United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
Chelsey M. Vascura, Magistrate Judge
OPINION AND ORDER
D. MORRISON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendants Darren Stephens,
Chase Pinkerman, Columbus Division of Police, and the City of
Columbus' Partial Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
(ECF No. 13), Plaintiff DeShawn Harris' Memorandum Contra
(ECF No. 16), and Defendants' Reply (ECF No. 17). For the
reasons that follow, the Court GRANTS
17, 2017, Crystal Powell allegedly reported to Columbus
Division of Police (“CPD”) Officers Darren
Stephens and Chase Pinkerman that she was assaulted by
DeShawn Clark, her boyfriend and father of her
child. (Compl., ¶¶ 8-15, ECF No. 1; DV Screen, ECF
No. 1-2). Officer Stephens, with the assistance of Officer
Pinkerman, filed two criminal complaints and an affidavit in
support of probable cause to secure an arrest warrant for
Plaintiff DeShawn Harris for charges of assault and
domestic violence stemming from the incident. (Compl.,
¶¶ 21- 24). According to Plaintiff, he had never
met Ms. Powell, he was not the father of her child, he was
not at the bar where Ms. Powell picked up her boyfriend prior
to the assault, and he resided approximately 5.7 miles from
Ms. Powell's residence where the assault took place.
(Id. ¶ 17).
to that warrant, on June 29, 2017, Plaintiff was arrested and
held on $40, 054 bond in the Franklin County Corrections
Center until he secured bail through a bondsman.
(Id. ¶¶ 30-31). The next day, Plaintiff
was arraigned and entered a plea of not guilty. (Id.
¶ 35). Plaintiff alleges that although the City's
discovery revealed no evidence that he was the person Ms.
Powell had identified as her assailant, the Columbus City
Attorney's Office refused to dismiss the case until the
morning of trial on September 13, 2017. (Id.
¶¶ 36-46). The reason for dismissal was listed as
“wrong defendant.” (Dismissal Entry, ECF No.
alleges that “CPD and/or the City of Columbus had a
pervasive, longstanding custom or practice that had the force
of law, which authorized its officers, and specifically
Officers Stephen and Pinkerman, to file charges against[, ]
cause the arrest of and pursue prosecution of, individuals
for whom the officers had no probable cause to charge,
arrest, or prosecute.” (Compl., ¶ 27). In the
alternative, Plaintiff alleges that “CPD and/or the
City of Columbus fail[ed] to properly train its officers,
thereby permitting them to charge, arrest and prosecute
individuals without probable cause.” (Id.
18, 2018, Plaintiff filed a Complaint against Officer
Stephens, Officer Pinkerman, CPD, and the City of Columbus,
alleging false arrest (Count I), malicious prosecution (Count
II), and a Monell claim (Count IV),  in violation of
42 U.S.C. § 1983, and negligent and/or intentional
infliction of emotional distress (Count III), in violation of
Ohio law. (ECF No. 1). In addition to monetary damages,
Plaintiff requests that the Court declare “that the
training programs in place within CPD and the City of
Columbus are inadequate to advise officers of the demands of
the Fourth Amendment, ” and grant “a continuing
injunction mandating the CPD and the City of Columbus to
provide a court-monitored officer training program outlining
the citizens' Fourth Amendment right to be free of
malicious prosecution and Fourth Amendment right to be free
of false arrest, to be implemented immediately and continued
for a period of five years thereafter.” (Id.
at p. 20). Defendants filed a joint Answer on January 18,
2019. (ECF No. 9).
April 4, 2019, Defendants filed a partial Motion for Judgment
on the Pleadings (ECF No. 13). CPD requests judgment on all
claims and Defendants Stephens and Pinkerman request judgment
on Plaintiff's negligent infliction of emotional distress
claim. Defendants also argue that Plaintiff lacks standing to
seek the injunctive relief he requests. On May 8, 2019,
Plaintiff filed his Memorandum Contra. (ECF No. 16).
Defendants filed their Reply on May 13. (ECF No. 17).
Defendants' Motion is now ripe for review.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
motion for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(c) is analyzed in the same manner as a
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). Tucker v.
Middleburg-Legacy Place, LLC, 539 F.3d 545, 549 (6th
Cir. 2008). All allegations in the plaintiff's complaint
are construed in the light most favorable to him, with all
allegations accepted as true and all reasonable inferences
drawn in the plaintiff's favor. Bullington v. Bedford
Cty., 905 F.3d 467, 469 (6th Cir. 2018). “To
overcome a defendant's motion, ‘a complaint must
contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Bullington, 905 F.3d at 469 (quoting Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). The motion should be
granted when there is no material issue of fact and the
moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Tucker, 539 F.3d at 549.
Columbus Division of Police
argues that it is entitled to judgment on all counts because
police departments are not sui juris. Plaintiff
responds that the pleadings do not establish whether CPD is
sui juris or not. Rather, Plaintiff contends that at
this point in the proceedings, a question exists as to
whether CPD is a sub-unit of the City of Columbus or whether
it is a ...