United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
OPINION AND ORDER
L. MILLER, JR. JUDGE
Brodhead, a prisoner without a lawyer, filed a complaint. The
court must review the complaint and dismiss it if the action
is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim, or seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. A document filed pro
se is to be liberally construed, and a pro se
complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers
. . .” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007). “In order to state a claim under [42 U.S.C.]
§ 1983 a plaintiff must allege: (1) that defendants
deprived him of a federal constitutional right; and (2) that
the defendants acted under color of state law.”
Savory v. Lyons, 469 F.3d 667, 670 (7th Cir. 2006).
Brodhead's complaint alleges that, on June 2, 2018,
Officer Dodd and Officer Wallsmith from the Kokomo Police
Department arrived at his home, shot him several times with
tasers, and ripped the darts from his skin. He didn't
receive any medical treatment for his injuries. Mr. Brodhead
says he suffers from mental and physical impairment as a
result, and he seeks money damages.
Brodhead asserts a Fourth Amendment claim against Officer
Dodd and Officer Wallsmith for using excessive force on June
2, 2018. “A claim that an officer employed excessive
force in arresting a person is evaluated under the Fourth
Amendment's objective-reasonableness standard.”
Abbott v. Sangamon Cty., Ill., 705 F.3d 706, 724
(7th Cir. 2013). For such claims, the operative test is
“whether the officers' actions are objectively
reasonable in light of the facts and circumstances
confronting them, without regard to their underlying intent
or motivation.” Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S.
386, 397 (1989). Giving Mr. Brodhead the favorable inferences
to which he is entitled at this stage, he plausibly states a
Fourth Amendment claim of excessive force.
Brodhead asserts a claim against the Kokomo Police Department
as a defendant for not providing medical treatment for his
taser injuries. Because the Kokomo Police Department has no
separate legal existence from the City of Kokomo, the police
department is not a suable entity. See Fain v. Wayne Cty.
Auditor's Office, 388 F.3d 257, 261 (7th Cir. 2004);
Argandona v. Lake Cty. Sheriff's Dep't, 2007
WL 518799, at *3 (N.D. Ind. 2007); Kokomo Ordinance §
30.18, available at
https://www.amlegal.com/codes/client/kokomoin/. As a result,
he may not proceed against the Kokomo Police Department. Mr.
Brodhead also names the City of Kokomo as a defendant. To
pursue a claim under Section 1983 against a local
governmental entity, a plaintiff must show that his injury
was the result of that entity's official policy or
practice. Rice ex rel. Rice v. Corr. Med. Servs.,
675 F.3d 650, 675 (7th Cir. 2012). Because Mr. Brodhead
identifies no policy or practice that caused the use of force
incident or the lack of medical care, he can't proceed
against the City of Kokomo.
final matter, Mr. Brodhead filed a motion compelling
documents and recordings related to his claims. This motion
is denied because Mr. Brodhead must serve requests for
documents and recordings on defense counsel before the court
can grant a motion to compel. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
these reasons, the court:
DENIES the motion to compel (ECF 6);
GRANTS Justin Brodhead leave to proceed on a Fourth Amendment
claim against Officer J. Dodd and Officer D. Wallsmith for
using excessive force on June 2, 2018;
DISMISSES the City of Kokomo and the Kokomo Police
DISMISSES all other claims;
DIRECTS the clerk and the United States Marshals Service to
issue and serve process on Officer J. Dodd and Officer D.
Wallsmith at the Kokomo Police Department with a copy of this
order and the complaint (ECF 1) as required by 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(d); and
ORDERS, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(g)(2), Officer J.
Dodd and Officer D. Wallsmith to respond, as provided for in
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and N.D. Ind. L.R.
10-1(b), only to the claims for which Justin ...