United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
T. MOODY JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT
matter is before the court on defendant Lake County's
motion to dismiss. (DE # 15.) For the reasons identified
below, defendant's motion is denied.
William Riley's first amended complaint alleges that
defendant deputy sheriff E. Saavaedra or defendant deputy
sheriff R. Watts used excessive force against him at the Lake
County Jail. (DE # 11 at 2.) Plaintiff also alleges that
defendant Lake County, Indiana is liable to indemnify the
deputy sheriff defendants pursuant to Indiana law.
County now moves to dismiss the claim against it, for failure
to state a claim. (DE ## 15, 16.) Lake County argues that
plaintiff's indemnification claim should be dismissed for
the following reasons: (1) the amended complaint does not
cite case law; (2) the amended complaint seeks
indemnification for a tort, but does not identify what tort
the deputy sheriffs allegedly committed; (3) plaintiff
improperly pursues a theory of respondeat superior
liability against Lake County; and (4) Lake County does not
employ the deputy sheriff defendants and thus is not the
proper party from whom to seek indemnification.
reviewing a complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) must construe
the allegations in the complaint in the light most favorable
to the non-moving party, accept all well-pleaded facts as
true, and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the
non-movant. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93
(2007); Reger Dev., LLC v. Nat'l City Bank, 595
F.3d 759, 763 (7th Cir. 2010). Under the liberal
notice-pleading requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, the complaint need only contain “a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). A plaintiff
must plead “factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009).
Lack of Citations to Authority in the Amended
County's first argument - that plaintiff's amended
complaint should be dismissed for failure to cite case law -
plainly lacks merit. Under the federal notice-pleading
standard, a pleading need only contain three things:
“(1) a short and plain statement of the grounds for the
court's jurisdiction, unless the court already has
jurisdiction and the claim needs no new jurisdictional
support; (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing
that the pleader is entitled to relief; and (3) a demand for
the relief sought, which may include relief in the
alternative or different types of relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a). A plaintiff need not provide citations to authority
within the complaint. See e.g. Holleman v. Weist,
202 F.3d 273 (7th Cir. 1999) (unpublished) (“Under
notice pleading, it was neither necessary nor desirable for
[plaintiff] to include case citations in the complaint
itself.”). Thus, the first ground identified in Lake
County's motion does not serve as a basis for dismissal.
Plaintiff does not Allege a Tort Claim
County's second argument is similarly unavailing.
According to Lake County, while plaintiff's amended
complaint alleges that public entities are required to
indemnify its employees for any tort judgment, plaintiff has
not specifically alleged what tort was committed. Defense
counsel appears to be under the mistaken impression that
Indiana law only indemnifies judgments for state law torts.
However, Indiana has two indemnification statutes, one of
which provides indemnification for civil rights violations
and plainly applies to this case. The statute states:
If a present or former public employee, including a member of
a board, a committee, a commission, an authority, or another
instrumentality of a governmental entity, is or could be
subject to personal civil liability for a loss occurring
because of a noncriminal act or omission within the scope of
the public employee's employment which violates
the civil rights laws of the United States, the
governmental entity (when the governmental entity defends or
has the opportunity ...