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Patterson v. Orlando-Orange County

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division

April 16, 2019




          This cause came on for consideration without oral argument on the following motion:

FILED: December 27, 2018
THEREON it is RECOMMENDED that the motion be GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND.

         On July 19, 2018, Defendant Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (“Hilton”) filed a Motion to Dismiss the original Complaint in this case. Doc. No. 37. On November 5, 2018, this Court issued a Report and Recommendation recommending that the Complaint be dismissed without prejudice as to Hilton for failure to state a claim. Doc. No. 73. The Report and Recommendation found:

With respect to the allegations raised in the Complaint, i.e., that two state court judges, Plaintiff's own counsel, the parent company of a hotel through an employee, Miami-Dade County, and various law enforcement and corrections officers and agencies, both state and federal, conspired to arrest and detain Plaintiff in violation of his constitutional rights, the Complaint fails to state a claim for conspiracy, violation of Plaintiff's constitutional rights, and abuse of process, as the allegations fail to allege facts that demonstrate a meeting of the minds, fail to provide any factual basis to demonstrate discriminatory animus or motive, and fail to provide facts to support an abuse of process or violation of Plaintiff's constitutional rights. In fact, Plaintiff's allegations are in essence nothing more than a minimal recitation of the elements of various causes of action stated in a conclusory fashion which fail to satisfy the requirement that Plaintiff provide a short plain statement of the claim showing the pleader is entitled to relief. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
Plaintiff's only allegation related to discriminatory animus is a conclusory statement that his factual allegations show a “pattern of practice that systematically violates the Plaintiff's and African Americans' rights, who have historically been victims of excessive force and wrongful arrests by law enforcement officers . . . . Plaintiff then incorporates that statement into his counts against each defendant and states that “Because of the acts committed . . . the Defendant caused or permitted the violation of the Plaintiff's Constitutional Rights, thereby entitling the Plaintiff to recover damages pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1343, 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3).” Doc. No. 1 at ¶¶ 54, 70, 88, 96, 112, 128, 136, These de minimus conclusory statements in no way establish or suggest the type of invidious discriminatory animus contemplated by the courts. Bray, 506 U.S. at 270; Artubel v. Colonial Bank Group, Inc., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60781, at *54 (M.D. Fla. Aug. 8, 2008) (finding a vague assertion of racial motivation was insufficient to state a claim).
Further, Plaintiff offers no factual allegations regarding a conspiracy amongst these actors or otherwise suggests factually how they conferred and acted in concert to actively deprive him of his constitutional rights. Thus, this claim is subject to dismissal as to all defendants. Freyre, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66348, at *18.

Doc. No. 73 at 11, 13-14 (footnote omitted). The Court made similar findings related to Plaintiff's abuse of process claim. Doc. No. 73 at 14-15 (“Plaintiff has failed to provide any allegations that a defendant as actor misused this process initially or that there was an ulterior motive for doing so, other than stating an abuse of process occurred.”).

         On November 29, 2018, the District Court issued an Order adopting the Report and Recommendation, dismissing the Complaint with prejudice as to Judges Rodriguez-Fonts and Bigney, dismissing the Complaint without prejudice as to the remaining Defendants, and permitting Plaintiff to file an Amended Complaint. Doc. No. 82.

         On December 14, 2018, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint. Doc. No. 83. With respect to Hilton, the Amended Complaint is virtually identical to Plaintiff's original Complaint save one new factual allegation and one new cause of action.[1] Compare Doc. Nos. 1 and 83. Plaintiff alleges that he and his girlfriend checked into the Waldorf-Astoria on May 3, 2018. Doc. No. 83 at 7. Plaintiff now includes a new allegation that at some point between May 3, 2018 and May 7, 2018, when he was arrested, “the Waldorf Astoria Hotel released private hotel guest information in an attempt to conspire with U.S. Marshal[]s for the illegal kidnapping of [Plaintiff].” Doc. No. 83 at 7. Plaintiff then recounts that U.S. Marshals and Orange County law enforcement “kidnapped” him from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel's pool bathroom without presenting a “valid warrant or adher[ing] to the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act.” Doc. No. 83 at 7. Plaintiff alleges that he was taken to a security video room inside the hotel, that a hotel employee blocked the entrance to the pool bathroom while he was being kidnapped, and that the employee “diligently and zealously assisted” law enforcement without proof of a valid warrant. Doc. No. 83 at 8. Plaintiff also alleges he was taken from the pool bathroom to the parking lot behind the hotel and held handcuffed on the ground between two parked unmarked vehicles. Doc. No. 83 at 8. Plaintiff alleges that when his girlfriend confronted the hotel manager about the incident, he stated “he knew nothing about the incident and had no documentation from the law enforcement officers.” Doc. No. 83 at 8. Plaintiff has alleged that Hilton is “the parent company of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Orlando, FL, and is being sued as a person.” Doc. No. 83 at 2.

         Based on these factual allegations, Plaintiff alleges that Hilton violated 42 U.S.C. §§ 1985 and 1986, and Plaintiff's Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendment rights. Doc. No. 83 at 18-20. Plaintiff alleges that Hilton conspired “with Orange County, Florida Sheriff's Department to kidnap Plaintiff.” Doc. No. 83 at 18. Plaintiff alleges that Hilton violated the Fourth Amendment by giving “private information to Orange County Sheriffs and U.S. Marshalls [sic] in furtherance to allow defendant[s] to conduct an illegal and unlawful arrest.” Doc. No. 83 at 19. Plaintiff alleges Hilton violated the Fifth Amendment by permitting the “kidnap of Plaintiff without verification of a valid and executed warrant.” Doc. ...

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