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Phillips v. Curtis

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington

June 15, 2018

LEANN PHILLIPS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LARRY C. CURTIS, II and CITY OF GEORGETOWN, KENTUCKY, DEFENDANTS.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

         This matter is before the Court upon Defendant Larry C. Curtis, III and City of Georgetown, Kentucky's Motion to Dismiss [Docket No. 25]. The matter has been fully briefed by the parties [Docket Nos. 25-2, 26 and 28]. For the reasons set forth herein, the Court finds that Plaintiff LeAnn Phillips' Complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and, therefore, this matter will be dismissed.

         I.

         On May 12, 2012, Officers Larry Curtis, Brandon White and Jason Christopher of the Georgetown, Kentucky Police Department responded to a domestic disturbance involving LeAnn Phillips and her boyfriend. At some point, Ms. Phillips attempted to flee the scene and, while doing so, attempted to run over Officer Curtis. In response to her conduct, Officer Curtis fired his weapon, striking Ms. Phillips.

         On July 6, 2012, a Scott County Grand Jury indicted Ms. Phillips on three counts of Wanton Endangerment in the First Degree under KRS 508.060. The Indictment, which was signed by the foreperson of the Grand Jury indicating a true bill, provides:

Count I: That on or about the 21st day of May, 2012, in Scott County, Kentucky, [LeAnn Phillips] committed the offense of Wanton Endangerment, ' First Degree, when she, under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of human life, drove her vehicle toward Officer Larry Curtis of the Georgetown Police Department, subjecting him to a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury.
Count II: That on or about the 21st day of May, 2012, in Scott County, Kentucky, [LeAnn Phillips] committed the offense of Wanton Endangerment, First Degree, when she, under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of human life, drove her vehicle toward Officer Brandon White of the Georgetown Police Department, subjecting him to a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury.
Count III: That on or about the 21st day of May, 2012, in Scott County, Kentucky, [LeAnn Phillips] committed the offense of Wanton Endangerment, First Degree, when she, under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of human life, drove her vehicle toward Officer Jason Christopher of the Georgetown Police Department, subjecting him to a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury.

[Indictment, Commonwealth of Kentucky v. LeAnn Phillips, Scott County Circuit Court, Criminal Action 12-CR-00137, Docket No. 25-3].

         On February 2, 2018, Plaintiff LeAnn Phillips pled guilty to Count I of the Indictment.

         The Judgment and Sentence on Plea of Guilty provides as follows:

Defendant is GUILTY of the following charge(s)(include applicable UOR Code): CT 1 UOR: 13221 WANTON ENDANGERMENT 1STDEG. (POLICE OFFICER) SENT: 1 YEAR PROB 5 YEARS

[Docket No. 25-4](emphasis in original).

         Following the Indictment but prior to her plea, LeAnn Phillips filed this civil action in the Circuit Court of Scott County against Officer Curtis and the City of Georgetown, Kentucky, alleging excessive force under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as well for violations of her rights under Kentucky Law. [Complaint, Docket No. 1-1]. The Complaint fails to specify which Kentucky torts are being referenced but alleges that Curtis's conduct was negligent, reckless, wanton, and/or intentional, and thereby violated Plaintiffs rights under Kentucky tort law. Plaintiff claims the City of Georgetown was negligent, reckless, wanton, and/or acted intentionally with deliberate indifference in its duties to train and/or supervise Officer Curtis as well as a vicarious liability under Kentucky tort law.

         The Defendants removed this action to U.S. District Court, and the action has languished for approximately five years, while the ...


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