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Woods v. City of Natchez Police Department

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Western Division

March 27, 2018

Y SHELTON WOODS, #81862 PLAINTIFF
v.
CITY OF NATCHEZ POLICE DEPARTMENT, DISPATCHER MACK JAMES, CHIEF OF POLICE DANNY WHITE, JOHN AND JANE DOES, and CITY OF NATCHEZ DEFENDANTS

          ORDER AND OPINION

          DAVID BRAMLETTE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This cause is before the Court on Magistrate Judge Michael T. Parker's Report and Recommendation [Doc. 40] that the Court dismiss this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action filed by pro se plaintiff Casey Shelton Woods, proceeding in forma pauperis, and Woods's Objection [Doc. 41] to that Report and Recommendation.

         I

         Nineteenth months after he shot and killed Pierre Tenner, Woods sued the City of Natchez, Dispatcher Mack James, and Chief of Police Danny White for failing to timely dispatch police officers to the scene at which Woods murdered Tenner.[1]

         The murder occurred on May 24, 2015 at the home of Pierre Tenner's wife, Doris. Woods alleges he and Doris Tenner were at her home when Pierre arrived. Pierre threatened Woods, and Doris or Woods twice called the Natchez Police Department (“NPD”). Woods alleges that NPD Dispatcher Mack James twice told them that an officer was en route when that was not so.

         The crux of Woods's Complaint is Dispatcher James's alleged failure to timely send an officer to Doris Tenner's home. Magistrate Judge Parker held a Spears hearing and liberally construed Woods's Complaint as attempting to allege state-law negligence claims and § 1983 claims for violations of equal protection and substantive due process.

         II

         On February 2, 2018, Magistrate Judge Parker determined that Woods's suit should be dismissed under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) and entered a Report and Recommendation so reflecting.[2]

         First, the Report and Recommendation advises that the Court dismiss with prejudice Woods's equal protection-based § 1983 claim because Woods fails to allege that he was intentionally discriminated against because of his membership in a protective class or that he was intentionally treated differently from others similarly situated without rational basis.

         Second, the Report and Recommendation advises that the Court dismiss with prejudice Woods's substantive due process-based § 1983 claim because Woods failed to plead the “special relationship” necessary to show a violation of the Due Process Clause on a failure-to-protect theory.

         Finally, the Report and Recommendation advises that the Court decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Woods's state-law negligence claims because all claims within the Court's original jurisdiction should be dismissed.

         Woods timely objects to the Report and Recommendation and raises these issues in these terms:

1) 911 calling transcript proved beyond doubt that a so-called special relationship did exist.
2) Dispatcher's policy proved beyond doubt that dispatcher was negligent.
3) Elements of negligence, duty, breach, and causation were ...

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