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Campbell v. Concordia Police Department

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division

June 9, 2017

BRIAN CAMPBELL, Plaintiff,
v.
CONCORDIA POLICE DEPARTMENT, Defendant.

          ORDER AND OPINION (1) GRANTING DEFENDANT CONCORDIA POLICE DEPARTMENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS, (2) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO RECONSIDER, AND (3) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO ORDER INVESTIGATION INTO PENDING CRIMINAL CHARGES

          ORTRIE D. SMITH, SENIOR JUDGE.

         Pending are Defendant Concordia Police Department's (“CPD”) Motion to Dismiss (Doc. #38); Plaintiff's Restatement of Claim (Doc. #43), which the Court construes as a motion to reconsider the Court's dismissal of Plaintiff's claims against the City of Concordia (“City); and Plaintiff's Reasons Against Dismissal and Motion to Order Investigation into Pending Criminal Charges (Doc. #44). For the following reasons, Defendant's motion is granted, and Plaintiff's motions are denied.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, initiated this matter with the filing of a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Doc. #1. The Court initially deferred consideration of Plaintiff's motion, finding Plaintiff's complaint did not contain sufficient facts to demonstrate it was not barred by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Doc. #2. The Court directed Plaintiff to file an amended complaint. After considering Plaintiff's response (Doc. #3) to the Order, the Court denied Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Doc. #4. Plaintiff asked the Court to reconsider its decision. Doc. #6. The Court denied Plaintiff's request. Doc. #7. Plaintiff appealed the Court's decision to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, which found Plaintiff's claim that he was arrested without probable cause established a basis for jurisdiction, and remanded the matter to this Court. Doc. #11-1.

         On January 23, 2017, the Court granted Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, directed the Clerk of the Court to forward appropriate process forms to Plaintiff, and instructed Plaintiff to return the completed process forms within twenty-one days. Doc. #13. The Court informed Plaintiff the completed process forms would be delivered to the United States Marshal for service upon Defendants. Id. The Court's Order and process forms were returned as undeliverable on February 14, 2017. Doc. #16. On March 2, 2017, the Court received a change of address from Plaintiff, and the Clerk of the Court resent the Court's January 23, 2017 Order and process forms to Plaintiff at his new address. Doc. #17. Plaintiff did not respond to the Court's Order.

         On March 27, 2017, the Court ordered Plaintiff to submit completed process forms by April 14, 2017, or show cause why the matter should not be dismissed for failure to serve Defendants. Doc. #18. On April 4, 2017, Plaintiff responded, stating he “received unnecessary process forms, ” and had “already served the defendants.” Doc. #19. Nevertheless, Plaintiff returned a completed summons for the City, which was delivered to the United States Marshal for service. Doc. #21.

         On April 5, 2017, the Court directed Plaintiff to file proofs of service of the other Defendants by April 19, 2017. Doc. #22.[1] On April 13, 2017, Plaintiff filed what he titled “proof of service” for the City, which appeared to be a signed receipt for certified mail sent by Plaintiff to “Concordia City Hall.” Doc. #24. Plaintiff did not file proofs of service of the other Defendants. On May 1, 2017, the Court again directed Plaintiff to file proofs of service by May 15, 2017, for the other Defendants. Doc. #32. The Court informed Plaintiff that the failure to file proofs of service “will result in the dismissal of Plaintiff's claims against these defendants without further notice.” Id.

         In the meantime, on April 21, 2017, the City filed a motion to dismiss, arguing Plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Doc. #25. Plaintiff opposed the motion. Doc. #34. On May 8, 2017, the Court granted the City's motion, finding the City could not be sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for an injury inflicted solely by its employees or agents. Doc. #36. The Court also determined Plaintiff did not allege the City's policies or customs inflicted injuries. Thus, Plaintiff failed to set forth a claim against the City upon which relief could be granted.

         While the City's motion to dismiss was pending, Plaintiff filed a “request for default judgment” against all defendants, which the City opposed. Docs. #28-29. In addition, shortly after the Court dismissed Plaintiff's claims against the City, Plaintiff filed a document entitled “Petition” with this Court and the Eighth Circuit asking the matter be reopened, requesting a change of judge, and stating there was “new evidence.” Doc. #41. On May 17, 2017, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's claims against Rucker and Lynn because Plaintiff failed to comply with Rule 4(m) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, denied Plaintiff's request for default judgment, and denied the relief sought in Plaintiff's Petition. Doc. #42. The Court also reminded Plaintiff that his claims against CPD remained pending but were subject to a motion to dismiss filed on May 10, 2017. Plaintiff was instructed to respond to the motion to dismiss by May 24, 2017, in accordance with the Court's Local Rules.

         On May 19, 2017, Plaintiff filed a document entitled “Restatement of Claim.” Doc. #43. The Court will liberally construe this filing as a motion to reconsider. On May 22, 2017, Plaintiff filed a document labeled “Reasons Against Dismissal” in which he asked the Court to order an investigation into pending criminal charges. Doc. #44. CPD filed a response to Plaintiff's Reasons Against Dismissal. Doc. #45. Below, the Court will address Plaintiff's Restatement of Claim, CPD's motion to dismiss, Plaintiff's Reasons Against Dismissal, and Plaintiff's request for an investigation into pending criminal charges.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Plaintiff's Restatement of Claim

         Plaintiff filed a “Restatement of Claim” “to halt the trifling dismissal of my claim.” Doc. #43, at 1. He stated the Concordia police officers “were acting under the color of law. There is no proof necessary. The judge and the defendants have no defense and have resorted to petty trifling points that are false.” He claimed the City is liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court construes Plaintiff's request as a motion to reconsider the Court's dismissal of Plaintiff's claims against the City.

         As explained in the Court's Order granting the City's motion to dismiss, the City cannot be held liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on a respondeat superior theory. Doc. #36, at 2-4. Plaintiff alleged the City should be liable for the actions by and injuries caused by its employees, which is a claim based upon respondeat superior. Because the City could not be liable under such a theory, the Court granted the City's motion to dismiss. The Court also examined whether Plaintiff brought a claim alleging the City's policies or ...


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