United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
H. MCKINLEY, JR., CHIEF JUDGE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
matter is before the Court on Defendants James Phelps and
Lindsey Alley's Motion to Dismiss [DN 79]. Fully briefed,
this matter is ripe for decision. For the following reasons,
the Defendants' Motion to Dismiss is DENIED IN
PART and GRANTED IN PART.
Ali Al Maqablh filed his Original Complaint in this Court
alleging multiple claims against Jefferson County, Trimble
County, and various Kentucky state employees regarding the
criminal proceedings commenced against him and related to the
contact that he had with the mother of his child, Defendant
Lindsay Jo Alley. On December 12, 2016, upon initial
screening, this Court dismissed most of Plaintiff s claims,
with three exceptions: (1) Plaintiffs § 1983
individual-capacity federal claim against Defendant Trooper
James Phelps for malicious prosecution; (2) the § 1983
claims related to statutes being void for vagueness against
Defendant Crystal Heinz in her official capacity, and (3)
Plaintiffs state-law claims of malicious prosecution against
Defendant Lindsey Alley and Defendant Trooper Phelps in his
individual capacity. (Mem. Op. and Order [DN 10] at 16.) On
May 4, 2017, this Court granted Defendant Heinz's Motion
to Dismiss, finding that the statutes questioned in
Plaintiffs Original Complaint were not unconstitutionally
void for vagueness (Mem. Op. and Order [DN 45] at 10.) From
his Original Complaint, only Plaintiffs federal and state
claims for malicious prosecution survive.
on October 16, 2017, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint
reiterating the claims he previously brought in his Original
Complaint and adding more counts against the remaining
defendants, James Phelps and Lindsey Alley
("Defendants"). In addition to malicious
prosecution, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants have committed
conspiracy in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1985, racial
discrimination in violation of the Equal Protection Clause
and 41 U.S.C. § 1981, racial profiling in violation of
KRS 15A.195 and 502 KAR 5:020, and neglected to prevent
conspiracy in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1986.
filed this Motion to Dismiss, asking that all claims against
them be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. Plaintiff did not offer a response to
the Motion to Dismiss but instead filed a Motion to Strike,
stating that the "Motion to Dismiss is untimely and
without merit and should be stricken from the record in its
entirety." (Mot. to Strike Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss
[DN 81] at 2.) This Court denied Plaintiffs Motion to Strike
and directed Plaintiff to file a response to Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss within fifteen days. (Order [DN 87].)
Plaintiff, again, did not file a response. This time, he
filed another Amended Complaint [DN 92]. Because Plaintiff
did not have leave to amend his complaint, the Court struck
his Second Amended Complaint from the record and instructed
Plaintiff to seek leave of the Court if he wished to amend
his complaint. (Order [DN 96], amended by Order of Correction
[DN 98].) Accordingly, Plaintiff filed a Motion to
Amend/Correct Complaint [DN 99]. Magistrate Judge Lindsay
denied Plaintiffs Motion to Amend, finding that "Maqablh
has not shown 'good cause' for his failure to comply
with the Court's scheduling order as required."
(Mem. Op. and Order [DN 105] at 6.) As such, Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss is now ripe for decision.
Standard of Review
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), a court "must construe the
complaint in the light most favorable to plaintiffs,"
League of United Latin Am. Citizens v. Bredesen, 500
F.3d 523, 527 (6th Cir. 2007) (citation omitted),
"accept all well-pled factual allegations as true,"
ixi, and determine whether the "complaint . . . states a
plausible claim for relief," Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009). Under this standard, the plaintiff
must provide the grounds for its entitlement to relief, which
"requires more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action." BellAtl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007). A plaintiff satisfies this standard only
when it "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. A complaint falls short if it pleads facts "merely
consistent with a defendant's liability" or if the
alleged facts do not "permit the court to infer more
than the mere possibility of misconduct." Id.
at 679. Instead, "a complaint must contain a 'short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief" Id. at 663 (quoting
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)). "But where the well-pleaded facts
do not permit the court to infer more than the mere
possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it
has not 'show[n]'-'that the pleader is entitled
to relief" Id. at 679 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P.
"matters outside the pleadings are presented to and not
excluded by the court" when ruling upon a motion under
Rule 12(b)(6), the Federal Rules require that "the
motion must be treated as one for summary judgment under Rule
56." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d). This Rule does not require the
Court to convert a motion to dismiss into a motion for
summary judgment every time the Court reviews documents that
are not attached to the complaint. Greenberg v. Life Ins.
Co. of Va., Ill. F.3d 507, 514 (6th Cir. 1999).
"[W]hen a document is referred to in the complaint and
is central to the plaintiffs claim ...[, ] the defendant may
submit an authentic copy [of the document] to the court to be
considered on a motion to dismiss, and the court's
consideration of the document does not require conversion of
the motion to one for summary judgment." Id.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants engaged in malicious
prosecution against him. Both the federal and state claims of
malicious prosecution are based on three occasions where
charges were filed against Plaintiff in Trimble County. In
regards to first of these occasions, this Court has already
decided that there can be no cause of action because the
claim is barred by the statute of limitations. (Mem. Op. and
Order [DN 10] at 11.) The other two occasions of alleged
malicious prosecution occurred on April 7, 2015 when
Defendants purportedly reached an agreement to file a
harassing-communications charge against Plaintiff and on May
9, 2016 when Plaintiff was served with a Complaint that
included one count of falsely reporting an incident and two
counts of harassment.
argue that the two remaining instances of alleged malicious
prosecution do not present valid claims for relief because
each lacks a crucial element of a malicious prosecution
claim: that the charge for which Plaintiff was prosecuted was
terminated in his favor. Defendants are correct that
termination of proceedings in the plaintiffs favor is an
element of both Kentucky state and federal claims of
malicious prosecution. Fox v. DeSoto, 489 F.3d 227,
237 (6th Cir. 2007) ("to establish the tort claim of
malicious prosecution under Kentucky law, a plaintiff must
demonstrate .... the termination of such proceedings in the
plaintiffs favor."); Sykes v. Anderson, 625
F.3d 294, 308-09 (6th Cir. 2010) ("To succeed on a
malicious-prosecution claim under § 1983, when the claim
is premised on a violation of the Fourth Amendment.... the
criminal proceeding must have been resolved in the plaintiffs
favor."). "In order for a termination of
proceedings to be favorable to the accused, the dismissal
must be onesided and not the result of any settlement
compromise." Ohnemus v. Thompson, 594 Fed.Appx.
864, 867 (6th Cir. 2014).
regards to the May 9, 2016 instance of alleged malicious
prosecution, Defendants are correct that Plaintiff failed to
plead that these proceedings terminated in his favor. Nowhere
in the Original Complaint or the Amended Complaint does
Plaintiff allege anything about the outcome of the May 9
charges that were filed against him. For this reason, the