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Hill v. City of Forest Park

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

July 27, 2018

WADE HILL, JR., Plaintiff,

          Dlott, J.


          Karen L. Litkovitz United States Magistrate Judge.

         Plaintiff Wade Hill, Jr., proceeding pro se, brings this action against defendant City of Forest Park (hereinafter "City") for malicious prosecution under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the state law tort of false imprisonment. (Doc. 1). This matter is before the Court on the City's motion to dismiss (Doc. 7), plaintiffs response in opposition (Doc. 9), and the City's reply memorandum (Doc. 10).

         I. The Complaint

         Plaintiff initiated this action on December 19, 2017. (Complaint, Doc. 1). Plaintiff alleges that he received fifteen "unjust"' convictions as a result of prosecutions that were executed without probable cause in case numbers: C/15/CRB/19343; C/15/CRB/19344; M/14/CRB/12071; M/14/CRB/22855; M/14/CRB/22856; M/14/CRB/22857; M/15/CRB/10513; M/15/CRB/11103; M/15/CRB/11104; M/15/CRB/13574; M/15/CRB/16972; M/15/CRB/26867; M/17/CRB/24736; M/17/CRB/24738; and M/17/CRB/24739. (Id. at ¶7). Plaintiff alleges that the City acted maliciously by "requesting (through deputy [District Attorney]) extensive sentences totaling 240 days jail upon obtaining unconstitutional convictions." (Id. at ¶ 8). Plaintiff further alleges that the City's "malicious acts" resulted in his "unjust captivity ... for more than 30 days in jail when there was no evidence of any wrongdoing. . . ." (Id. at ¶ 9). Plaintiff alleges that the City's policy of "invidious discrimination and malicious prosecution" resulted in the 15 unjust prosecutions over the last four years. (Id. at ¶ 10).

         II. The City's motion to dismiss (Doc. 7)

         The City moves to dismiss the complaint under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) on the grounds that the complaint is barred by the statute of limitations and the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. (Doc. 7). First, the City contends that plaintiffs malicious prosecution claim brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 is time-barred by the two-year limitations period set forth in Ohio Rev. Code § 2305.10. (Id. at 4). The City claims that at least five of the underlying charges in plaintiffs malicious prosecution claim are barred by the two-year statute of limitations. (Id.).

         The City also contends that plaintiff fails to state a claim for malicious prosecution under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 because he has failed to allege that any of the criminal proceedings terminated in his favor, which is a requisite element for bringing a malicious prosecution claim. (Id. at 5.). The City maintains that plaintiff was convicted in fifteen proceedings, three of which are pending on appeal. (Id. at 5-6). The City also moves to dismiss plaintiffs false imprisonment claim for failure to state a claim for relief because the evidence of probable cause arising from his convictions defeats a finding of false imprisonment. (Id. at 6).

         In response, plaintiff argues that the City fails to sufficiently dispute the facts in his complaint. (Doc. 9 at 2). Plaintiff argues that the criminal proceedings against him were facially void because there was no probable cause. (Id.). In addition, plaintiff argues that five of his malicious prosecution claims are not barred by the statute of limitations based on the continuing violations doctrine. (Id.).

         In reply, the City contends that the continuing violations doctrine is inapplicable because it rarely extends to § 1983 actions and because each proceeding against plaintiff is a separate and discrete occurrence that does not amount to a continuing constitutional violation. (Doc. 10 at 1 -2). Additionally, the City argues that probable cause was established for each conviction. (Id.).

         A. Rule 12(b)(6) standard

         In deciding a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court must accept all factual allegations as true and make reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Keys v. Humana, Inc., 684 F.3d 605, 608 (6th Cir. 2012) (citingHarbin-Bey v. Rutter, 420 F.3d 571, 575 (6th Cir. 2005)). Only "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief is required. Id. (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)). "[T]he statement need only give the defendant fair notice of what the . .. claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Id. (quoting Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (internal quotation marks omitted) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Although the plaintiff need not plead specific facts, the "[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level" and to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 570). A plaintiff must "plead[] factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). The Court must hold pro se pleadings to less stringent standards than those prepared by attorneys and must liberally construe them when determining whether they fail to state a claim. See, e.g., Martin v. Overtoil, 391 F.3d 710, 712 (6th Cir. 2004).

         B. Plaintiffs malicious prosecution claim should be dismissed.

         i. Plaintiff's malicious prosecution claim is time-barred for ...

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