United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
OPINION AND ORDER
THERESA L. SPRINGMANN CHIEF JUDGE
Dimitric Freeman filed a state court Complaint [ECF No. 4] on
May 26, 2017, against Defendants the State of Indiana, the
City of Fort Wayne, Detective Marc DeShaies, and Sheriff
David Gladiuex. Defendant Gladiuex has already been dismissed
from this case. (See ECF No. 19.) This case was
removed to federal court [ECF No. 1] on July 27, 2017. The
State of Indiana (State) filed a Motion for Judgment on the
Pleadings [ECF No. 22] on March 27, 2018. The Plaintiff was
granted an extension of time until April 30, 2018, [ECF No.
34] in which to respond to the State's Motion, but to
date, he has failed to respond or request a further extension
of time. In response to the Court's Order [ECF No. 35],
the State filed its Answer [ECF No. 36] into the record on
May 17, 2018.
Plaintiff alleges that on March 7, 2016, Defendant DeShaies,
while acting under color of law, applied for a search and
arrest warrant for the Plaintiff based upon a tip from an
informant that the Plaintiff was driving a blue Dodge Charger
in violation of his designation as a habitual traffic
violator. (Compl. at 2 ¶ 1, ECF No. 4.) The alleged tip
was received on January 2, 2016. (Id.) The Plaintiff
asserts that the blue Dodge Charger in question belonged to
Jernard Freeman and that the Plaintiff could not have been
driving the Charger at the alleged time because the Charger
was being repaired from January 4, 2016, until February 11,
2016. (Id. at 2 ¶ 3.) Therefore, the Plaintiff
asserts that the warrant was based on false information,
which was communicated in reckless disregard for the truth.
(Id. at 2 ¶ 5.) The search and arrest warrant
was served on the Plaintiff on March 2, 2016. (Id.
at 3 ¶ 7.) As a result, the Plaintiff's dogs and
puppies were confiscated, and the Plaintiff was arrested.
(Id. at 3 ¶ 8.)
Plaintiff alleges false arrest, conversion/overbroad search,
malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional
distress, and violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against all
of the Defendants. The only Defendant relevant to the instant
Motion is the State.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c), a party may move for
judgment on the pleadings after the plaintiff has filed a
complaint and the defendant has filed an answer. See
Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c). “A motion for judgment on the
pleadings is generally not favored and courts apply a fairly
restrictive standard in ruling on the motion.”
Urbanski v. Tech Data, No. 3:07-cv-17, 2008 WL
141574, at *10 (N.D. Ind. Jan. 11, 2008) (citing Fox v.
Terra Haute Indep. Broadcasters, Inc., 701 F.Supp. 172,
173 (S.D. Ind. 1988)). Where no evidence outside of the
pleadings is submitted, and none has been submitted here, a
motion for judgment on the pleadings will be reviewed under
the standard of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion. Paist v. Town
& Country Corp., 744 F., Supp. 179 (N.D. Ill. 1990).
reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court must
accept all of the factual allegations as true and draw all
reasonable inferences in favor of the Plaintiff. Erickson
v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007). The Complaint need
not contain detailed facts, but surviving a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion “requires more than labels and conclusions . . .
. Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level.” Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). “A
claim has facial plausibility when the pleaded factual
content 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) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant argues that the Plaintiff cannot bring a cause of
action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against a state because a
state is not a “person” within the meaning of the
statute. In relevant part, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 states:
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance,
regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or
the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be
subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person
within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any
rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution
and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action
at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for
redress . . . .
is well established that neither a state nor a state agency .
. . is a ‘person' for the purposes of §
1983.” Ryan v. Ill. Dep't of Children and
Family Servs., 185 F.3d 751, 758 (7th Cir. 1999) (citing
Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58
(1989) (“We hold that neither a State nor its officials
acting their official capacities are ‘persons'
under § 1983.”)). Therefore, the Plaintiff cannot
bring this claim against the State, and the Court will enter
judgment on the pleadings in favor the State.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional ...