United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
ANTOON II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
an arrest of Plaintiff Thomas Eugene Campbell, Volusia County
Deputy Sheriff Conrad allegedly twisted Campbell's
handcuffed wrists, injuring him. Campbell now asserts,
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, that Deputy Conrad used
excessive force in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth
Amendments and that this use of force was the result of the
County of Volusia's (County) custom and practice of
failing to train or supervise its deputies in handcuffing
procedures. (Am. Compl., Doc. 19). The County filed a motion
to dismiss the Monell claim alleged in Count I of the
Amended Complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6). (Doc. 25). The motion is due to be denied.
September 20, 2012, Deputy Conrad arrested Campbell for
reasons that are not described in the Amended Complaint. (Am.
Compl. ¶ 6). Deputy Conrad placed handcuffs on
Campbell's wrists and then placed his arms behind his
back. (Id., ¶¶ 7-10). In doing so, Deputy Conrad
caused Campbell's wrists to bend backwards. (Id.
¶ 10). Campbell notified Deputy Conrad that the
handcuffs were causing him pain but Deputy Conrad did not
adjust or remove the handcuffs "for a period of
time." (]d ¶¶ 11-12). As a result, Campbell
suffered "a fracture to [his] wrist, resulting in
surgery, permanent injury, and pain and suffering."
September 20, 2016, Campbell filed several claims in state
court against the County and Deputy Conrad, who removed the
case to this Court on October 28, 2016. (Notice of Removal,
Doc. 1). In Count I of the Amended Complaint, Campbell
alleges that the County failed to train or supervise Conrad
in his use of handcuffs "and in making difficult and
immediate decisions regarding detention with handcuffs of
individuals such as [Campbell]." (Am. Compl. ¶ 20).
The County seeks to dismiss this claim under Rule 12(b)(6).
"[a] pleading that states a claim for relief must
contain ... a short and plain statement of the claim showing
that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2). "[D]etailed factual allegations" are not
required, but "[a] pleading that offers labels and
conclusions' or 'a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.'"
Ashcroftv. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twomblv, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)). "To survive a [Rule 12(b)(6)] motion to
dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'" ]d. (quoting
Twomblv, 550 U.S. at 570). At the motion to dismiss
stage, a court must construe all plausible inferences derived
from the facts of the complaint in favor of the plaintiff.
Whitwam v. JetCard Plus, Inc., 34 F.Supp.3d 1257,
1259 (S.D. Fla. 2014).
motion to dismiss, the County contends that Campbell fails to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted in Count I of
the Amended Complaint because Campbell does not sufficiently
allege other instances in which the County's sheriff
deputies have violated individual's constitutional rights
by improperly using handcuffs. The County's motion must
doctrine of respondeat superior does not apply in actions
under § 1983,  and a municipality may only be held liable
when the injury caused was a result of municipal policy or
custom. Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs. of City of
N.Y., 436 U.S. 658, 691-92 (1978). Moreover,
"inadequacy of police training may serve as the basis
for § 1983 liability only where the failure to train
amounts to deliberate indifference to the rights of persons
with whom the police come into contact." City of
Canton. Ohio v. Harris, 489 U.S. 378, 388 (1989).
"To establish a [municipality]'s deliberate
indifference, 'a plaintiff must [ultimately] present some
evidence that the municipality knew of a need to train and/or
supervise in a particular area and the municipality made a
deliberate choice not to take any action.'"
Lewis v. City of W. Palm Beach. Fla.. 561 F.3d 1288,
1293 (11th Cir. 2009) (quoting Gold v. City of
Miami, 151 F.3d 1346, 1350 (11th Cir. 1998)). "A
pattern of similar constitutional violations by untrained
employees is 'ordinarily necessary' to demonstrate
deliberate indifference for purposes of failure to
train." Connick v. Thompson, 563 U.S. 51, 62
the Supreme Court has 'hypothesized' that 'in a
narrow range of circumstances, ' a municipality may be
liable under [§] 1983 when a single incident is the
'obvious' consequence of a failure to provide
specific training." Whitaker v. Miami-Dade
Cty.. 126 F.Supp.3d 1313, 1324 (S.D. Fla. 2015)
(quoting Connick, 563 U.S. at 62). "Single incident
liability" is based on the premise that there are highly
predictable situations in which "the unconstitutional
consequences of failing to train [are] so patently obvious
that a city could be liable under § 1983 without proof
of a pre-existing pattern of violations."
Connick. 563 U.S. at 64.
For example, city policymakers know to a moral certainty that
their police officers will be required to arrest fleeing
felons. The city has armed its officers with firearms, in
part to allow them to accomplish this task. Thus, the need to
train officers in the constitutional limitations on the use
of deadly force, can be said to be "so obvious, "
that failure to do so could properly be characterized as
"deliberate indifference" to constitutional rights.
City of Canton, 489 U.S.at 390 n.10 (internal
acknowledges that he failed to allege any prior incidents of
sheriffs deputies misusing handcuffs during arrests that
would place the County on notice of the need to train or
supervise. But Campbell argues that under the hypothesized
"single-incident" theory of municipal liability,
the circumstances alleged in the Amended Complaint rise to
the level of deliberate indifference. Although cases in which
"single incident" liability exist are rare,
Campbell has sufficiently alleged that the need to train
officers in ...