United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
EPHRIM D. TALISON, Plaintiff,
CITY OF DETROIT, DETROIT POLICE DEPARTMENT, DET. SHAUN DUNNING, OFFICER LEMUEL SIMS, OFFICER RANSOM WILLIAMS, OFFICER LYNN MOORE, SERGEANT WILLIE DUNCAN, and OFFICER HAROLD LEWIS, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT SHAUN
DUNNING'S MOTION TO DISMISS
V. PARKER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
a civil rights action filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1983, arising from Plaintiff's arrest on June 21, 2016.
In his Complaint, Plaintiff claims that Defendants unlawfully
seized and used excessive force against him, and then denied
him medical treatment for his injuries. The matter is
presently before the Court on a motion filed by Defendant
Detective Shaun Dunning (“Detective Dunning”) on
September 19, 2019. (ECF No. 21.) Plaintiff filed a response
to the motion on September 30, 2019. (ECF No. 22.)
initial matter, Detective Dunning's counsel labels the
motion as one for “summary judgment” and
repeatedly states in the supporting brief that Detective
Dunning is “entitled to summary judgment.”
Motions for summary judgment are brought pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 56. Yet, Detective Dunning's
counsel cites Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 8(a) and 12(c)
as the source of the motion. (See Def.'s Br. at 2-3, ECF
No. 21 at Pg ID 121-22.) Further, the arguments in support of
the motion reflect that Detective Dunning is challenging the
sufficiency of Plaintiff's claim against him-that is,
whether the facts alleged in the Complaint state a viable
claim against this defendant. The Court therefore is
construing the motion as a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule
motion for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Rule 12(c)
is subject to the same standards of review as a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. Grindstaff v. Green, 133 F.3d
416, 421 (6th Cir. 1998). A motion to dismiss pursuant to
Rule 12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of the complaint.
RMI Titanium Co. v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp., 78
F.3d 1125, 1134 (6th Cir. 1996). Under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 8(a)(2), a pleading must contain a “short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” To survive a motion to dismiss, a
complaint need not contain “detailed factual
allegations, ” but it must contain more than
“labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action . . ..”
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007). A complaint does not “suffice if it tenders
‘naked assertions' devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).
Supreme Court provided in Iqbal and Twombly, “[t]o
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Id. (quoting 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.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at
556). The plausibility standard “does not impose a
probability requirement at the pleading stage; it simply
calls for enough facts to raise a reasonable expectation that
discovery will reveal evidence of illegal [conduct].”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556.
deciding whether the plaintiff has set forth a
“plausible” claim, the court must accept the
factual allegations in the complaint as true. Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). This presumption is not
applicable to legal conclusions, however. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
668. Therefore, “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements
of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements, do not suffice.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
to the Complaint, at approximately 7:00 p.m. on June 21,
2016, City of Detroit Police Department Officers Lemuel Sims,
Ransom Williams, and Lynn Moore and Sergeant Willie Duncan
approached Plaintiff to effectuate an arrest. (Compl.
¶¶ 15, 19, ECF No. 1 at Pg ID 4.) Plaintiff alleges
that the officers used excessive force against him during the
arrest, causing Plaintiff to suffer a fracture of his left
arm, contusion of his right forearm, and abrasions on his
right hand and right knee. (Id. ¶¶ 20-28,
Pg ID 5.) After he was arrested, the officers transported
Plaintiff to the Wayne County Jail. (Id. ¶ 30,
Pg ID 6.) Plaintiff claims that he was denied medical
treatment for his injuries, despite repeated requests for
aid. (Id. ¶ 31-33, Pg ID 6.)
Law and Analysis
8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that a
complaint set forth “a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ”
as well as “a demand for the relief sought.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), (3). The purpose of this rule is to
“give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim
is and the grounds upon which it rests.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (quoting Conley,
355 U.S. at 47 and Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)). While such notice
pleading does not require detailed factual allegations, it
does require more than the bare assertion of legal
conclusions. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Rule 8
“demands more than an unadorned, the
defendant-unlawfully-harmed me accusation.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
prevail on his § 1983 claim, Plaintiff must show that
each defendant deprived him of a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States while acting under
color of law. Sigley v. City of Parma Heights, 437
F.3d 527, 533 (6th Cir. 2006); see also See Flagg Bros.,
Inc. v. Brooks, 436 U.S. 149, 155 (1978). To establish
personal liability under § 1983, Plaintiff must show
that each defendant charged “caused the deprivation of
a federal right.” Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S.
159, 166 (1985). Stated differently, Plaintiff “must
plead that each Government-official defendant, through the
official's own individual actions, has violated the
Constitution.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676. This
can be shown by alleging facts establishing that the
individual participated, condoned, encouraged, or knowingly
acquiesced in the alleged misconduct. Taylor v. Mich.
Dep't of Corr., 69 F.3d 716, 727-28 (6th Cir. 1995).
However, § 1983 liability cannot be based upon a theory
of respondeat superior or vicarious liability. Monell v.
Dep't of Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691-92 (1978);
Everson v. Leis, 556 F.3d 484, 495 (6th Cir. 2009).
Dunning seeks dismissal of Plaintiff's § 1983 claim
against him, arguing that there are no facts alleged in the
Complaint suggesting that he engaged in any unlawful conduct.
He is correct. The Complaint in fact does not identify any
conduct by Detective Dunning, let alone conduct suggesting
that he was personally involved or participated in the
alleged unconstitutional actions. In response to Detective
Dunning's motion, Plaintiff does not set forth any
factual basis on which to find Detective Dunning liable.
IT IS ORDERED, that Defendant Shaun
Dunning's motion (ECF No. 21) is
GRANTED, Plaintiff's claim against him
is DISMISSED WITH ...