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Key v. Mott

United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division

January 5, 2015

JONIE KEY, Plaintiff,
v.
JAMES MOTT, et al, Defendants.

ORDER

KRISTI K. DuBOSE, District Judge.

This matter is before the court on Defendants Lundy, Reed, Cassidy, and Taylor (referred to herein collectively as Defendants) Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint and the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation of the same. The court adopts the Report and Recommendation as revised below:

In a Report and Recommendation entered on April 4, 2013, the Magistrate Judge set out the following:

The facts are, briefly, as follows. On September 29, 2010 Plaintiff Jonie Key was in custody in the Jail of Defendant Town of Mount Vernon (hereinafter Mount Vernon or Town) (Doc. 26, ¶¶ 1, 46). Defendant James Mott, a Mount Vernon police officer, was on duty at the jail that day when Plaintiff asked to use the jail phone (id. at ¶¶ 2, 4, 47-48). Mott took Key to the small room where the inmate phone was located and had sexual intercourse with her; he then took Plaintiff back to her cell and left the jail (id. at ¶¶ 50, 52-53, 56). On July 9, 2012, Mott pled guilty to custodial sexual misconduct, a Class C felony under Ala. Code § 14-11-31 (id. at ¶ 59).
On September 25, 2012, Plaintiff brought this action, asserting eight claims against Mott, Mount Vernon, and multiple other Defendants[1] (Doc. 1). On December 12, Key filed her First Amended Complaint, asserting the following claims against all Defendants: (1) assault (Doc. 26, ¶¶ 65-67); (2) violation of the custodial sexual misconduct statute (id. at ¶¶ 68-70); (3) violations of the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution (id. at ¶¶ 71-73); (4) violation of constitutional rights due to custom, policy, or practice in the hiring of Mott (id. at ¶¶ 74-77); (5) violation of constitutional rights due to custom, policy, or practice in the training and/or supervision of Mott (id. at ¶¶ 78-81); (6) violation of constitutional rights due to sexual harassment and/or improper sexual conduct (id. at ¶¶ 82-85); (7) violation of constitutional rights due to custom, policy or practice in having no gender restrictions in the supervision of inmates (id. at ¶¶ 86-89); and (8) violation of constitutional rights due to custom, policy, or practice in the policy of violating citizens'/inmates' constitutional rights (id. at ¶¶ 90-93). Key seeks compensatory and punitive damages for her injuries as well as attorneys' fees and costs (Doc. 26).
On December 27, Mount Vernon filed a Motion to Dismiss the First Amended Complaint (Docs. 29-30); on that same date, a Motion to Dismiss the First Amended Complaint was collectively filed by all of the individual Defendants except for Mott (Docs. 31-32).

(Doc. 45, pp. 1-4) (footnotes omitted).

That Report recommended that the two Motions to Dismiss (Docs. 29-32) be granted (Doc. 45, p. 1). There was a further recommendation "that Plaintiff's § 1983 claims against

Defendants Lundy, Reed, Cassidy, Jerry K. Taylor, Robinson, Driskell, Robert Taylor, Jr., Bolden, and Trotter-Dees in their official [and individual] capacities be dismissed" (Doc. 45, p. 3, n.1; id. at pp. 16-17, 25-26). Finally, it was recommended that all Defendants, except for Defendant Mott, be dismissed from the action and that the punitive damages claim against the Town of Mount Vernon be dismissed (Doc. 45, pp. 36-37).

On April 30, 2013, the undersigned entered an Order, adopting the Report and Recommendation in part and rejecting it in part (Doc. 55). Specifically, the order stated:

ORDERED that Defendant Mount Vernon's Motion to Dismiss (Docs. 29) [be] DENIED as to claims involving violations of the Eight Amendment as alleged in counts three (3), four (4), and five (5) of Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint and GRANTED as to all other claims and Plaintiff's demand for punitive damages, and that the Motion to Dismiss filed by the Individual Defendants (Doc. 31) [be] DENIED as to claims against Defendants Steve A. Reed, Jerry K. Taylor, Joe Cassidy, and Jerry C. Lundy in their individual capacities involving violations of the Eighth Amendment as alleged in counts three (3), four (4), and five (5) of Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint and GRANTED as to all other claims.

(Doc. 55, pp. 3-4)

Defendants Cassady, Lundy, Reed, and Taylor filed an Interlocutory Appeal, asserting that this Court had improperly denied their Motion to Dismiss the § 1983 claims on the grounds of qualified immunity (Doc. 62). On May 7, 2014, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals remanded the action to this Court so that Key could "amend her complaint in light of [its] recent decision in Franklin v. Curry, 738 F.3d 1246 (11thCir. 2013)" (Doc. 103, p. 2).

On August 15, 2014, Plaintiff filed her Third Amended Complaint in which she raised the following claims: violation of Key's constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (count two); violation of Key's constitutional rights due to custom policy or practice: hiring of Mott (count three); and violation of Key's constitutional rights due to custom policy or practice: training and/or supervision of Mott (count four) (Doc. 112).[2] The Defendants filed this Motion to Dismiss (Docs. 116-17). Plaintiff has filed a Response (Doc. 123) to which a Reply has been made (Doc. 124).

Though set out previously, the Court notes that

"[w]hen considering a motion to dismiss, all facts set forth in the plaintiff's complaint are to be accepted as true and the court limits its consideration to the pleadings and exhibits attached thereto.'" Grossman v. Nationsbank, N.A., 225 F.3d 1228, 1231 (11th Cir. 2000) (quoting GSW, Inc. v. Long County, 999 F.2d 1508, 1510 (11th Cir. 1993)). In order to state a claim for relief, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure state that a pleading must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The U.S. Supreme Court explained that the purpose of the rule was to "give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957).[3] While factual allegations do not have to be detailed, they must contain more than "labels and conclusions;" "a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause will not do." Bell Atlantic Corporation v. Twombley, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citing Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986)). "Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Id. (citations omitted). "Facts that are merely consistent with' the plaintiff's legal theory will not suffice when, without some further factual enhancement [they] stop short of the line between possibility and plausibility of "entitle[ment] to relief."'" Weissman v. National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc., 500 F.3d 1293, 1310 (11th Cir. 2007) (quoting Twombley, 550 U.S. 557) (quoting DM Research, Inc. v. College of American Pathologists, 170 F.3d 53, 56 (1st Cir. 1999)). "Only a complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a motion to dismiss." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009) (citing Twombley, 550 U.S. at 556). Where the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of conduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not show[n]'-that the pleader is entitled to relief.'" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 (quoting ...

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