United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
RICHARD WEBBER, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Motions to
Dismiss Parties [18, 31, 44].
19, 2017, Plaintiffs Roslyn Brown and R.Z., a minor, through
her Mother and Next Friend, Roslyn Brown (the
“Plaintiffs”), filed this civil action seeking
damages against the City of Pine Lawn; Police Officers Steven
Blakeney, Lawrence Fleming, Brian Britton, Felicia Shelton,
and Steven Lowman; and Pine Lawn Housing Inspector Raymond
Winston. On August 18, 2017, the City of Pine Lawn, Fleming,
Britton, Lowman, and Winston filed a joint Motion to Dismiss
 all claims against them.
response, Plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint [s24]
including ten causes of action against Defendants: Count I:
Unlawful Use of Excessive Force - Cognizable under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 (by Plaintiff Roslyn Brown against Defendant
Britton); Count II: Unlawful Search and Seizure - Cognizable
Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (by Plaintiff Roslyn Brown
against all Defendants); Count III: Unlawful Seizure -
Cognizable Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (by Plaintiff R.Z.
against all Defendants); Count IV: Intentional Infliction of
Emotional Distress Under Missouri Law (by Plaintiff R.Z.
against all Defendants); Count V: Negligent Infliction of
Emotional Distress under Missouri Law (by Plaintiff R.Z.
against all Defendants); Count VI: False Imprisonment Under
Missouri Law (by Plaintiff R.Z. against all Defendants);
Count VII: Malicious Prosecution - Cognizable Under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 (by Plaintiff Roslyn Brown against All
Defendants); Count VIII: Abuse of Process Under Missouri Law
(by Plaintiff Roslyn Brown against all Defendants); Count IX:
Conspiracy to Violate Civil Rights - Cognizable Under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 (by Plaintiffs Roslyn Brown and R.Z.
against all Defendants); and Count X: Municipal Liability
Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (by Plaintiffs Roslyn Brown and
R.Z. against the Defendant City of Pine Lawn).
October 9, 2017, Fleming, Lowman, and Winston filed a Motion
to Dismiss  all claims against them, and on November 27,
2017, Blakeney filed a Motion to Dismiss  all claims
against him. Plaintiffs have filed memoranda in opposition to
both motions. For purposes of Defendants' Motions to
Dismiss, the Court accepts as true the following facts
alleged in Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint. See
Great Rivers Habitat Alliance v. Fed. Emergency Mgmt.
Agency, 615 F.3d 958, 988 (8th Cir. 2010).
Monday, May 19, 2014, Lieutenant Steven Blakeney
(“Blakeney”) approached Ms. Brown's residence
located in the City of Pine Lawn, Missouri. Blakeney was
accompanied by several other Pine Lawn Police Officers:
Detective Lawrence Fleming (“Fleming”), Officer
Brian Britton (“Britton”), Officer Felicia
Shelton (“Shelton”), and Officer Steve Lowman
(“Lowman”). Blakeney asked Ms. Brown the
whereabouts of Ronald Zimmerman (“Zimmerman”),
the owner of the residence, and Ms. Brown stated she did not
know. Blakeney then yelled at Ms. Brown, demanding she give
him information about Zimmerman. He told her if she did not
provide the information, he would write her a summons, she
would have to pay significant sums of money, and the police
officers would continue to come to the residence and harass
Ms. Brown did not provide him with the information, Blakeney
told her to produce proof of her identification, so he could
write her a summons. Ms. Brown went to retrieve her proof of
identification, shutting the glass storm door but leaving the
main door open so she could remain visible. Blakeney then
charged at the closed storm door in an attempt to break it
down, breaking the locking mechanism in the process. Ms.
Brown was shocked and frightened, and she came out onto the
porch, closing both doors behind her. Blakeney shouted,
“Arrest her!” Britton, using great force, yanked
Ms. Brown's arms behind her back, handcuffed her, and had
her walk to the patrol car. Ms. Brown was not wearing shoes
and did not have her cane. Shelton escorted her to the patrol
car and carried her cane. Both Shelton and Ms. Brown stated
Ms. Brown needed her shoes and cane to walk safely and
comfortably, and Britton responded, “She's gonna
walk today!” Lowman and Fleming stood by and watched
the arrest. As Ms. Brown was being taken to the patrol car,
Blakeney entered the residence, followed by Fleming.
