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Valentine v. Brown

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

November 6, 2015

VERONICA VALENTINE, Plaintiff,
v.
CHRIS BROWN, 8 UNKNOWN JANE and JOHN DOE OMAHA POLICE OFFICERS, and THE CITY OF OMAHA, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

JOHN M. GERRARD, District Judge.

Plaintiff Veronica Valentine filed her Complaint (Filing No. 1) in this case on July 17, 2015. The court now conducts an initial review of the Complaint to determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). For the reasons that follow, the court will dismiss Valentine's claims against Chris Brown and six of the eight John and Jane Doe Defendants, and allow Valentine's claims to proceed to service against two Jane Doe Defendants.

I. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

The court can discern from Valentine's allegations and the documents attached to her Complaint that she was the subject of a search warrant dated July 16, 2015. A state court authorized the search warrant in response to an application and affidavit submitted by Defendant Omaha Police Department Officer Chris Brown. The face of the warrant authorized law enforcement to search Valentine's residence and also her "person." (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 4.)

It appears that upon executing the search warrant, two female police officers (named as defendants and identified as "Jane Does") instructed Valentine to remove her clothing and "spread [her] legs apart bend over and cough." (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 2.) Valentine objected, but the Jane Doe officers informed Valentine they would "get a search warrant to transport [her] to the hospital so that they can finish." (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 2.) Thereafter, the Jane Doe officers conducted a "vaginal-anal search[]." It appears from Valentine's allegations that they may have conducted the search inside the bathroom of Valentine's residence. (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 3.)

For relief in this matter, Valentine seeks $100, 000, 000.00 "for humiliation [and] degradation perpetrated upon [her]." (Filing No. 1 at CM/ECF p. 1.)

II. STANDARDS ON INITIAL REVIEW

The court is required to review in forma pauperis complaints to determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). The court must dismiss a complaint or any portion of it that states a frivolous or malicious claim, that fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

Pro se plaintiffs must set forth enough factual allegations to "nudge[] their claims across the line from conceivable to plausible, " or "their complaint must be dismissed." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 569-70 (2007); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) ("A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.").

"The essential function of a complaint under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is to give the opposing party fair notice of the nature and basis or grounds for a claim, and a general indication of the type of litigation involved.'" Topchian v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., 760 F.3d 843, 848 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting Hopkins v. Saunders, 199 F.3d 968, 973 (8th Cir. 1999)). However, "[a] pro se complaint must be liberally construed, and pro se litigants are held to a lesser pleading standard than other parties." Topchian, 760 F.3d at 849 (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).

Liberally construed, Plaintiff here alleges federal constitutional claims. To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege a violation of rights protected by the United States Constitution or created by federal statute and also must show that the alleged deprivation was caused by conduct of a person acting under color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Buckley v. Barlow, 997 F.2d 494, 495 (8th Cir. 1993).

III. DISCUSSION OF CLAIMS

A. Claims Against Omaha, Nebraska

Valentine named the City of Omaha and numerous City of Omaha police officers as the defendants in this case. For the reasons that follow, the court finds Valentine has not stated a claim upon ...


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