United States District Court, D. Nebraska
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER NUNC PRO TUNC
M. Gerrard United States District Judge.
Charron is a Minnesota resident who was investigated by North
Platte, Nebraska law enforcement while he was staying at a
Super 8 motel in North Platte. He's suing the City of
North Platte, a number of North Platte police officers, and
the motel and its employees whom he alleges conspired with
law enforcement to draw police attention to him.
Platte and its officers (collectively, the North Platte
defendants) and the motel owners and employees (collectively,
the Super 8 defendants) each move to dismiss Charron's
complaint. Filing 19; filing 21. The Court will grant the
Super 8 defendants' motion (filing 19) in its entirety,
and will grant the North Platte defendants' motion
(filing 21) in part, but deny it in part.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
complaint must set forth a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). This standard does not require detailed
factual allegations, but it demands more than an unadorned
accusation. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009). The complaint need not contain detailed factual
allegations, but must provide more than labels and
conclusions; and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action will not suffice. Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). For the purposes of a
motion to dismiss a court must take all of the factual
allegations in the complaint as true, but is not bound to
accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual
survive a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), a
complaint must also contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim for relief that is
plausible on its face. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. 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. Id. Where the well-pleaded facts do not
permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of
misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but has not shown-that
the pleader is entitled to relief. Id. at 679.
whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief will
require the reviewing court to draw on its judicial
experience and common sense. Id. The facts alleged
must raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will
reveal evidence to substantiate the necessary elements of the
plaintiff's claim. See Twombly, 550
U.S. at 545. The court must assume the truth of the
plaintiff's factual allegations, and a well-pleaded
complaint may proceed, even if it strikes a savvy judge that
actual proof of those facts is improbable, and that recovery
is very remote and unlikely. Id. at 556.
checked into the North Platte Super 8 on March 17, 2017.
Filing 1 at 6. Jon Berryman, the front desk employee,
apparently thought at some point during the evening that he
smelled something that might be marijuana. Filing 1 at 7. He
called the North Platte Police Department. Filing 1 at 7.
Police arrived at the motel, and asked for information from
the motel registry about Charron and other guests. Filing 1
at 7. The guest information they were given included names,
vehicle registrations, and home addresses. Filing 1 at 7. The
police found Charron's truck in the parking lot and ran
the license plate. Filing 1 at 8.
between 10:00-10:30 p.m., police knocked loudly on
Charron's motel room door. Filing 1 at 8. Charron alleges
that officers "demanded Charron open his motel door and
permit the officers to come into his room." Filing 1 at
8. He also alleges that they "yelled through the
door" that they knew he was smoking marijuana. Filing 1
at 8. Charron denied the charge, but officers continued to
yell and demand entry. Filing 1 at 8.
opened the door, and one of the officers "shoved his
foot in the door to prevent the door from closing."
Filing 1 at 9. Charron stepped away from the door to use the
room's telephone, but the officer continued to hold the
door open. Filing 1 at 9. Charron asked the officer to leave,
but according to Charron, the officer replied to the effect
of "I have a right to contain the room and preserve the
room and control the room." Filing 1 at 9. Charron
asserted his "constitutional right to have the police
officers not invade his privacy," and told the officers
to get a search warrant if they wanted to search the room.
Filing 1 at 9. Eventually, they left.
police asked Berryman whether he wanted them to evict Charron
from the premises. Filing 1 at 10. The answer was presumably
no, because officers instead knocked on the doors of adjacent
rooms before leaving. Charron alleges that
upon investigation and belief, it has been learned that
individual employees of the North Platte Police Department,
individually and in their official capacity as police
officers with the North Platte Police Department, routinely
perform similar illegal searches and seizures in several
hotels located in North Platte, Nebraska, and the illegal
acts have gone on for several years.
1 at 10. And, he alleges, "[t]he owners and employees of
Super 8 were well aware that the North Platte Police
Department was using the private guest registry information
to identify and single out guests based upon national origin,
including guests who had out-of-state addresses." Filing
1 at 3. This, he says, amounts to "conspiring with
individual employees of the North Platte Police Department to
violate the constitutional rights of hotel guests."
Filing 1 at 10.
sued the City of North Platte and Peterson Lodging, Inc., the
owner of the North Platte Super 8. Filing 1 at 5. He also
sued Berryman and Jennifer Priest, the Super 8's general
manager. Filing 1 at 5. And he sued North Platte police
officers Dale Matuszczak, Chris McColley, Adam Charter, and
several John and Jane Does (the officers who were allegedly
on the scene) and North Platte police chief Mike Swain.
Filing 1 at 5-6. All the individual defendants were sued in
their official and individual capacities. Filing 1 at 1. The
defendants move to dismiss the complaint. Filing 19; filing
DISCUSSION Charron's complaint asserts several purported
claims for relief:
• A Fourth Amendment claim asserted pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 (filing 1 at 11-12);
• A claim captioned "Implemeting [sic] a Policy in
Which Employees Give Private Information to Law
Enforcement" (filing 1 at 12-13), directed at Berryman
and Priest; and a separate claim asserting a similar
policy-or-custom claim ...