United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
VIRGINIA M. HERNANDEZ COVINGTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court upon consideration of Defendant
City of Brooksville's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. # 17),
filed on May 8, 2017. Plaintiff Derrel Leonard Thomas, who is
proceeding pro se, filed his “Objection to
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss First Amended Complaint,
” which the Court construes as Thomas's response in
opposition, on May 18, 2017. (Doc. # 30). For the reasons
below, the Court dismisses the Amended Complaint with leave
alleges that on August 4, 2016, he had a verbal argument with
one of his neighbors, which resulted in that neighbor calling
the police. (Doc. # 15 at ¶¶ 7, 8). When Defendant
Officers Shane Derryberry, Josh Caldwell, and Jeff McDougal
arrived at the scene, Thomas was sitting in his garage.
(Id. at ¶ 8). After speaking with the neighbor,
who is not identified in the Amended Complaint, McDougal and
Derryberry walked up Thomas's driveway. (Id. at
¶ 9). Thomas exited his garage and met the officers on
the driveway. (Id. at ¶ 10).
Thomas was attempting to explain what happened, “the
Officers” (the Amended Complaint is not specific as to
which of the three officers Thomas is referring, but
presumably Thomas is referring to McDougal and Derryberry)
threw Thomas to the ground and handcuffed him. (Id.
at ¶ 10). Thomas asked why he was being arrested and
McDougal responded that Thomas was being arrested for
disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest without
violence. (Id. at ¶ 11). Thomas alleges that
“the officers” (again, the Amended Complaint is
not specific as to which of the officers Thomas is referring)
never saw Thomas drinking and did not administer a
breathalyzer test. (Id. at ¶ 12).
was transported to the Hernando County Detention Center
(Id. at ¶¶ 3, 13). “When [he]
arrived at the jail, [Thomas] was stating the [il]legality of
his arrest and racial discrimination.” (Id. at
¶ 13). Eventually, Thomas was placed in a restraining
chair, although he alleges he was not violent toward any
detention deputy. (Id. at ¶ 14). Thomas was
then held in confinement without access to a television or a
phone for almost sixteen hours. (Id. at ¶ 15).
As a result of the chair's restraints, Thomas alleges he
lost feeling in his left hand for two months. (Id.
at ¶ 16). After being released, Thomas spoke with a
person identified by Thomas as “inspector
Faulkingham.” (Id. at ¶ 17). According to
the Amended Complaint, this inspector informed Thomas that,
after reviewing the recordings, he “did not see
[Thomas] do anything wrong to be put in the restraining
disorderly intoxication charge and the resisting without
violence charge were both dismissed. (Id. at
¶¶ 24, 25). Thomas now brings suit under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 against Derryberry, Caldwell, and McDougal for
allegedly violating his First, Fourth, and Fourteenth
Amendment rights. (Id. at ¶¶ 28, 29).
Thomas also asserts a claim under the Civil Rights Act of
1964 for racial discrimination against Derryberry, Caldwell,
and McDougal. (Id. at ¶ 30). In addition,
Thomas brings a § 1983 claim against Hernando County
Sheriff Al Nienhuis for alleged violations of the First and
Eighth Amendments (Id. at ¶ 31), a § 1983
claim against Assistant State Attorney Charles Helm for an
alleged violation of the Fourteenth Amendment (Id.
at ¶ 32), and a § 1983 claim against the City of
Brooksville for an alleged violation of the Fourteenth
Amendment (Id. at ¶ 33).
City of Brooksville has moved to dismiss. (Doc. # 17). Thomas
has responded in opposition. (Doc. # 30). For the reasons
below, the Amended Complaint is dismissed without prejudice
and Thomas is granted leave to amend.
motion to dismiss, this Court accepts as true all the
allegations in the complaint and construes them in the light
most favorable to the plaintiff. Jackson v.
Bellsouth Telecomms., 372 F.3d 1250, 1262 (11th
Cir. 2004). Further, this Court favors the plaintiff with all
reasonable inferences from the allegations in the complaint.
Stephens v. Dep't of Health & Human Servs.,
901 F.2d 1571, 1573 (11th Cir. 1990)(“On a motion to
dismiss, the facts stated in [the] complaint and all
reasonable inferences therefrom are taken as true.”).
[w]hile a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a
plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his
entitlement to relief requires more than labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action will not do. Factual allegations must be
enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)
(internal citations omitted). Courts are not “bound to
accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual
allegation.” Papasan v. Allain, 478
U.S. 265, 286 (1986). Furthermore, “[t]he scope of
review must be limited to the four corners of the
complaint.” St. George v. Pinellas Cty., 285
F.3d 1334, 1337 (11th Cir. 2002).