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Bey v. Elmwood Place Police Department

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division

September 1, 2017

Jaiyanah Bey, Plaintiff,
Elmwood Place Police Department, et al., Defendants.


          Michael R. Barrett Judge

         This matter is before the Court upon the Magistrate Judge's December 22, 2016 Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) recommending that this Court grant the Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendants Victoria Baldrick, Chris Brown, Jeff Carrol, Hamilton County Jobs And Family Services (“HCJFS”), Hamilton County Sheriff, Charmaine McGuffey, Mark Schoonover, Nicholas Varney, Moira Weir, Katie Woodside (“the County Defendants”) (Doc. 27); grant the Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendants Chief Eliot Isaac and Cincinnati Police Department (“the City Defendants”) (Doc. 34); grant the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings filed by Defendants Eric Crossty, Elmwood Place Police Department, William Wilson (“the Elmwood Place Defendants”) (Doc. 40); and grant the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings filed by Defendant William Peskin (Doc. 41). Also before the Court is the Plaintiff's Motion for Default Judgment filed against Defendant Rodney Anderson. (Doc. 59).

         I. BACKGROUND

         During a traffic stop on August 2, 2016, Plaintiff Jaiyanah Bey was arrested and charged with one count of resisting arrest, one count of endangering children, and one count of failure to comply with an order or signal of a police officer. (Doc. 27-1). Plaintiff's son was present during the traffic stop. Plaintiff claims that as part of the traffic stop, Defendants Eric Crossty and Rodney Anderson stole her personal property and endangered her son. (Doc. 3). Plaintiff also claims that she was arrested without probable cause. (Doc. 3). On August 3, 2016, Plaintiff was released after posting bond. (Doc. 3). On August 4, 2016, employees of Defendant Hamilton County Job and Family Services (“HCJFS”), including Defendant Victoria Baldrick, went to Plaintiff's home to take physical custody of Plaintiff's son. (Id.) HCJFS filed for emergency custody of Plaintiff's son, and Defendant Magistrate Katie Woodside granted custody to HCJFS. (Id.)

         Plaintiff's complaint contains the following causes of action: denial of right to travel, denial of due process, excessive and unreasonable force, false imprisonment and unlawful detention, kidnapping, denial of due process (assault and battery), abuse of process, defamation, violation of personal right to liberty, denied right to truth in evidence, false arrest, racketeering. Plaintiff brings these claims pursuant to the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         In her R&R, the Magistrate Judge recommends granting the County and City Defendants' Motions to Dismiss (Docs. 27, 34); and the Elmwood Place Defendants and Defendant Peskin's Motions for Judgment on the Pleadings (Docs. 40, 41). The Magistrate Judge also recommends that all remaining pending motions (Docs. 12, 28, 32, 36, 46, 47, 51) be denied as moot.

         The parties were given proper notice pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b), including notice that the parties would waive further appeal if they failed to file objections to the R&R in a timely manner. See United States v. Walters, 638 F.2d 947, 949-950 (6th Cir. 1981). Plaintiff filed Objections to the R&R. (Doc. 54). Defendants filed Responses to Plaintiff's Objections. (Docs. 55, 56, 57). Plaintiff then responded to Defendants' Responses (Doc. 58).

         II. ANALYSIS

         A. Standards of review

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b)(2) states that if a party objects to a magistrate's report and recommendation, the party must file “specific written objections” to the recommendation. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2). A general objection to a magistrate's report, without specifically indicating the issues of contention, does not satisfy the “specific written objections” requirement. Howard v. Secretary of Health and Human Servs., 932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir. 1991). Defendants argue that Plaintiff has failed to file specific objections. Such arguments are misplaced. In her objections, Plaintiff identifies and repeats statements made in the R&R and responds to each with an argument labelled as “rebuttal.” (See Doc. 54). While some of these arguments contain general statements, these statements are not tantamount to a general objection to the entirety of the Magistrate Judge's R&R.

         A complaint may be dismissed according to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), for a “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” A motion for judgment on the pleadings under Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is reviewed under the same standard as a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). Mixon v. State of Ohio, 193 F.3d 389, 399-400 (6th Cir. 1999). In reviewing a motion to dismiss, the Court must accept the plaintiff's allegations as true and construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Bassett v. NCAA, 528 F.3d 426, 430 (6th Cir. 2008). The complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, yet it must provide “more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007)). However, courts must apply “less stringent standards” in determining whether pro se pleadings state a claim for which relief can be granted. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976).

         B. Section 1983

         To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege: “1) the deprivation of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States and 2) the deprivation was caused by a person acting under color of state law.” Tahfs v. Proctor, 316 F.3d 584, 590 (6th Cir. 2003). However, as the Sixth Circuit has explained: “It is not enough for a complaint under § 1983 to contain mere conclusory allegations of unconstitutional conduct by persons acting under color of state law. Some factual basis for such claims must be set forth in the pleadings.” Chapman v. City of Detroit, 808 F.2d 459, 465 (6th Cir. 1986).

         The Magistrate Judge identified several Defendants who were named in the caption of Plaintiff's Complaint, but not specifically mentioned anywhere else in the Complaint. These Defendants are: Baldrick, Varny, Brown, Robison, Weir, Isaac, Wilson and Peskin. “Merely listing names in the caption of the complaint and alleging constitutional violations in the body of the complaint is not enough to sustain recovery under § 1983.” Gilmore v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 92 F.App'x 188, 190 (6th Cir. 2004) (citing Flagg Bros. v. Brooks, 436 U.S. 149, 155-57, 98 S.Ct. 1729, 56 L.Ed.2d 185 (1978)). Plaintiff has not identified additional factual allegations in her objections. ...

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