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Metz v. Hines

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division

December 9, 2019

GEORGE D METZ, 2, Plaintiff,
v.
MANDY HINES, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER [1]

          SHERI POLSTER CHAPPELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is Defendant Mandy Hines' Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint (Doc. 25). Plaintiff George Metz never responded.

         BACKGROUND[2]

         Metz went to the County Administration Building in Desoto County, Florida to investigate a “no recording” sign. Inside, a County employee approached and told Metz to leave. So Metz walked into a hallway, where Hines “informed” Metz “that she wanted [him] out of the building.” (Doc. 24 at 4). At some point, the police arrived. And Hines told the police Metz “should be punched in the throat.” (Doc. 24 at 4).

         Hines is the County Administrator. Metz brings a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against Hines in her individual capacity. According to Metz, Hines violated his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Specifically, she “acted under color of state law by using the trespass statute to remove [him] from” the Administration Building. (Doc. 24 at 4).

         The operative pleading is the Amended Complaint. (Doc. 24). A few weeks ago, the Court dismissed Metz's original complaint because it appeared the copy on the docket was incomplete. (Doc. 23).

         LEGAL STANDARD

         A complaint must recite “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). “To 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.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A facially plausible claim allows a “court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. Pleadings must contain “more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

         DISCUSSION

         The Amended Complaint is insufficient, so it is dismissed. Metz, however, will have one last chance to amend.

         A. Factual Deficiencies

         To start, Hines' argument that these factual allegations cannot state a claim are well taken. The only factual allegations against Hines are that she wanted him out of the Administration Building and told a police officer Metz should be punched in the throat. Taken as true, those facts alone are likely not enough to support the alleged claims. In short, the barebones allegations do nothing to state plausible claims for the general and abstract constitutional violations alleged. See Dalrymple v. Reno, 334 F.3d 991, 996 (11th Cir. 2003). While held to a lesser standard, a pro se complaint must still plead some facts to support a facially plausible claim. E.g., Gilliam v. U.S. Dep't of Veterans Affairs, 2:16-cv-255-FtM-29UAM, 2019 WL 1383156, at *1 (M.D. Fla. Mar. 27, 2019). When amending, Metz should provide enough facts to put Hines on notice of the basic facts supporting the claims.

         B. Qualified Immunity

         Even if the Court looked past these inadequacies, however, the Amended Complaint should be dismissed because Hines has ...


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