United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS AND ORDER
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE United States District Court
matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)
for failure to state a claim (Filing No. 7).
Plaintiff Anthony Wayne Reed (“Reed”), an Indiana
prisoner, filed this civil rights action against Defendants
Officer Blake Lytle (“Lytle”), Mark Paris
(“Paris”), Mike Chapman (“Chapman”),
Officer Michael J. Sadler (“Sadler”), Brian
Miller (“Miller”) and the City of Carmel
(hereafter, Lytle, Paris, Sadler, and the City of Carmel are
collectively referred to as “City of Carmel
Defendants”). On February 2, 2016, this action was
removed from the Hamilton Superior Court, Hamilton County,
Indiana, to federal court. On March 8, 2016, this Court
screened the complaint and found that Fourth and Fourteenth
Amendment claims brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
could proceed against the individual defendants and state law
claims could proceed against all defendants. (Filing No.
same day the Court issued its screening order pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915A, Lytle, Paris and the City of Carmel,
filed a motions to dismiss. (Filing No. 7.) Shortly
thereafter, Sadler joined in the Motion to Dismiss.
(Filing No. 15.) Reed opposed the motions.
(Filing No. 29.) For the reasons explained below,
the City of Carmel Defendants' Motions to Dismiss are
granted as to the federal claims and denied as to the state
law claims. The state law claims are remanded to the Hamilton
Superior Court for consideration.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
evaluating the sufficiency of the complaint, the court
considers the complaint in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party, accepting well-pleaded facts as true, and
drawing all inferences in the nonmoving party's favor.
Bell v. City of Chicago, 835 F.3d 736, 738 (7th Cir.
2016). Although a party need not plead “detailed
factual allegations” to survive a motion to dismiss,
mere “labels and conclusions” or “a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Instead, “[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.'”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570); quoted by
Berger v. Nat'l Collegiate Athletic Ass'n, 843
F.3d 285, 289-90 (7th Cir. 2016).
brought this civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
He alleges that on December 29, 2013, Lytle, a Carmel Police
Officer, seized and placed a forfeiture hold on his vehicle,
a black 2000 Cadillac DTS. This seizure followed Reed's
arrest for driving while suspended, never having received a
license, burglary and theft charges.
April 16, 2015, Reed entered into a Plea Agreement with the
State of Indiana and the charges associated with the seizure
of his vehicle were dismissed. Reed's Sentencing Order,
signed by a judge from the Hamilton Superior Court, and filed
on April 17, 2015 (the “Court Order”), states the
Further, the Noblesville Police Department is directed to
release the following seized items to the Defendant's
brother, Scott A. Reed (5045 East 17th Street,
Indianapolis, Indiana): GPS unit, subwoofer speaker, AMP, 3
bags of various tools, floor jack, gas can, jumper cables,
iPod, Samsung phone, Samsung remote control, wallet and cash
found therein, the money seized from Mr. Reed's pockets,
and Defendant's vehicle.
Filing No. 1-1 at p. 39.
April 18, 2015, Reed's brother presented the Court Order
to Chapman, at Miller's Towing Yard Company
(“Miller's Towing”) and attempted to retrieve
Reed's vehicle and all items that were left in the
vehicle at the time of the seizure. Reed's brother was
informed by Chapman, the acting spokesperson for Miller's
Towing, that a $1, 500.00 lien was placed on the vehicle for
towing and storage and that the vehicle would not be released
until the fee was paid.
alleges that Lytle is responsible for any and all towing and
storage fees incurred from the seizure of his vehicle. He
asserts that Lytle's failure to pay the towing and
storage fees generated as a result of his actions violates
Reed's Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
alleges that investigating officers Paris and Sadler are
responsible for allowing a forfeiture or evidence hold, when
no forfeiture proceedings were ever filed against his
vehicle. He contends Paris and Sadler should have retrieved
the vehicle from Miller's Towing and released the vehicle
to his brother as directed in the April 17, 2015, Court
and Miller of Miller's Towing are allegedly responsible
for the towing of Reed's vehicle and for informing his
brother that there was a towing and storage fee of $1, 500.00
to retrieve Reed's vehicle. Reed contends that
Chapman's refusal to release the vehicle after being