Moore residence perpetrated by Barry upon Pamela. (2d Am. Compl. ¶ 12). Beard responded to the latest report and interviewed Plaintiff and her mother about what they had observed. (2d Am. Compl. ¶ 12). Wright alleges that she shared with Beard specific instances in which Wright had observed domestic violence. (2d Am. Compl. ¶ 12). Wright alleges that Beard then interviewed Barry and "advised Mr. Moore what [Wright] had told him and that he should watch out for [Wright] because she had a lot to say...." (2d Am. Compl. ¶ 13).

Following the incident on May 22, 2013, Pamela decided to seek legal advice and even contemplated going directly to the police to have Barry removed from the residence. (2d Am. Compl. ¶ 14). On July 12, 2013, Barry shot and killed Pamela in their residence after learning of Pamela's intention. (2d Am. Compl. ¶ 14). Before committing suicide, Barry walked over to the Wright's residence and shot both her and her mother. (2d Am. Compl. ¶ 15). Wright was shot in the head but survived. (2d Am. Compl. ¶ 16).

Plaintiff filed this action alleging a violation of her civil rights under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988 and asserted claims against Beard in both his individual and official capacities.[1] (Compl. ¶¶ 20-14). Wright also asserted a claim of negligence against Beard. (Compl. ¶¶ 25-29).

Beard moved to dismiss the Complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). (Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss, DN 6). While the motion was pending, Wright filed her Amended Complaint alleging an additional cause of action under KRS 446.070 for official misconduct in violation of KRS 522.020-.030. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 30-32, DN 9). Beard then moved to dismiss the claims asserted in the Amended Complaint. (Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss, DN 11).

In ruling on the prior motions to dismiss, this Court dismissed the official capacity claims against Beard under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law. (Order 3-4, DN 14). With respect to the official misconduct/negligence per se claim asserted in the Amended Complaint, the Court concluded that the allegations were too vague for the Court to rule on the motion, and the Court ordered Wright to file a more definite statement. (Order 4-6).

In accordance with the Court's directive, Wright filed a Second Amended Complaint in which she alleged:

31. It is a known fact within law enforcement professions that once the names of witnesses or informants the accused criminals will often retaliate.
32. It is a clear and certain rule within the law enforcement professions that the names of witnesses or informants should not be disclosed to the accused criminals because retaliation against the witnesses or informants is a foreseeable risk.
33. This rule flows from common law duties and professional customs and practices so well established that conduct in compliance with the rule is mandated.
34. By informing Mr. Moore of Plaintiff's prior reports, Defendant knowingly and recklessly violated the aforementioned clear and certain rule relating to his office which constitutes Official ...

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