United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
DAVID PROCTOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case is before the court on several pre-answer challenges to
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint. The motions under
submission include (1) Defendant Andy Gunter's Motion to
Drop Parties, or in the Alternative, to Sever and Dismiss or
to Transfer (Doc. # 15), (2) Defendant Jeffrey Hinkle's
Motion to Dismiss (Doc. # 19), (3) Defendant Clark
Thompson's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. # 27), (4) Defendant
Scott Lowery's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. # 31), (5)
Defendant JTM Corporation's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. #
50), and (6) Defendant Food Giant Supermarkets, Inc.'s
(“Food Giant”) Partial Motion to Dismiss (Doc. #
55). Plaintiff has responded to all of these motions. (Docs.
# 34, 37, 52-53, 56, 58). Defendants have filed reply briefs
supporting their motions. (Docs. # 45-47, 54, 59-60).
Procedural History and Facts
Amended Complaint presents claims against four individual
Defendants and four corporate Defendants. (See
generally Doc. # 44). These claims arise from four
arrests that occurred from December 2014 to December 2015.
(See Id. at ¶¶ 14-39). The arrests
occurred after employees from various stores filed complaints
against Plaintiff for cashing forged payroll checks. (See
Id. at ¶¶ 15, 22, 27, 34-35). But, Plaintiff
alleges that unknown individuals acquired his personal
information and unlawfully used his identity to cash
counterfeit payroll checks. (Id. at ¶ 1).
Additionally, Plaintiff insists that the corporate Defendants
possessed video and fingerprint evidence that would have
exonerated him, but they either destroyed the evidence or
failed to use it to investigate the crimes. (Id. at
¶¶ 7, 11-12).
Etowah County Criminal Complaint Against Plaintiff
November 2014, an employee for Defendant Johnson's Giant
Foods complained that Plaintiff had cashed a forged payroll
check in October 2014. (Id. at ¶ 16). The
payroll check was cashed at Johnson's Giant Foods #4 in
Gadsden, Alabama. (Id.). The employee filed the
complaint in the District Court of Etowah County.
(Id.). Defendant Johnson's Giant Foods sought
$1, 244.46 in restitution from Plaintiff in December 2014.
(Id. at ¶ 18).
December 18, 2014, Plaintiff was arrested in Hoover, Alabama
and held in Hoover's city jail for 13 hours.
(Id. at ¶ 15). Plaintiff then was transferred
to a jail in Gadsden, Alabama, and released on a $2, 500
appearance bond. (Id.). Defendant Thompson
“investigated the case.” (Id. at ¶
19). In June 2015, a grand jury in Etowah County issued an
order of no bill, and the criminal case against Plaintiff was
Coffee County Criminal Complaint Against Plaintiff
to the Amended Complaint, an employee for Defendant Food
Giant filed a complaint against Plaintiff for allegedly
cashing forged checks at a Food Giant store in Elba, Alabama.
(Id. at ¶ 22). Plaintiff denies presenting the
check to the store. (Id. at ¶ 23). Indeed, Food
Giant allegedly created a video of the incident that proves
Plaintiff did not cash the check. (Id. at ¶
police officers arrested Plaintiff at his residence in Hoover
in October 2015 and transported him to a jail in Elba.
(Id. at ¶ 22). Plaintiff posted a $2, 000
appearance bond. (Id.). Plaintiff alleges that this
arrest occurred due to “the actions of Andy
Gunter.” (Id.). A grand jury for a Coffee
County state court issued a no bill in the criminal action.
(Id. at ¶ 25).
Franklin County Criminal Complaint Against Plaintiff
employee for Defendant Gateway Foods, Inc. (“Gateway
Foods”) filed a complaint averring that Plaintiff
cashed “two checks purportedly issued by the Coca Cola
Bottling [Company]” at a Foodland grocery store in
Russellville, Alabama. (Id. at ¶ 29). Defendant
Lowery, a police officer for the City of Russellville, also
signed the complaint. (Id. at ¶ 30). Plaintiff
denies presenting the checks at the Foodland store.
(Id. at ¶ 31).
December 2015, police officers in Mountain Brook, Alabama
arrested Plaintiff and held him at a Mountain Brook police
station. (Id. at ¶ 27). Russellville police
transported Plaintiff to Russellville's city jail, and
Plaintiff was then transferred to the Franklin County Jail.
(Id.). Plaintiff posted bond, but was held in
Franklin County until sheriffs from Chambers County picked
him up. (Id. at ¶ 28). A criminal case against
Plaintiff in Franklin County was dismissed in March 2016.
(Id. at ¶ 32).
Chambers County Criminal Complaint Against Plaintiff
employee for Defendant JTM Corporation filed a complaint
against Plaintiff for allegedly cashing a forged check at a
Piggly Wiggly grocery store in Lanett, Alabama. (Id.
at ¶ 36). Plaintiff denies presenting the forged check
and alleges that Defendant JTM possessed a ...