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Clayborne v. City of Lincoln

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

October 9, 2018

ROBERT EARL CLAYBORNE JR., Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF LINCOLN, LINCOLN POLICE DEPARTMENT, PARKER, Officer, #1577, Individual capacity and official capacity; JAMES, Sgt, #1370, Individual capacity and official capacity; CHAD HEIN, Officer, #1552, Individual capacity and official capacity; RIPLEY, Officer, #1256, Individual capacity and official capacity; MESSERSMITH, Officer, #1568, Individual capacity and official capacity; KOUNOVSKY, Officer, #1593, Individual capacity and official capacity; and SUNDERMEIER, Captain, #717, Individual capacity and official capacity; Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          RICHARD G. KOPF SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff filed a Complaint on December 18, 2017. (Filing No. 1.) He has been given leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Filing No. 7.) The court now conducts an initial review of Plaintiff's Complaint to determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e) and 1915A.

         I. SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT

         Plaintiff is a prisoner in the custody of the Nebraska Department of Corrections. He brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the City of Lincoln, Nebraska (“City of Lincoln”); the City of Lincoln Police Department (“Lincoln Police Department”); and several City of Lincoln Police Officers in their individual and official capacities. (Filing No. 1.) Plaintiff is currently confined at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution in Tecumseh, Nebraska. (Id. at CM/ECF pp. 1-2.)

         In his Complaint, Plaintiff claims that he was subject to an unreasonable search and seizure and excessive force in violation of his rights under the 4th and 14th Amendments. (Id. at CM/ECF p. 5.) Specifically, Plaintiff alleges:

The Defendants conspired [and] forced entry inside [his] home to arrest [him] without an arrest warrant or search warrant or without consent or exigent circumstances resulting in psychological harm and physical harm of placing [him] in detention in the Lancaster County Jail and then obtained a search warrant to search [his] home while he was a mental[ly] disabled adult.

(Id. at CM/ECF pp. 4-5.)[1] Plaintiff also cites the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101-12213, as legal authority for his claims. (Id. at CM/ECF p. 5.)

         Plaintiff alleges that he has suffered a number of harms, including physical injury, “mental distress, emotional disturbance, excessive force, [and] false arrest.” (Id.) Plaintiff seeks to recover monetary damages. (Id. at CM/ECF p. 6.)

         II. APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARDS ON INITIAL REVIEW

         The court is required to review prisoner and in forma pauperis complaints seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or employee of a governmental entity to determine whether summary dismissal is appropriate. See28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e) and 1915A. 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); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(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 A.

         Section 1983

         Claims

          1.Lincoln Police ...


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