United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
OPINION AND ORDER
CHRISTOPHER A. BOYKO United States District Judge
matter comes before the Court upon the Motion (ECF DKT #17)
of Defendant Cuyahoga County to Dismiss Plaintiff's
Amended Complaint. (The operative complaint for purposes of
this opinion is the Second Amended Complaint (ECF DKT #21)).
For the following reasons, the Motion is granted in part and
denied in part.
brings this action against Cuyahoga County; Frank Bova,
individually and in his official capacity as Sheriff; and
Brendan Johnson, individually and in his official capacity as
Corporal in the Sheriff's Office under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, for constitutional violations due to excessive force,
lack of training and failure to discipline.
February 25, 2015, Plaintiff was ordered to serve a 30-day
sentence in Cuyahoga County Jail for a probation violation.
During a visitation with his parents on March 9, 2015,
Plaintiff experienced chest pains and shortness of breath and
feared that he was having a heart attack. His parents pressed
an emergency alert button. Corrections Officer Fletcher
responded and brought Plaintiff to Defendant Johnson's
office. Allegedly, Defendant Johnson disregarded
Plaintiff's heart complaints and requests to go to the
medical dispensary because he did not believe his symptoms
were likely in an eighteen-year-old. Plaintiff persisted and
Defendant Johnson “literally dragged him down to the
medical dispensary.” While waiting for the nurse,
Plaintiff asked for Defendant Johnson's name and
identification. Defendant refused; and then compelled
Plaintiff to stand, pulled at Plaintiff's right arm and
shoulder, yanked his right arm behind his back and pushed him
against the hallway wall.
Count I, Plaintiff alleges that the force used by Defendant
Johnson, under color of law, was unreasonable, unnecessary,
excessive and done with deliberate indifference to his
medical condition. Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant
Johnson's actions constituted assault, battery and
intentional infliction of emotional distress under state law.
In Count II, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Cuyahoga
County and Sheriff Frank Bova failed to provide adequate
training and sufficient instruction so that County Jail
Officers would be aware that unreasonable force would violate
the constitutional rights of persons, like Plaintiff, in the
County Jail. Defendants Bova and the County failed to provide
policy, education and discipline; and implicitly authorized
Jail employees' misconduct with deliberate indifference
to the rights and safety of Plaintiff and others.
Motion before the Court, Defendant Cuyahoga County argues
that Plaintiff's Complaint fails to state a claim against
the County and the Sheriff upon which relief may be granted.
LAW AND ANALYSIS
deciding a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the
court must accept as true all of the factual allegations
contained in the complaint. Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007). The court need not, however, accept
conclusions of law as true:
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), a pleading
must contain a “short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” As the
Court held in [Bell Atlantic v.] Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct. 1955');">127 S.Ct. 1955 [(2007)], the pleading standard
Rule 8 announces does not require “detailed factual
allegations, ” but it demands more than an unadorned,
the-Defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation. Id.
at 555. A pleading that offers “labels and
conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.”
Id. at 555. Nor does a complaint suffice if it
tenders “naked assertion[s]” devoid of
“further factual enhancement.” Id. at
To survive a 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.”
Id. at 570. A claim has facial plausibility when the
Plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the Defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged. Id. at 556. The
plausibility standard is not akin to a “probability
requirement, ” but it asks for more than a sheer
possibility that a Defendant has acted unlawfully.
Id. Where a complaint pleads facts that are
“merely consistent with” a Defendant's
liability, it “stops short of the line between
possibility and plausibility of ‘entitlement to
relief.'” Id. at 557.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
to the Sixth Circuit, the standard described in
Twombly and Iqbal “obliges a pleader
to amplify a claim with some factual allegations in those
contexts where such amplification is needed to render the
claim plausible.” Weisbarth v. Geauga Park
Dist., 499 F.3d 538, ...