United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
C. NUGENT United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs
Complaint (ECF #1) for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted filed by Defendant City of Shaker
Heights ("City"). (ECF #12). In a separate Motion
to Dismiss, Defendant Randolph Keller, Shaker Heights
Prosecutor, ("Keller") moves to dismiss claims
against the parties for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. (ECF #13). Plaintiff, Gladys Wilson,
opposes both Motions to Dismiss by Memorandum in Opposition.
(ECF #16). The Defendants jointly replied with a brief in
support of their Motions to Dismiss. (ECF #18). Defendant
Officer Dunn has not moved for dismissal. For the reasons set
forth herein. Defendants' Motions to Dismiss (ECF #12,
ECF #13) are GRANTED.
evaluating a motion to dismiss, a court must construe the
complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff,
accept its factual allegations as true, and draw reasonable
inferences in favor of the plaintiff. See Directv, Inc.
v. Treesh, 487 F.3d 471, 476 (6th Cir. 2007). The court
will not, however, accept conclusions of law or unwarranted
inferences cast in the form of factual allegations. See
Gregory v. Shelby County, 220 F.3d 433, 446 (6th Cir.
2000); see also City of Heath, Ohio v. Ashland Oil,
Inc., 834 F.Supp 971, 975 (S.D.Ohio 1993).
order to survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must
provide the grounds of the entitlement to relief, which
requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action. See Bell
Ail. Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007).
That is, "[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise
a right to relief above the speculative level, on the
assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true
(even if doubtful in fact)." Id. (internal
citation omitted); see also Association of Cleveland Fire
Fighters v. City of Cleveland, No. 06-3823, 2007 WL
2768285, at *2 (6th Cir. Sept. 25, 2007) (recognizing that
the Supreme Court "disavowed the oft-quoted Rule
12(b)(6) standard of Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41,
45-46, 78 S.Ct. 99, 2 L.Ed.2d 80 (1957)"). Accordingly,
the claims set forth in a complaint must be plausible, rather
than conceivable. See Twombly, 127 S.Ct. at 1974.
Conclusory allegations, or legal conclusions asserted in lieu
of factual allegations are not sufficient. Bishop v.
Lucent Tech, Inc., 520 F.3d 516, 519 (6th Cir. 2008).
motion brought under Rule 12(b)(6), the court's inquiry
is limited to the content of the complaint, although matters
of public record, orders, items appearing in the record of
the case, and exhibits attached to the complaint may also be
taken into account. See Amini v. Oberlin College,
259 F.3d 493, 502 (6th Cir. 2001).
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
December of 2014, Plaintiffs neighbors complained to the
police about handwritten signs Plaintiff had placed in her
windows. (Complaint ¶ 11). On March 31, 2015, Officer
Dunn executed an "Affidavit to Establish Probable Cause
for the Issuance of Arrest Warrant" against the
Plaintiff, seeking to charge her with Disorderly Conduct.
(Complaint ¶ 13). Defendant Keller. in his role as
Prosecutor for Shaker Heights, executed a "Complaint by
Prosecuting Attorney upon Affidavit" against Plaintiff,
charging her with Disorderly Conduct. (Complaint ¶ 14).
On August 18, 2016,  Defendant Keller dismissed the charges
against Plaintiff. (Complaint ¶ 20).
filed suit on August 31, 2016. against the City of Shaker
Heights, Officer Martin Dunn, and Prosecutor Keller alleging
42 U.S.C. § 1983 malicious prosecution; 42 U.S.C. §
1983 deprivation of equal protection; 42 U.S.C. § 1983
deprivation of due process; 42 U.S.C. § 1983 deprivation
of free speech; 42 U.S.C. § 1983 deprivation of the
rights to liberty, safety, and privacy; and intentional
infliction of emotional distress.
Federal § 1983 Claims
City of Shaker Heights
alleges five § 1983 claims against Defendant City of
Shaker Heights: (1) malicious prosecution; (2) deprivation of
equal protection; (3) deprivation of substantive and
procedural due process; (4) deprivation of free speech and
freedom of expression; and (5) deprivation of liberty,
safety, and privacy. To establish liability against a city
for a § 1983 claim, the plaintiff must allege that: (1)
a Constitutional violation occurred, and (2) the City is
"responsible for that violation." Graham v.
County of Washtenaw, 358 F.3d 377, 382 (6th Cir. 2004)
(citing Doe v. Claiborne Cty., 103 F.3d 495, 505-06
(6th Cir. 1996)). "[I]t is when execution of a
government's policy or custom, whether made by its
lawmakers or by those whose edicts or acts may fairly be said
to represent official policy, inflicts the injury that the
government as an entity is responsible under §
1983/' Monell v. New York City Dept. of Social
Services, 436 U.S. 658, 694 (1978). A plaintiff may
prove the existence of a municipality's illegal policy or
custom in one of four ways: (1) the municipality's
legislative enactments or official agency policies; (2)
actions taken by officials with final decision-making
authority; (3) a policy of inadequate training or
supervision; or (4) a custom of tolerance or acquiescence of
federal rights violations. Thomas v. City of
Chattanooga, 398 F.3d 426, 429 (6th Cir. 2005) (citing
Monell, 436 U.S. at 694). Respondeat
superior or vicarious liability does not attach under
§ 1983. City of Canton v. Harris, 489 U.S. 378,
385 (1989) (citing Monell, 436 U.S. at 694).
merely state that the City has a policy or custom is not
enough; Plaintiff must allege facts, which if true,
demonstrate the City's policy, such as examples of past
situations where law enforcement officials have been
instructed to ignore evidence.'' Williams v. City
of Cleveland, No. 1:09-CV-1310, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
61346, *12 (N.D. Ohio Jul. 16, 2009). Here, Plaintiff neither
alleges an unconstitutional policy or custom of the City, nor
supports her claims with any facts regarding an
unconstitutional policy or custom of the City. Instead,
Plaintiffs Complaint offers nothing more than threadbare
assertions and conclusory ...