United States District Court, S.D. Florida
CECILIA M. ALTONAGA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
CAUSE is before the Court on Defendants, Miami-Dade
County; Detective Miguel Carballosa; and Detective Corey
Thomas's Motion to Dismiss [ECF No. 33], filed November
10, 2017. Plaintiff, Edison Buford, filed a Response to
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [ECF No. 34] on November
24, 2017; and Defendants filed a Reply in Further Support of
Motion to Dismiss [ECF No. 35] on December 1, 2017. The Court
has carefully considered the First Amended Complaint [ECF No.
26], the parties' written submissions, and applicable
10, 2013, Plaintiff, Edison Buford, was driving a 2004 Nissan
Maxima in Miami-Dade County when he observed an unmarked and
unknown vehicle following him. (See Am. Compl.
¶ 22). The unmarked vehicle was occupied by Detectives
Carballosa and Thomas. (See Id. ¶¶ 29,
31). Plaintiff unsuccessfully attempted to lose the unmarked
vehicle using evasive driving maneuvers. (See Id.
¶ 23). After failing to lose the unmarked vehicle,
Plaintiff crashed into a pole. (See Id. ¶ 25).
At no point did the Detectives activate their vehicle's
police lights or sirens. (See Id. ¶ 24).
crashing, Plaintiff exited his vehicle carrying an unloaded
firearm and cellular phone and ran past the unmarked vehicle
with both items in his hands. (See Id. ¶¶
26, 27). While running past the unmarked vehicle, Plaintiff
tossed the firearm into a yard. (See Id. ¶ 27).
The Detectives exited their vehicle with their weapons drawn.
(See Id. ¶ 28). Plaintiff turned and noticed
the vehicle occupants were police officers, he stopped
running, and raised his hands in the air while still carrying
his cellular phone. (See Id. ¶¶ 29, 30).
Nevertheless, “[w]ithout provocation, ” the
Detectives began firing their weapons, hitting the cellular
phone but missing Plaintiff. (Id. ¶¶ 31,
32 (alteration added)). Plaintiff turned away from the
Detectives and began to run again but was shot in the back
multiple times, causing him to fall. (See Id. ¶
33). Plaintiff remained on the ground, pretending to be dead,
and was shot an additional six times in the back, legs, and
in his testicles, causing him to lose a testicle. (See
Id. ¶ 34).
the shooting, Plaintiff was arrested and charged with two
counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and
possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. (See
Id. ¶ 36). The Office of the State Attorney
subsequently filed an information including these same
charges and an additional charge for fleeing and eluding, but
it later nolle prossed the aggravated assault on a
law enforcement officer and fleeing and eluding counts.
(See Id. ¶¶ 37, 38). Plaintiff pled guilty
to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and was
sentenced to three years in state prison. (See Id.
ultimately filed this lawsuit, asserting claims under 42
U.S.C. section 1983 against Miami-Dade County (Count I),
Detective Miguel Carballosa (Count II), and Detective Corey
Thomas (Count III). Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages and
move to dismiss all claims with prejudice and request the
Court deny Plaintiff an opportunity to file a second amended
complaint. (See generally Mot.). The Court will
first address Count I and then addresses Counts II and III
survive a motion to dismiss [under Rule 12(b)(6)], a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (alteration added) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).
“Facial plausibility [exists] 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. (alteration added; citation
omitted). This pleading standard does not require
“detailed factual allegations, ” but a complaint
must offer more than mere “labels and
conclusions.” Id. (citation omitted). “A
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.” Id. (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555) (quotation marks omitted).
considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6),
“the Court accepts the factual allegations in the
complaint as true and construes them in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff.” Speaker v. U.S.
Dep't of Health & Human Servs. Ctrs. for Disease
Control & Prevention, 623 F.3d 1371, 1379 (11th Cir.
2010). This deference is applied to factual allegations only,
and not to mere legal conclusions. See Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678. If after considering the complaint and accepting as
true its factual allegations the Court determines a plausible
claim for relief has been stated, the complaint survives the
motion to dismiss.
Count I - Monell Claim Against Miami-Dade County
Under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983
alleges a section 1983 claim against the County. In
Monell v. Department of Social Services of the City of
New York, 436 U.S. 658 (1978), the Supreme Court
established specific parameters for finding municipalities
liable under section 1983. See Id. at 694; see
also Grech v. Clayton Cty., 335 F.3d 1326, 1329 (11th
Cir. 2003) (“The Supreme Court has placed strict
limitations on municipal liability under [section]
1983.” (alteration added)). A county may be liable
under [section] 1983 “only when the county's
‘official policy' causes a constitutional
violation.” Grech, 335 F.3d at 1329
(alteration added; citing Monell, 436 U.S. at 694).
Thus, a plaintiff must “identify a municipal policy or