United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
SOLOMON OLIVER, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
pending before the court in the above-captioned case is
Defendant Euclid City Police Department's
(“ECPD”) Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 13) for
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
For the following reasons, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
20, 2017, Pro Se Plaintiff Alonzo Murray
(“Plaintiff”) filed this civil action against
multiple Defendants, including ECPD, pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, alleging constitutional deprivations stemming
from events occurring on or about October 4, 2016, at the
Cleveland Clinic Euclid Hospital (“CCEH”).
(Compl., ECF No. 1.)
to the Complaint, Plaintiff turned himself in to a Federal
Officer on or about October 4, 2016. (Id. at 5.)
That Federal Officer called ECPD, whose officers arrived,
handcuffed Plaintiff, and took him to CCEH. (Id.)
Plaintiff alleges that, once at the hospital, his hands were
physically restrained to a hospital bed and he was stripped
naked in front of several people in a room with an open door.
(Id.) Plaintiff further alleges that he was made to
urinate in a hospital bed urinal while a male nurse held his
penis and that his blood was drawn against his will.
(Id.) Plaintiff also alleges that, when he initially
refused to have his blood drawn, a ECPD officer drew his
taser, cursed Plaintiff out, and threatened to tase Plaintiff
if he did not cooperate. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges
that as a result of the “humiliation,
religious/spiritual deprivation, human degridation (sic) [,
and] mental anguish” he experienced during the incident
at EECH, he has suffered nightmares, which have disrupted his
sleep and caused him to have a feeling of “spiritual
impurity” because he is now “unclean.”
(Id.) Plaintiff is seeking two million dollars in
damages. (Id.) On October 31, 2017, ECPD filed its
Motion to Dismiss the Complaint against it for failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted. (ECF No. 13.)
Plaintiff failed to respond.
LAW AND ANALYSIS
court examines the legal sufficiency of Plaintiff's claim
under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
See Mayer v. Mulod, 988 F.2d 635, 638 (6th Cir.
1993). The United States Supreme Court in Bell Atl. Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007) and in Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949-50 (2009) clarified the
law regarding what a plaintiff must plead in order to survive
a motion made pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) .
determining whether the plaintiff has stated a claim upon
which relief can be granted, the court must construe the
complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff,
accept all factual allegations as true, and determine whether
the complaint contains “enough facts to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. The plaintiff's
obligation to provide the grounds for relief “requires
more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation
of the elements of a cause of action will not do.”
Id. at 555. Even though a complaint need not contain
“detailed” factual allegations, its
“[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.”Id. A court is “not bound to
accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual
allegation.” Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265,
286 (1986). The Court, in Iqbal, further explained
the “plausibility” requirement, stating that
“[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.” 556 U.S. at 678. Furthermore,
“[t]he plausibility standard is not akin to a
‘probability requirement, ' but it asks for more
than a sheer possibility that a defendant acted
unlawfully.” Id. This determination is a
“context-specific task that requires the reviewing
court to draw on its judicial experience and common
sense.” Id. at 679.
plaintiff may bring a § 1983 civil action against
“[e]very person who, under color of any statute,
ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage…subjects, or
causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or
other person within the jurisdiction thereof…to the
deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured
by the Constitution and laws of the United
States…” 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Thus, to
establish a prima facie case under the statute, a plaintiff
must assert that the person: (1) was acting under color of
state law; and (2) deprived him or her of the rights,
privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution or laws
of the United States. Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S.
527, 535 (1981).
municipalities are “persons” for the purposes of
§ 1983, they cannot be found liable merely because one
of their employees is a tortfeasor. Monell v. N.Y.C.
Dept. of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 690 (1978). In other
words, there is no doctrine of respondeat superior
in § 1983 jurisprudence. Id. For a government
entity to be held liable in a § 1983 suit, the plaintiff
must show that “the entity itself is a ‘moving
force' behind the deprivation.” Kentucky v.
Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 166 (1985) (citing Polk Cty.
v. Dodson, 454 U.S. 312, 326 (1981); Monell,
436 U.S. at 694). Under Monell, in order to
establish municipality liability, a plaintiff must
demonstrate that: (1) they were deprived of a constitution
right; (2) the municipality had a “policy” or
“custom”; and (3) the policy was “the
moving force” behind the constitutional violation.
O'Brien v. City of Grand Rapids, 23 F.3d 990,
1000 (6th Cir. 1994) (quoting Monell, 436 U.S. at
when construed liberally, Plaintiff's Complaint does not
plead facts sufficient to maintain a § 1983 claim
against ECPD. At most, Plaintiff has alleged facts that hint
at the possibility that an unknown ECPD officer engaged in
intimidating behavior. However, even assuming a
constitutional deprivation occurred, nothing within
Plaintiff's Complaint suggests that ECPD had a policy
that was the moving force behind the alleged deprivation.
foregoing reasons, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No.
13) is granted. The court hereby ...