United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
GREGORY J. KELLY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
cause came on for consideration without oral argument on the
DEFENDANT, CORNITA RILEY'S MOTION TO DISMISS
PLAINTIFF'S AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH PREJUDICE (Doc. No.
December 28, 2018
it is RECOMMENDED that the motion be
18, 2018, Plaintiff filed a Complaint that, read liberally,
alleges that he was the victim of an illegal arrest based on
an invalid warrant. Doc. No. 1 at 3-12. The invalid arrest
occurred in Orange County, Florida and was executed by U.S.
Marshals and Orange County law enforcement. Doc. No. 1 at
3-12. Plaintiff alleges that his illegal detention continued
through a bond hearing before Judge Jeanette Bigney in Orange
County, his detention in Orange County Jail, his transfer to
Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Facility
(“TGK”) in Miami-Dade County, and an appearance
before Judge Oscar Rodriguez-Fonts in Miami-Dade County,
based on an “abandoned” criminal case in
Miami-Dade County, F-17-16392. Doc. No. 1 at 3-12. Plaintiff
alleges all the Defendants conspired with one another to
effect this illegal arrest and detention because he is
African-American and African-Americans have been subject to
systemic violations of their rights through wrongful arrests.
Doc. No. 1. Plaintiff alleged that Defendant Cornita Riley
(“Riley”) violated his Fourth, Fifth, Eighth,
Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendment rights, violated 42
U.S.C. §§ 1985 and 1986, and engaged in an abuse of
process. Doc. No. 1 at 20-24.
August 29, 2018, Riley filed a Motion to Dismiss the original
Complaint in this case with prejudice. Doc. No. 60. On
November 5, 2018, this Court issued a Report and
Recommendation recommending that the Complaint be dismissed
without prejudice as to Riley 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
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
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.
December 14, 2018, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint. Doc.
No. 83. With respect to the factual allegations related to
Riley, the Amended Complaint is identical to Plaintiff's
original Complaint. Compare Doc. Nos. 1 at 8-10 and
83 at 9-11. Plaintiff alleges that on May 8, 2018,
“following Judge Bigney's bond hearing, the
Orlando-Orange County Jail refuses to release the Plaintiff
and illegally detains him on a ‘no bond' hold
without the legal chain of documentation.” Doc. No. 83
at 9. Plaintiff further alleged that “On May 8, 2018, .
. . Ms. Thabet notifies Cornita Riley, Director of the Orange
County, Florida Department of Corrections via email, making
her aware of the Plaintiff being illegally detained. The
Plaintiff's mother also emails Chief Cornita Riley . . .
informing her of the Plaintiff being illegally received and
detained.” Doc. No. 83 at 9. Finally, Plaintiff alleges
that “On May 10, 2018, Deputy Chief Anthony Watts, on
behalf of Chief Cornita Riley, responds via email to the
Plaintiff's mother . . . stating that, “Based ...