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 Defendant Felicia
Shelton's Motion to Dismiss , filed on April 25,
2018. In her motion, Shelton incorporates the arguments made
by Defendants Fleming, Lowman, and Winston in their Motion to
Dismiss Party Defendants . This Court incorporates the
facts as stated in its February 20, 2018 order granting in
part and denying in part all then-pending motions to dismiss
by defendants in this action .
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. Homier Distrib.
Co., 599 F.3d 856, 861 (8th Cir. 2010) (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). The Court must grant all
reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party.
Lustgraaf v. Behrens, 619 F.3d 867, 872-73 (8th Cir.
ruling on a motion to dismiss, a court “must liberally
construe a complaint in favor of the plaintiff[.]”
Huggins v. FedEx Ground Package Sys., Inc., 592 F.3d
853, 862 (8th Cir. 2010). However, if a claim fails to allege
one of the elements necessary to recovery on a legal theory,
that claim must be dismissed for failure to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted. Crest Constr. II, Inc.
v. Doe, 660 F.3d 346, 355 (8th Cir. 2011).
“Threadbare recitals of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Bell Atlantic v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Although courts must
accept all factual allegations as true, they are not bound to
take as true “a legal conclusion couched as a factual
allegation.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555
(internal quotations and citation omitted); Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 677-78.
Unlawful Search of Ms. Roslyn Brown
have alleged all the police officers, including Shelton,
entered the home without a warrant and
“ransacked” it. In its February 20, 2018 order,
this Court found this was enough to establish a § 1983
claim of unlawful search against other police officers, and
it now finds this was enough to establish a claim against
Shelton. Further, under these facts, Shelton would have known
her actions were violating Ms. Brown's clearly
established right to be free from an unreasonable search of
her home. She is accordingly not entitled to qualified
immunity. This Court will deny Shelton's motion to
dismiss this claim against her.
Unlawful Seizure of Ms. Brown and R.Z.
February 20, 2018 order, this Court found Ms. Brown alleged
enough facts to establish a claim of unreasonable seizure,
though the alleged facts did not implicate all named
defendants in her unlawful arrest. With respect to Shelton,
Ms. Brown alleged Shelton escorted Ms. Brown to the police
car and carried her cane. This Court finds, under these
facts, Shelton participated in the unlawful arrest, and Ms.
Brown has sufficiently established a claim of unlawful
seizure against Shelton.
the arrest of R.Z., R.Z. alleged all the police officers,
including Shelton, “held R.Z. in place and forced her
to watch the scene unfold inside the [r]esidence.” In
its February 20, 2018 order, this Court found this was enough
to establish a § 1983 claim of unlawful seizure against
the other police officers, and it now finds this was enough
to establish a claim against Shelton.
under the facts alleged to establish both claims, Shelton
would have known her actions were violating the
plaintiffs' constitutional right to be free from
unreasonable seizure, and thus, she is not entitled to
qualified immunity. This Court will deny Shelton's motion
to dismiss these claims.
Malicious Prosecution of Ms. Brown
February 20, 2018 order, this Court found Ms. Brown alleged a
cognizable claim for malicious prosecution under § 1983.
Shelton participated in both the underlying constitutional
violations and in charging Ms. Brown with “failure to
comply” and the housing code violations. At this stage,
applying the same reasoning it applied in the ...