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Lindsey v. Adkinson

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

November 1, 2017



          Greg N. Stivers, Judge United States District Court

         This matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motions to Dismiss (DN 9, 17). The motions have been fully briefed and are ripe for adjudication. For the reasons outlined below, the motions are GRANTED.


         This is a civil rights action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, with pendent state law claims. (Compl., DN 1). Plaintiff Stacey Michelle Lindsey (“Plaintiff”) claims that on February 15, 2017, she was falsely arrested by two Kentucky State Police troopers, Defendant Trooper Jason Adkinson (“Adkinson”) and Defendant Unknown Kentucky State Police Trooper #2 (“Trooper #2”) (collectively, “the KSP Defendants”). (Compl. ¶¶ 2, 13-17). Plaintiff asserts that on February 15, 2017, the KSP Defendants arrived at her residence, informed her they had a warrant for her arrest originating from the Munfordville Police Department in Hart County, and arrested her over her objections that “she had no history or contact with Hart County” and “knew that this was a case of mistaken identity.” (Compl. ¶¶ 2, 15-17). Plaintiff spent 17½ hours in the Warren County Regional Jail before being released on bail. (Compl. ¶ 17). On March 6, 2017, the Hart District Court dismissed the charges against Plaintiff, and “acknowledged that Mrs. Lindsey had been arrested in error.”[1] (Compl. ¶ 18).

         In relation to the KSP Defendants, Plaintiff claims that they “had reason to know that the arrest of the Plaintiff was without probable cause” but failed to prevent her false arrest. (Compl. ¶¶ 19-20).[2] Plaintiff alleges that the KSP Defendants were negligent in serving the “invalid warrant, ” as obtained by the Munfordville Police Department and forwarded to the KSP for service. (Compl. ¶¶ 31, 35). Plaintiff brings claims under Section 1983 for violations of her First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, assault and battery, and false arrest/imprisonment.[3]


         The Court has subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's Section 1983 claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 because a federal question is presented. Additionally, the Court has subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's state law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367.


         A complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ” and is subject to dismissal if it “fail[s] to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2); Fed. R. Civ. P 12(b)(6). When considering a motion to dismiss, courts must presume all factual allegations in the complaint to be true and make all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Total Benefits, 552 F.3d at 434 (citation omitted). “But the district court need not accept a bare assertion of legal conclusions.” Tackett v. M & G Polymers, USA, LLC, 561 F.3d 478, 488 (6th Cir. 2009) (citation omitted). “A pleading that offers labels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do. Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders naked assertion[s] devoid of further factual enhancement.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation marks omitted) (citation omitted).

         To survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the plaintiff must allege “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Traverse Bay Area Intermediate Sch. Dist. v. Mich. Dep't of Educ., 615 F.3d 622, 627 (6th Cir. 2010) (internal quotation marks omitted) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim becomes plausible “when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “A complaint will be dismissed pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) if no law supports the claims made, if the facts alleged are insufficient to state a claim, or if the face of the complaint presents an insurmountable bar to relief.” Southfield Educ. Ass'n v. Southfield Bd. of Educ., 570 Fed.Appx. 485, 487 (6th Cir. 2014) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 561-64).


         Adkinson moves the Court to dismiss the Complaint, asserting, inter alia, that he did not deprive Plaintiff of any constitutional right and thus Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. (Def.'s Mem. Supp. Mot. Dismiss 3, DN 9-1 [hereinafter Adkinson's Mem.]). Trooper #2, by special appearance of counsel, [4] mounts substantially the same argument. (Def.'s Mem. Supp. Mot. Dismiss 4, DN 17-1 [hereinafter Trooper #2's Mem.]). In response, Plaintiff argues that her arrest was effected without probable cause, and therefore violated her clearly established rights. (Pl.'s Resp. Def.'s Mot. Dismiss 2-6, DN 10 [hereinafter Pl.'s Resp.]; Pl.'s Resp. Def.'s Mot. Dismiss 1, DN 23).

         In reviewing a motion to dismiss, the Court “may considers the Complaint and any exhibits attached thereto, public records, items appearing in the record of the case and exhibits attached to defendant's motion to dismiss so long as they are referred to in the Complaint and are central to the claims contained therein.” Basset v. Nat'l Collegiate Athletic Ass'n, 528 F.3d 426, 430 (6th Cir. 2008) (citation omitted). As the Complaint references the arrest warrant at issue, and Plaintiff and Defendants have each attached the warrant as exhibits to filings pertaining to the pending motions, the Court will consider the warrant in its review. The Court takes judicial ...

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