United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
OPINION AND ORDER
C. SMITH, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
matter is before the Court on Defendant Kimberley Jacobs'
Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (Doc. 17). Plaintiff
Marcus Croft has not filed a response, despite the Magistrate
Judge allowing for extra time to do so. (See Doc.
18). Plaintiff was cautioned that the failure to respond may
result in the granting of Defendant Jacobs' Motion. For
the reasons that follow, Defendant Jacobs' Motion for
Judgment on the Pleadings is GRANTED.
Marcus Croft initiated this case against Defendants the City
of Columbus, Derek Blaine, Shawn Gruber, and Kimberley
Jacobs, individually and in their official capacity as
employees of the City of Columbus. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff's
allegations referencing Chief Jacobs are contained in
paragraphs 5, 40, and 91 of Plaintiff's Complaint (Doc.
1). Those allegations state as follows:
information and belief, Defendant City of Columbus, Ohio
Division of Police Chief Kimberley Jacobs is being sued in
her individual capacity; to wit, Chief Jacobs was a resident
of Franklin County at the time of the incident. Chief Jacobs
is the current holder of the office of Chief of the Columbus
Division of Police, and the Chief Law Enforcement Officer for
Columbus, Ohio. Chief Jacobs is the final policymaker with
respect to the policies of the Columbus Division of Police.
Chief Jacobs is a “person” under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 and at all times relevant to this case acted under color
of law. She is sued individually and in her official capacity
as an employee of the City of Columbus.
Chief Kimberly Jacobs, as chief law enforcement officer for
the City of Columbus, Ohio, serves as the ultimate
policymaker for the Columbus Division of Police, and had both
actual and constructive knowledge of the actions of both
Officers Blaine and Gruber, as well as actual and
constructive knowledge of the actions of the chain of command
in failing to train, supervise and discipline Officers Blaine
Defendant Columbus Division of Police Chief Kimberly Jacobs
had actual knowledge and/or had constructive knowledge and/or
failed to conduct a proper investigation into the actions of
Defendants Blaine and Gruber. A proper investigation would
have included that Defendants Blaine and Gruber participated
in a pattern of conduct that was racially discriminatory
1, Compl. ¶¶ 5, 40, and 91). Plaintiff does not
specifically bring any of his claims against Defendant
STANDARD OF REVIEW
brings this motion pursuant to Rule 12(c) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 12(c) provides that
“[a]fter the pleadings are closed-but early enough not
to delay trial-a party may move for judgment on the
pleadings.” The standard of review for a motion for
judgment on the pleadings under Rule 12(c) is the same as
that used to address a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6).
Id.; Lindsay v. Yates, 498 F.3d 434, 438
(6th Cir. 2007).
12(b)(6) permits dismissal of a lawsuit for “failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” To
meet this standard, a party must allege sufficient facts to
state a claim that is “plausible on its face.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007). A pleading will satisfy this plausibility standard if
it contains “factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). In considering whether
a complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted, the Court must “construe the complaint in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff, accept its allegations
as true, and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the
plaintiff.” Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund v.
Standard & Poor's Fin. Servs. LLC, 700 F.3d 829,
835 (6th Cir. 2012) (quoting Directv, Inc. v.
Treesh, 487 F.3d 471, 476 (6th Cir. 2007)). However,
“the tenet that a court must accept a complaint's
allegations as true is inapplicable to threadbare recitals of
a cause of action's elements, supported by mere
conclusory statements.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
663. Thus, while a court is to afford plaintiff every
inference, the pleading must still contain facts sufficient
to “provide a plausible basis for the claims in the
complaint;” a recitation of facts intimating the
“mere possibility of misconduct” will not
suffice. Flex Homes, Inc. v. Ritz-Craft Corp of Mich.,
Inc., 491 F. App'x 628, 632 (6th Cir. 2012);
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679.
“[f]or purposes of a motion for judgment on the
pleadings, all well-pleaded material allegations of the
pleadings of the opposing party must be taken as true, and
the motion may be granted only if the moving party is
nevertheless clearly entitled to judgment.”
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Winget, 510 F.3d 577,
581 (6th Cir. 2007) (quoting S. Ohio Bank v. Merrill
Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., 479 F.2d 478,
480 (6th Cir. 1973)).
Jacobs moves for judgment on the pleadings as to
Plaintiff's official capcity claims against her as they
would be duplicative of the claims Plaintiff has asserted
against the City of Columbus. An “official-capacity
suit is, in all respects other than name, to be treated as a
suit against the entity.” Kentucky v. Graham,
473 U.S. 159, 166 (1985). “Courts regularly dismiss as
redundant claims against agents in their official capacities
when the principal entity is also named as a defendant in ...