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Battle v. Parr

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

September 21, 2018

WENDELLA BATTLE, Plaintiff,
v.
WALTER PARR and BUEHLER, LLC, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          DAVID J. HALE, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         Wendella Battle was arrested and charged with trespassing at Cash Saver, a grocery store owned by Defendant Buehler, LLC (hereinafter Cash Saver). She alleges that she lost her job as a result of the arrest and criminal charge, and she asserts claims of malicious prosecution and false arrest/imprisonment against the security guard who arrested her, Walter Parr. She also seeks to hold Cash Saver vicariously liable for Parr's actions. (Docket No. 1) Cash Saver has moved to dismiss all federal claims to which it is subject (D.N. 5); Parr seeks dismissal of all claims asserted against him. (D.N. 10) For the reasons set forth below, the Court will deny Cash Saver's motion and grant in part and deny in part Parr's motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The following facts are set out in the complaint and accepted as true for purposes of the present motions. Hill v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mich., 409 F.3d 710, 716 (6th Cir. 2005). In August 2016, Battle shopped at First Choice Market, a grocery store where Parr worked as a security guard. (D.N. 1, PageID # 3) Parr was also employed as a correctional officer at Louisville Metro Department of Corrections (LMDC). (Id., PageID # 2) While shopping, Battle engaged in a contentious cellphone conversation. (Id., PageID # 2-3) Parr told Battle to “watch her mouth” and not to come back to First Choice Market. (Id.)

         The next month, First Choice Market went out of business and was replaced by Cash Saver, a new grocery store operating in the same location which also employed Parr as a security guard. (Id., PageID # 1, 3) On September 28, 2016, while her friend was grocery shopping at Cash Saver, Battle waited outside of an adjoining business. (Id., PageID # 4) Parr, wearing his LMDC uniform, told Battle that she was not supposed to be on the property and that she was under arrest. (Id.) Battle believed Parr was acting as a correctional or police officer. (Id.) When the Louisville Metro Police Department arrived, Parr told the police officers that Battle was under arrest for trespassing. (Id., PageID # 5) Battle was booked and incarcerated for several hours at LMDC. (Id.) Her incarceration caused her to be absent from work, and she was terminated due to her pending criminal charge. (Id.) The charge was ultimately dismissed on January 9, 2017. (Id.)

         Battle asserts four claims against Parr: (i) false arrest under § 1983, (ii) malicious prosecution under § 1983, (iii) malicious prosecution under Kentucky common law, and (iv) false imprisonment/arrest under Kentucky common law. (Id., PageID # 5-8) Additionally, Battle asserts a respondeat superior claim against Cash Saver. (Id., PageID # 8)

         II. CASH SAVER'S MOTION TO DISMISS

         Cash Saver asks the Court to dismiss the “federal claims” to which it is subject. (D.N. 5, PageID # 19) As Battle points out, however, she asserted no federal claims against Cash Saver. (D.N. 6, PageID # 25) Rather, Battle's respondeat superior claim relates only to the Kentucky common law claims against Parr for malicious prosecution and false imprisonment/arrest. (Id.) Accordingly, Cash Saver's motion to dismiss will be denied as moot.

         III. PARR'S MOTION TO DISMISS

         A. Standard

         Parr seeks dismissal for failure to state a claim with respect to all four claims against him. (D.N. 10, PageID # 36) To survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, the “complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). To meet this standard, a plaintiff must “plead[] factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. This requires the plaintiff to present enough factual matter to support each element of each claim. Id.; see also Scheid v. Fanny Farmer Candy Shops, Inc., 859 F.2d 434, 435 (6th Cir. 1988).

         When evaluating whether this pleading standard has been satisfied, the Court must “accept all the [plaintiff's] factual allegations as true and construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the [plaintiff].” Hill, 409 F.3d at 716. The Court may consider “matters of public record, orders, items appearing in the record of the case, and exhibits attached to the complaint” in addition to the complaint itself. Nieman v. NLO, Inc., 108 F.3d 1546, 1554 (6th Cir. 1997). Moreover, “documents that a defendant attaches to a motion to dismiss are considered part of the pleadings if they are referred to in the plaintiff's complaint and are central to her claim.” Weiner v. Klais & Co., 108 F.3d 86, 89 (6th Cir. 1997) (quoting Venture Assocs. Corp. v. Zenith Data Sys. Corp., 987 F.2d 429, 431 (7th Cir. 1993)).

         B. Discussion

         1. Stipulation ...


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