United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
NANNETTE A. BAKER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
who are journalists, filed this action against Defendants
alleging violations of their constitutional rights during
Plaintiffs' news coverage of protests in Ferguson,
Missouri on August 13, 2014 following the death of teenager
St. Charles County, Missouri and Deputy Michael Anderson
filed a Motion to Dismiss Counts I, II, III, IV, V, and VI of
Plaintiffs' Civil Rights Complaint under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. [Doc. 21.] Plaintiffs Ash-har Quraishi, Marla
Cichowski, and Sam Winslade filed a Memorandum in Opposition
to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [Doc. 25.] and a Motion
for Leave to File a First Amended Complaint [Doc. 26.].
Defendants St. Charles County and Deputy Anderson filed a
Reply Brief in Support of their Motion to Dismiss. [Doc. 35.]
Defendants did not file a response to Plaintiffs' Motion
for Leave to File a First Amended Complaint. Defendants St.
Charles County, Missouri and Deputy Anderson filed a Motion
for Summary Judgment as to all claims. [Doc. 53.]
the Court will grant Plaintiffs' Motion to File a First
Amended Complaint. As the parties concede, Plaintiffs'
proposed First Amended Complaint contains the same claims as
the original complaint, with the exception of specifically
alleging that the claims against Deputy Anderson are against
him in his personal capacity. Defendants did not file a
response and the time to do so has passed. [Doc. 26.]
the Court will deny Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Counts
I, II, III, IV, V, and VI of Plaintiffs' original
complaint as moot. Because the First Amended Complaint is the
same as the original complaint with the exception of the
specific allegations of personal liability against Deputy
Anderson and this issue is the substance of Defendants'
motion to dismiss, the motion to dismiss is moot as to Deputy
Anderson. The motion to dismiss is moot as to St. Charles
County, because Defendants have filed a motion for summary
judgment on those claims.
requested that if the Court granted Plaintiffs' motion to
file an amended complaint, they be allowed to conduct limited
discovery and submit supplemental briefing on the personal
liability claims against Deputy Anderson.
“Personal-capacity suits seek to impose personal
liability upon a government official for actions he takes
under color of state law.” Kentucky v. Graham,
473 U.S. 159, 166-67 (1985) (citing Scheuer v.
Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 237-238 (1974)).
“Official-capacity suits, in contrast, generally
represent only another way of pleading an action against an
entity of which an officer is an agent.” Id.
at 166 (citing Monell v. New York City Dept. of Social
Services, 436 U.S. 658, 690, n. 55 (1978)). “It is
not a suit against the official personally, for the
real party in interest is the entity.” Id.
“Thus, while an award of damages against an official in
his personal capacity can be executed only against the
official's personal assets, a plaintiff seeking to
recover on a damages judgment in an official-capacity suit
must look to the government entity itself.”
of the extensive record on the parties' summary judgment
briefing, the Court does not know what additional discovery
needs to be taken. Nevertheless, the Court will grant the
parties forty-five days to conduct additional discovery
concerning the personal liability of Defendant Deputy Michael
Anderson only. The Court will then allow the parties to
submit supplemental briefing on Deputy Michael Anderson's
personal liability no later than February 5, 2018 with
responses due February 19, 2018. Then, for purposes of
judicial economy, the Court will review Defendants'
pending summary judgment motion and any supplemental briefing
as applied to Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs'
Motion for Leave to File First Amended Complaint is
GRANTED. [Doc. 26.]
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss is DENIED as moot. [Doc. 21.]
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs shall file their
First Amended Complaint no later than December 18,
2017. Defendants shall file their answer to
Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint no later than
January 2, 2018.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the parties may conduct
discovery limited solely to the personal capacity claims
against Deputy Michael Anderson and such discovery must be
concluded no later than January 29, 2018.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that any supplemental briefing to
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment regarding the
personal capacity claims against Deputy Michael Anderson
should be filed no later than February 5,
2018. Any responses to the supplemental briefing
should be filed no later than February 19,
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants' Motion for
Leave to File Reply to Plaintiffs' Opposition to
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment in Excess of
Fifteen Pages is GRANTED. [Doc. 62-3]
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the trial date currently set
for January 16, 2018 is
VACATED and will be reset at a later ...