United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Defendants Red Brick
Management, LLC ("Red Brick") and Angie
Hickey's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff Kim Downs's
Complaint. (ECF No. 12) The motion has been fully briefed.
After careful consideration, the Court grants the motion, in
part, and dismisses Plaintiffs cause of action under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 against Red Brick and Hickey (referred to
collectively as "Defendants") and Plaintiffs first
cause of action under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), 42 U.S.C.
§§ 3601, et seq., for failure to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The Court denies the
motion, in part, as to Plaintiffs second cause of action
under the FHA and orders Plaintiff to file an amended
complaint within fifteen (15) days of this Memorandum and
Kim Downs filed this pro se Complaint against the
property owner (Red Brick) and landlord (Hickey) of the
apartment building where she previously lived, which is
located in the City of St. Louis. (ECF No. 1) Reading
Plaintiff s pro se Complaint liberally, she asserts
three identical causes of action against each
defendant. First, she claims Defendants violated her
rights guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment to the United
States Constitution by letting police enter her apartment
and, thus, are liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Second,
Plaintiff asserts Defendants violated the FHA by filing a
police report claiming she had stolen property from another
apartment in the same complex. Third, she alleges Defendants
violated the FHA by not renewing her lease agreement.
now move to dismiss Plaintiff s claims against them. (ECF No.
12) Plaintiff opposes the motion. (ECF No. 14)
complaint must be dismissed under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted if the complaint fails to plead
"enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). "Factual
allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above
the speculative level...." Id. at 555. Courts
must liberally construe the complaint in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff and accept the factual allegations
as true. See Schaaf v. Residential Funding Corp.,
517 F.3d 544, 549 (8th Cir. 2008) (stating that in a motion
to dismiss, courts accept as true all factual allegations in
the complaint); Eckert v. Titan Tire Corp., 514 F.3d
801, 806 (8th Cir. 2008) (explaining that courts should
liberally construe the complaint in the light most favorable
to the plaintiff).
"[w]here the allegations show on the face of the
complaint there is some insuperable bar to relief, dismissal
under Rule 12(b)(6) is appropriate." Benton v.
Merrill Lynch & Co., 524 F.3d 866, 870 (8th Cir.
2008) (citation omitted). Courts "are not bound to
accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual
allegation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). When
considering a motion to dismiss, a court can "begin by
identifying pleadings that, because they are no more than
conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of
truth." Id. at 679. Legal conclusions must be
supported by factual allegations to survive a motion to
Plaintiffs § 1983 claim
U.S.C. § 1983 was designed to provide a "broad
remedy for violations of federally protected civil
rights." Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs.,
436 U.S. 658, 685 (1978). Section 1983 provides no
substantive rights; it merely provides a remedy for
violations of all "rights, privileges, or immunities
secured by the Constitution and laws [of the United
States]." 42 U.S.C. § 1983; see also Albright
v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 271 (1994) (section 1983
"merely provides a method for vindicating federal rights
elsewhere conferred"). To state a claim under §
1983, a plaintiff must establish: (1) the violation of a
right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United
States, and (2) that the alleged deprivation of that right
was committed by a person acting under color of state law.
West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
initial matter, Defendants argue Plaintiff has failed to
allege a Fourth Amendment violation. The Fourth Amendment
The right of the people to be secure in their persons,
houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches
and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall
issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or
affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be
searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
text of the Amendment thus expressly imposes two
requirements. First, all searches and seizures must be
reasonable. Second, a warrant may not be issued unless
probable cause is properly established and the scope of the
authorized search is set out ...