Ms. Brown was in the patrol car, all of the officers entered
the residence and began “ransacking” it. Housing
Inspector Raymond Winston shortly arrived and joined the
others in “raiding” the home. From the patrol
car, Ms. Brown asked Shelton if she could make arrangements
for R.Z., her eleven-year-old daughter. R.Z. was crying and
sitting on the porch of her grandfather's house, which
was located next door to Ms. Brown's residence. Ms. Brown
shouted across the street to a neighbor
(“Neighbor”), asking Neighbor to take R.Z. safely
into Neighbor's house. Neighbor began to walk across the
street, and R.Z. walked off the porch and into her
grandfather's yard, approaching Neighbor. At this point,
Blakeney and Britton exited Ms. Brown's residence.
and Britton intercepted R.Z. before Neighbor could, grabbing
R.Z. by the upper left arm and leading her into Ms.
Brown's residence. Blakeney yelled at R.Z.,
“Where's your father? Where does he work? I know
you know something!” R.Z. cried and said she did not
know. Blakeney told the others R.Z. was Zimmerman's
daughter. Britton forced R.Z. to unlock Ms. Brown's cell
phone without Ms. Brown's consent. Britton answered an
incoming call from Zimmerman without permission. In front of
R.Z., Britton told Zimmerman, “Everyone's going to
jail today. Your daughter is going to foster care. What kind
of father are you? Come and get your daughter.” While
in the home, all officers and Winston held R.Z. down and
forced her to watch the scene.
point, Winston and Shelton asked Ms. Brown for her consent to
search the home, and Ms. Brown refused to give it, claiming
she was not the homeowner. Winston then threatened Ms. Brown,
saying he would condemn the home if she did not consent and
that she would not be able to get back inside to retrieve any
of her belongings. Shelton added Ms. Brown would never be
able to get back inside the house. Ms. Brown then consented
to their entry.
eventually came out of the home and approached the police
car. He informed Ms. Brown that R.Z. would also be escorted
to the Pine Lawn Jail. Ms. Brown objected and stated Neighbor
was permitted to have custody of R.Z. at that time. Britton
told Ms. Brown he was “just following orders” and
if she “didn't like it, [she] could take it to the
escorted R.Z. to the police car and placed her in its front
seat. The officers took Ms. Brown and R.Z. to the Pine Lawn
Jail, with Britton driving the patrol car. At the Pine Lawn
Jail, Britton and Fleming escorted R.Z. into an interrogation
room and Ms. Brown to a holding cell. Lowman and Shelton
stated they were confused as to which charges they should
include on Ms. Brown's citations. Blakeney told them,
“She should have told me where he is.” They
eventually charged her with “Failure to Comply”
and 32 housing citations. After approximately one hour,
R.Z.'s grandfather arrived at the Pine Lawn Jail to pick
up R.Z. and take her into his care. After several hours, Ms.
Brown was released on medical recognizance.
to May 19, 2014, Ms. Brown had been instructed by her doctor
to keep her arm in a straight position so her elbow and wrist
would be ready for an upcoming surgery. The surgery
ultimately had to be delayed because of injuries Ms. Brown
sustained during her arrest. Ms. Brown states she has
experienced “significant physical injury and pain and
suffering, as well as emotional trauma and suffering.”
She states Defendants have caused R.Z. to experience
“extreme emotional trauma and distress, including
depression, anxiety, and night terrors, all of which continue
to persist and interfere with R.Z.'s life.” The
charges against Ms. Brown were eventually dismissed after Ms.
Brown hired private counsel.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”)
12(b)(6), a party may move to dismiss a claim for
“failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted.” The notice pleading standard of FRCP 8(a)(2)
requires a plaintiff to give “a short and plain
statement showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” To meet this standard and to survive a FRCP
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, “a 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) (internal quotations
and citation omitted). This requirement of facial
plausibility means the factual content of the plaintiff's
allegations must “allow the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Cole v. ...