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Valentine v. Brown

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

May 25, 2016

VERONICA VALENTINE, Plaintiff,
v.
CHRIS BROWN, #1873, 8 UNKNOWN JANE - JOHN DOE OMAHA POLICE OFFICERS, and THE CITY OF OMAHA, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Richard G. Kopf, Senior United States District Judge

         This matter is before the court on initial review of Plaintiff’s Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e).

         I. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

         Plaintiff filed her Complaint (Filing No. 4) in this case on March 25, 2016. The Complaint names the City of Omaha, “8 Unknown Jane-John Omaha Police Officers, ” and Omaha Police Officer Chris Brown as Defendants.

         Liberally construed, Plaintiff alleges 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 Officer Chris Brown. The face of the warrant authorized law enforcement to search Plaintiff’s residence and also her “person.” (Filing No. 4 at CM/ECF p. 7.)

         Plaintiff alleges that upon executing the search warrant, two female police officers (identified as “Jane Does”) instructed her to remove her clothing and “spread [her] legs apart bend over and cough.” (Filing No. 4 at CM/ECF p. 2.) Plaintiff objected, but the Jane Doe officers informed her that they would “get a search warrant to transport [her to] the hospital so that they can finish search.” (Filing No. 4 at CM/ECF p. 2.) Thereafter, the Jane Doe officers conducted “vaginal and anus searches.” (Filing No. 4 at CM/ECF p. 2.) It appears from Plaintiff’s allegations that they conducted the search inside the bathroom of Plaintiff’s residence. (Filing No. 4 at CM/ECF p. 3.)

         For relief, Plaintiff seeks $100, 000, 000.00 “for humiliation [and] degradation perpetrated upon [her].” (Filing No. 4 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 ...


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