United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY ON DEFENDANTS' PARTIAL MOTION TO
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on a Partial Motion to Dismiss
filed by Defendants Indianapolis Metropolitan Police
Department (“IMPD”), City of Indianapolis
(“the City”) and Officer Christopher Mills
(“Officer Mills”) (collectively,
“Defendants”) (Filing No. 11). After
Officer Mills shot Plaintiff Carl Williams (“Mr.
Williams”), he and his wife Sonia Williams (“Mrs.
Williams”) (collectively, “Plaintiffs”)
filed a civil action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The
Complaint consists of four counts: Count I, excessive force
in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments against
Officer Mills; Count II, excessive force in violation of the
Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments against the City and IMPD;
Count III, assault in violation of Indiana law against
Officer Mills and the City; and Count IV, intentional
infliction of emotional distress in violation of Indiana law
against Officer Mills and the City. (Filing No. 1 at
6-13.) Defendants move to dismiss several claims with
prejudice under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For
the reasons stated below, the Court GRANTS
in part and DENIES in part Defendants'
Partial Motion to Dismiss.
required when reviewing a partial motion to dismiss, the
Court accepts as true the factual allegations in the
complaint and draws all inferences in favor of Plaintiffs as
the non-moving party. See Bielanski v. County of
Kane, 550 F.3d 632, 633 (7th Cir. 2008).
August 23, 2016, Plaintiffs were the owners and occupants of
a residence located on Fox Tail Drive, Indianapolis, Indiana.
(Filing No. 1 at 3.) Mrs. Williams was employed by
the Carrier Corporation working a night shift. Id.
During the early hours of August 23, 2016, after completing
her shift at Carrier, Mrs. Williams traveled to her home,
arriving a little after 4:00 a.m. Id. Upon arriving
home, and exiting her vehicle, she was accosted by an
individual armed with a long rifle. Id. She managed
to escape the attacker and enter her home, waking her husband
who had been asleep. Id.
entering her home, the Plaintiffs called 911 reporting that
Mrs. Williams had been assaulted in her driveway.
Id. at 4. During the 911 call Plaintiffs provided a
detailed description of the assailant. Id. They
described the assailant as an 18 or 19-year-old, light
complexioned African American male, tall, wearing a red shirt
and red shoes. Id. Transcripts maintained by the
City indicate that the description was broadcast to all IMPD
units answering the 911 call. Id.
making the call, Mr. Williams retrieved his Glock 27
semi-automatic pistol which he safely stored in his home for
personal protection. Id. Mr. Williams is a short
African American male with medium to dark brown complexion,
who was not wearing shoes nor any red clothing and did not
own or possess a long gun. Id. Mr. Williams was well
acquainted with the safety and lawful operation of his
handgun because of his training as a former military
policeman and his service in the United States Air Force.
Williams exited his residence and walked through his lit
garage, he did not see any movement in the driveway.
Id. As he stood at the edge of his garage, where the
end of the garage meets the driveway surface, he was shot at
multiple times by someone later identified as Officer Mills.
Id. at 5. Mr. Williams was struck by a bullet that
came from Officer Mills' 40 caliber Glock semi-automatic
handgun without prior verbal command or warning. Id.
at 4-5. Mr. Williams could not see where the gunfire came
from because Officer Mills was hidden in darkness, with a
clear view of Mr. Williams and no exposure to danger himself.
Id. at 5. After he was shot, Mr. Williams remained
conscious and was able communicate that he was the homeowner
who made the 911 call. Id. Officer Mills radioed for
emergency personnel. Prior to shots being fired, there was no
communication between the officers on the premises and Mr.
Williams. Id. Mr. Williams had not made any threats,
verbal or physical, to members of IMPD. Id. Mr.
Williams also did not act in an aggressive manner towards
members of IMPD. Id.
Plaintiffs filed their Complaint stemming from these facts
alleging excessive force in violation of the Fourth and
Fourteenth Amendments. (Filing No. 1.) They allege
that the conduct of the Defendants during their encounter was
so outrageous in character and so extreme in degree as to go
beyond all possible bounds of decency and should be regarded
as atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized
community. (Filing No. 1 at 12.) Plaintiffs contend
that the City is liable in its representative capacity for
the intentional tort of assault and battery and the tort of
intentional infliction of emotional distress, both under the
theory of respondeat superior. Id. On
October 18, 2018, The Defendants filed the instant Partial
Motion to Dismiss certain claims. (Filing No. 11.)
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) allows a defendant to move
to dismiss a complaint that has failed to “state a
claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed R. Civ. P.
12(b)(6). When deciding a motion to dismiss under Rule
12(b)(6), the court accepts as true all factual allegations
in the complaint and draws all inferences in favor of the
plaintiff. Bielanski, 550 F.3d at 633. However,
courts “are not obliged to accept as true legal
conclusions or unsupported conclusions of fact.”
Hickey v. O'Bannon, 287 F.3d 656, 658 (7th Cir.
complaint must contain a “short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Therefore, the court
must determine whether the complaint contains sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true to “state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007).
United States Supreme Court further explained that although
“detailed factual allegations” are not required,
mere “labels, ” “conclusions, ” or
“formulaic recitation[s] of the elements of a cause of
action” are insufficient. Id. See
Bissessur v. Ind. Univ. Bd. of Trs., 581 F.3d 599, 603
(7th Cir. 2009) (“it is not enough to give a threadbare
recitation of the elements of a claim without factual
support”). To be facially plausible, the complaint must
allow “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).