United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
DAVID PRO'CTOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case is before the court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiff's Complaint. (Doc. # 4). The parties have fully
briefed the motion, and it is under submission. (Docs. # 4-1,
August 16, 2016, Plaintiff and Hoyt Lowe (“Hoyt”)
finalized their divorce. (Doc. # 1 at ¶ 14). Plaintiff
and Hoyt entered into a verbal agreement where
“Plaintiff and their three children were to stay at the
marital residence house until they were able to find a place
to live.” (Id.).
evening of August 24, 2016, Hoyt called the police to his
residence in Warrior, Alabama. (Id. at ¶¶
11, 13). Defendant Steve Scott, a sergeant with the Warrior
Police Department, responded to the call. (See Id.
at ¶¶ 7, 15). Hoyt insisted that Plaintiff and
their three children be removed from the residence.
(Id. at ¶ 14). According to the Complaint,
Defendant Scott instructed Plaintiff to leave the residence
or she would be taken to jail. (Id. at ¶ 15).
When Plaintiff attempted to explain the situation and her
oral agreement with Hoyt, Scott interrupted her and
reiterated that she would be taken to jail if she did not
leave the residence. (Id.). Scott instructed
Plaintiff to gather her belongings and leave the residence.
(Id.). Ultimately, Plaintiff left the residence with
her three children. (Id. at ¶ 16).
Standard of Review
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that a complaint
provide “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). However, the complaint must include
enough facts “to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Pleadings that
contain nothing more than “a formulaic recitation of
the elements of a cause of action” do not meet Rule 8
standards, nor do pleadings suffice that are based merely
upon “labels and conclusions” or “naked
assertion[s]” without supporting factual allegations.
Id. at 555, 557. In deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion
to dismiss, courts view the allegations in the complaint in
the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Watts
v. Fla. Int'l Univ., 495 F.3d 1289, 1295 (11th Cir.
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must “state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. “A claim has facial
plausibility 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).
Although “[t]he plausibility standard is not akin to a
‘probability requirement, '” the complaint
must demonstrate “more than a sheer possibility that a
defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. A
plausible claim for relief requires “enough fact[s] to
raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal
evidence” to support the claim. Twombly, 550
U.S. at 556.
considering a motion to dismiss, a court should “1)
eliminate any allegations in the complaint that are merely
legal conclusions; and 2) where there are well-pleaded
factual allegations, ‘assume their veracity and then
determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement
to relief.'” Kivisto v. Miller, Canfield,
Paddock & Stone, PLC, 413 F. App'x 136, 138
(11th Cir. 2011) (quoting Am. Dental Ass'n v. Cigna
Corp., 605 F.3d 1283, 1290 (11th Cir. 2010)). That task
is context specific and, to survive the motion, the
allegations must permit the court based on its
“judicial experience and common sense . . . to infer
more than the mere possibility of misconduct.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. If the court determines that
all of the well-pleaded facts, accepted as true, do not state
a claim that is plausible, the claims are due to be
dismissed. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.
have attached the divorce agreement between Plaintiff and
Hoyt to their motion to dismiss. (Doc. # 4-2). The court can
only consider an extrinsic document attached to a motion to
dismiss “if it is (1) central to the plaintiff's
claim, and (2) its authenticity is not challenged.”
SFM Holdings, Ltd. v. Banc of America Securities,
LLC, 600 F.3d 1334, 1337 (11th Cir. 2010). Plaintiff has
not challenged the authenticity of the attached divorce
agreement, nor has Plaintiff argued that her divorce
agreement with Hoyt is not central to the claims.
(See Doc. # 7 at 2). Rather, Plaintiff has argued
that she retained a property interest in the residence after
the divorce agreement and that, in any event, the agreement
should have been enforced by contempt proceedings.
(Id. at 2-3). From the parties' arguments, the
court determines that the divorce agreement is central to at
least Plaintiff's procedural due process claim, and,
thus, it will consider the extrinsic divorce agreement
attached to Defendants' motion to dismiss at this stage.
Complaint, Plaintiff alleges 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims
against Defendants for deprivation of due process and
deprivation of equal protection based on Plaintiff's
gender. (Doc. # 1 at ¶¶ 36-38, 42-44). Plaintiff
also alleges a § 1983 claim against Defendants for their
failure to institute adequate training and procedures for
handling “domestic situations.” (Id. at
¶¶ 47-50). Plaintiff also claims that Defendants
violated 42 U.S.C. § 1986 by conspiring to violate her
constitutional rights. (Id. at ¶¶ 51-52).
Finally, Plaintiff raises state-law claims against all
Defendants for wantonness, gross negligence, and intentional
infliction of emotional distress. (Id. at
¶¶ 55-58, 60-64).
Plaintiff's § 1983 Claims Against Defendants City of
Warrior and Raymond Horn Fail to State a
Counts I, II, and III of the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges
§ 1983 claims against all Defendants, including the City
of Warrior (the “City”) and Raymond Horn, the
police chief of the Warrior Police Department. After careful
review, the court finds no plausible basis for holding the