United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
ISSAC L. SMITH, Plaintiff,
JOHN DOE, et al., Defendants.
DALTON JR., United States District Judge
matter is before the Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(a) for purposes of determining whether the complaint
should be dismissed because it fails to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted. For the reasons set forth below,
the complaint should be dismissed without prejudice.
Allegations in Complaint
Isaac Smith (“Smith”) commenced this civil rights
action against two unidentified police officers employed by
the Kissimmee Police Department. (Doc. 1 at 1, 3-4). Smith
claims the officers violated his rights under the First,
Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the
United States Constitution. (Doc. 1 at 10). The factual
allegations supporting these claims can be summarized as
On April 30, 2015, Smith was walking on Brack Street in
Kissimmee, Florida when he saw a woman who owed him money. He
approached and asked when she intended to pay. The woman
screamed, took something out of her clothes and cut Smith,
who began to bleed profusely. The woman panicked and ran
away, but returned moments later, apologized and threw money
at Smith before again running away. (Doc. 1 at 5-6).
Smith screamed for help and a police car stopped. Smith asked
the two officers for assistance with respect to his injury
and tried to explain what happened. The officers placed Smith
in the back seat of their police car, turned off the engine
and rolled up the windows. The officers had already spoken
with the woman, who falsely claimed that Smith robbed her.
(Doc. 1 at 6).
The ambient temperature was in the high 80s and, as a result,
the interior of the police car became increasingly hotter.
Smith attempted to alert the officers to the situation by
screaming loudly and hitting the window, but they were
speaking with the woman who claimed to have been robbed.
Smith became dizzy and eventually passed out. (Doc. 1 at
Smith was awakened by paramedics who used ammonia packets to
revive him. The paramedics told the officers,
“Don't you know better than to leave a person for
that long in a hot car with all the windows closed?”
They also told the officers, “We have to take him to
the hospital, look at all this blood.” The officers
responded, “He is faking, nothing is wrong with
him.” The paramedics replied, “This man passed
out in this hot police car, he didn't fake that, and this
is not fake blood, he's going to the hospital.”
Smith was in the police car for approximately 35-40 minutes.
(Doc. 1 at 7-8).
After being awakened, Smith asked the officers to interview
any witnesses to the underlying events who remained on Brack
Street. The officers refused. Instead, they informed Smith
that he was going to jail for robbery. Smith told the
officers he planned to file a complaint against them. (Doc. 1
Smith was taken to Osceola Regional Medical Center where he
was bandaged and given fluids. Afterward, he was booked on
robbery charges and released on bond. Smith was in jail for
“a few hours.” (Doc. 1 at 1, 7-9).
The State did not prosecute Smith in connection with this
mater. (Doc. 1 at 10).
contends he experienced physical distress, claustrophobia,
and suffocation, as well as mental anguish, emotional
distress and physical pain and suffering. Smith asks the
Court to award him compensatory and punitive damages totaling
$2.4 million. He also asks for nominal damages, a declaratory
judgment, and attorneys' fees and costs. (Doc. 1 at
8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure establishes
the standard for pleading in the federal system. It provides
that a complaint must contain a short and plain statement of
claim showing that the plaintiff is entitled to relief. Rule
12(b)(6), in turn, allows the defendant to challenge the
plaintiff's statement of claim and obtain dismissal when
the plaintiff would be unable to prevail at trial even if he
proved everything ...