United States District Court, S.D. Ohio
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. Litkovitz, United States Magistrate Judge
Carl Godfrey brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
and state law against defendants the Hamilton County, Ohio
Board of Commissioners (the Board); Hamilton County Juvenile
Court Administrator John M. Williams in his official and
individual capacities; superintendent Dwayne R. Bowman in his
official and individual capacities; correctional officer
Middleson and supervisors Lonzman and Allen in their official
and individual capacities; and unknown nurse employed by the
Hamilton County Juvenile Detention Center (Detention Center).
Plaintiff filed the complaint on September 20, 2018, and was
granted leave to file an amended complaint on December 6,
2018. (See Doc. 23). Plaintiff brings claims under
§ 1983 for violations of his Eighth Amendment rights
(First and Second Causes of Action); violations of his Fourth
and Fourteenth Amendment rights based on breach of a duty to
train, instruct, and supervise (Third Cause of Action); and
violations of his Fourth Amendment rights based on excessive
use offeree (Fourth Cause of Action). Plaintiff brings state
law claims for assault and battery (Fifth Cause of Action);
intentional infliction of emotional distress (Sixth Cause of
Action); and negligence in violation of Ohio Rev. Code
"2307" and § 2307.50 (Seventh Cause of
matter is before the Court on the following motions:
• The Commissioners' motion for judgment on the
pleadings related to the original complaint (Doc. 10),
plaintiffs response in opposition (Doc. 15), and the
Commissioners' reply in support of their motion (Doc.
• Defendant Williams' motion to dismiss the original
complaint (Doc. 14) and plaintiffs opposing memorandum (Doc.
• The Board's motion for judgment on the pleadings
directed to the amended complaint (Doc. 26), plaintiffs
opposing memorandum (Doc. 29), and the Board's reply
• Defendant Williams' motion to dismiss the first
amended complaint (Doc. 28), plaintiffs opposing memorandum
(Doc. 30), and Williams' reply (Doc. 33).
• Plaintiffs second motion to amend/correct the
complaint (Doc. 31), and defendant Williams and the
Board's opposing memoranda (Docs. 34, 35).
The Amended Complaint
amended complaint makes the following allegations: Plaintiff
is a resident of Hamilton County, Ohio. All defendants
"are located in Hamilton County." (Doc. 23 at 1).
Defendants Bowman, Lonzman, Allen, Middleson, and the unknown
nurse all work for the Detention Center. "[T]he Hamilton
County Board of Commissioner (Board), [sic] Judge Williams
are responsible for regulating and supervising Hamilton
County Ohio Juvenile Court." (Id. at 2).
relevant times, plaintiff Godfrey was housed at the Detention
Center. In January 2017, plaintiff and another resident got
into a fight at the Detention Center. The two were face down
on the floor, and as a correctional officer sat on plaintiffs
back plaintiff said, "I can't breath" [sic].
(Id.). Correctional Officers Middleson and Sloan
walked plaintiff to his room. Middleson was bending
plaintiffs finger as they walked and broke it. Middleson and
Sloan put plaintiff on his knees on the floor in front of his
bed and left the room. When the nurse came to plaintiffs room
a short time later, plaintiffs finger was swollen and he told
her, "[M]y finger is broke, my hand is broke."
(Id. at 3). The nurse walked out of the room. In
July 2017, plaintiff had surgery on the finger because no
corrective measures had been taken after it was broken.
February 2018, Godfrey and supervisor Lundsman got into an
argument at the Detention Center. After Lundsman put
plaintiff in a room by himself, the two started arguing
again. Correctional officers Parker, Middleson, and Daniels
started to restrain plaintiff. Middleson grabbed, twisted,
and bent plaintiffs previously injured finger and thumb and
broke his finger a second time. After plaintiff told
Middleson to stop and he was on his knees on the floor, the
correctional officers walked out of the room.
The parties' motions for judgment on the pleadings and to
dismiss plaintiffs claims
The motions directed to the original complaint (Docs. 10,
Commissioners sought judgment on the pleadings on the
original complaint on October 24, 2018. (Doc. 10). Defendant
Williams filed a motion to dismiss the original complaint.
(Doc. 14). Plaintiff subsequently filed the amended
complaint. (Doc. 23). The Board filed a second motion for
judgment on the pleadings (Doc. 26) and defendant Williams
filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint (Doc. 28). As
the amended complaint supersedes the original complaint and
is the operative complaint, Calhoun v. Bergh, 769
F.3d 409, 410 (6th Cir. 2014), the Court will address the
parties' motions directed to the amended complaint.
(Docs. 26, 28). Therefore, the Commissioners' first
motion for judgment on the pleading (Doc. 10) and
Williams' motion to dismiss the original complaint (Doc.
14) should be denied as moot.
The motions directed to the amended complaint (Docs. 26,
Standard of review
ruling on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, 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) (citing Harbin-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 claim is plausible on its face "when the
plaintiff pleads 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). "[A] plaintiffs obligation to
provide the grounds of his entitle[ment] to relief requires
more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation
of the elements of a cause of action will not do."
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (internal quotation marks
omitted). The Court need not accept as true the plaintiffs
legal conclusions. See Gean v. Hattaway, 330 F.3d
758, 765 (6th Cir. 2003).
apply the same analysis to motions for judgment on the
pleadings under Rule 12(c) as they apply to motions to
dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). See Warrior
Sports, Inc. v, Nat'l Collegiate Athletic Ass
'n, 623 F.3d 281, 284 (6th Cir. 2010). "For
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, 582 (6th Cir. 2007) (internal
citation and quotation marks omitted)). However, the Court
need not accept as true legal conclusions or unwarranted
factual inferences. Id. (citing Mixon v.
Ohio, 193 F.3d 389, 400 (6th Cir. 1999)).
Plaintiffs § 1983 claim against the Board should be
Board moves to dismiss the § 1983 claim against it on
the ground the Board cannot be held liable for the incidents
alleged in the complaint based on the acts or omissions of
the Hamilton County Juvenile Court or the Detention Center.
(Doc. 26). The Board argues that it has no responsibility for
the hiring and training of Detention Center employees, and it
has no say in how the Detention Center is operated. The Board
alleges that under Ohio statutory law, only the