United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
E. MENDOZA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
CAUSE is before the Court on Defendant Jeffrey Morales'
Motion to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment (“Motion,
” Doc. 80) and Plaintiff's Response thereto (Doc.
83). As set forth below, the Motion will be granted.
filed a Sixth Amended Civil Rights Complaint (“Sixth
Complaint, ” Doc. 29) pursuant to Bivens v. Six
Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403
U.S. 388 (1971), and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In February 2010,
Plaintiff was serving a two-year prison sentence in the State
of Florida (Id. at 8-9). Defendants Seeger, Keith,
and Ololade executed a search warrant on February 26,
2010, and seized a manuscript after a search of
Plaintiff's home (Doc. 29 at 9). According to Plaintiff,
this evidence was used against him on April 30, 2014, to
obtain a federal Indictment in this Court in case number
6:14-cr-112-Orl-37GJK. (Id. at 9, 11).
states that on May 1, 2014, Defendants Seeger and Keith
conspired with Defendant Morales to manufacture an arrest
warrant and illegally arrest and detain him in violation of
his Fourth Amendment rights. (Id. at 9, 11-12).
Plaintiff also alleges he was then transported to the
Seminole County Jail (“Jail”), where Defendant
Morales violated his Fourth Amendment rights by illegally
recording his jail telephone calls. (Id. at 9-10).
Plaintiff notes that these recorded calls were later used
against him in the Criminal Case. (Id. at 10).
Plaintiff was convicted in the Criminal Case of numerous
counts of mail fraud, filing false claims to a department or
agency of the United States, theft of government property,
and aggravated identity theft. See Criminal Case
Doc. Nos. 96 and 111.
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).
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a party
may move to dismiss a complaint for “failure to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted.” In determining
whether to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a court accepts the
factual allegations in the complaint as true and construes
them in a light most favorable to the non-moving party.
See United Techs. Corp. v. Mazer, 556 F.3d 1260,
1269 (11th Cir. 2009). Nonetheless, “the tenet that a
court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in
a complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions, ” and
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009). Furthermore, “[t]o survive a 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.'” Id. (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “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. Generally, in deciding a motion
to dismiss, “[t]he scope of the review must be limited
to the four corners of the complaint.” St. George
v. Pinellas Cty., 285 F.3d 1334, 1337 (11th Cir. 2002).
In the case of a pro se action, the Court should
construe the complaint more liberally than it would pleadings
drafted by lawyers. Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9
Falsification of Arrest Warrant, False Arrest, and Illegal
contends that the arrest warrant was falsified and he was
illegally arrested and detained. Defendant Morales does not
address this claim because counsel incorrectly states that he
was only named in Plaintiff's claim related to the
illegally recorded telephone calls. (Doc. 80 at 3, n.1).
Nevertheless, the Court concludes that Plaintiff fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
establish § 1983 liability, a plaintiff must show
“‘proof of an affirmative causal
connection'” between a defendant's actions and
the alleged constitutional violation, which “‘may
be established by proving that the official was personally
involved in the acts that resulted in the constitutional
deprivation.'” Brown v. City of
Huntsville, 608 F.3d 724, 737 (11th Cir. 2010) (quoting
Zatler v. Wainwright, 802 F.2d 397, 401 (11th Cir.
1986)). The Eleventh Circuit stated “[m]erely being
present . . . at the scene is not enough. . . .”
allegations in the Sixth Complaint do not link Defendant
Morales to the arrest warrant, arrest, or detention.
Plaintiff states that he did not have contact with Defendant
Morales until after he was booked in the Jail. (Doc. 29 at
9-10). There is no allegation that Defendant Morales assisted
in obtaining the arrest warrant or that he participated in
Plaintiff's arrest or booking at the jail. Plaintiff has
failed to demonstrate that Defendant Morales was personally
involved in these matters. Therefore, Plaintiff's claims
will be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a)
and (b) (allowing a federal district court to dismiss a claim
for failure to state a claim).
Illegal Recording of Jail Telephone Conversations
also challenges the recording of his jail telephone
conversations. Defendant Morales asserts that he is entitled