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Davis v. Hinds County

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

April 30, 2018

CHAKAKHAN R. DAVIS PLAINTIFF
v.
HINDS COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI, ET AL. DEFENDANTS

          ORDER

          DANIEL P. JORDAN III CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This pro se civil-rights action is before the Court on the parties' cross-motions. Defendant Hinds County seeks partial dismissal in its Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [75]. Plaintiff Chakakhan R. Davis responds to that motion with a Motion for a Continuance [77]. She also seeks reconsideration of an order denying an earlier motion for reconsideration [95]. For the reasons that follow, Davis's motions [77, 95] are denied. Hinds County's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [75] is granted.

         I. Background

         This case arises from Plaintiff Chakakhan R. Davis's arrest and subsequent detention at the Hinds County Detention Center. Davis's factual allegations are reflected in her Amended Complaint [61] and were summarized in at least two orders. See Nov. 29, 2017 Order [58]; May 23, 2017 Order [28]. The Court writes today for the record and the parties, so it will not repeat the factual summaries.

         That said, the procedural history affects the pending motions and is somewhat convoluted. The relevant history begins with the Court's May 23, 2017 Order [28] granting partial dismissal under Rule 12(c). That Order addressed motions filed by Hinds County and two individual defendants. In broad terms, the Order dismissed the state and federal claims against the individual defendants in their individual capacities without prejudice under Rule 12(b)(5)

         because Davis failed to properly serve those defendants. As to Hinds County, the Court dismissed the state-law claims related to the events at the detention center with prejudice. As to the arrest-related state-law claims against the County, the Court dismissed the false-arrest claim without prejudice to potential amendment; dismissed the malicious-prosecution claim with prejudice; and denied the motion to dismiss as to excessive force, false imprisonment, and abuse of process.

         Although the Court largely granted Defendants' motions, it also ruled that Davis could file a motion to amend her claims in three ways: (1) she could attempt to amend the pleading to state claims against all three defendants under the First Amendment; (2) she could attempt to plead a state-law false-arrest claim against the County; and (3) she could attempt to state a claim against Defendant Tyrone Lewis related to hiring/supervision issues.

         Davis filed her motion for leave to amend [30] on June 2, 2017, and on November 29, 2017, the Court granted her motion, in part, allowing her to assert claims against Defendant Lewis (individually) for failure to train or supervise. Nov. 29, 2017 Order [58] at 9. In the end, the following claims survived: (1) failure to train/supervise against Lewis; (2) the federal claims against Hinds County; and (3) the state-law claims against the County for excessive force, false imprisonment, and abuse of process. See Id. Aggrieved by that ruling, Davis filed her first motion for reconsideration [63] on December 13, 2017. The Court denied the motion on February 23, 2018. See Feb. 23, 2018 Order [93].

         All of that leads to the motions now up for consideration. First, Davis seeks reconsideration of the February 23, 2018 Order denying reconsideration of her motion seeking leave to amend. See Pl.'s Mot. [95]. Second, Hinds County seeks partial dismissal under Rule 12(c) of Plaintiff's Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment claims for false arrest, illegal search, excessive force, and false imprisonment, along with Davis's Eighth Amendment claim for cruel and unusual punishment. See Def.'s Mot. [75] at 10. Hinds County also seeks dismissal of the state-law claim for false imprisonment related to the events at the detention center. Def.'s Mot. [75] at 9. Finally, Davis asks the Court to convert Defendants' motion under Rule 12(d) and then allow discovery under Rule 56(d). See Pl.'s Mot. [77]. Nevertheless, her motion and her subsequent Reply [89] address the substance of the County's Rule 12(c) motion and will be construed as a response.[1]

         II. Motion for Continuance [77]

         Starting with the motion for continuance, Davis invokes Rule 12(d), which states that “if, on a motion under . . . Rule 12(c), maters outside the pleadings are presented to and not excluded by the Court, the motion must be treated as one for summary judgment under Rule 56.” Whether to convert a motion is a matter left to the district court's “complete discretion.” Isquith ex rel. Isquith v. Middle S. Utils., Inc., 847 F.2d 186, 194 n.3 (5th Cir. 1988) (citation omitted).

         Davis says the Court should exercise that discretion because Hinds County alternatively sought summary judgment. Pl.'s Mot. [77] at 1. But Hinds County did no such thing. See generally Def.'s Mot. [75]; Def.'s Mem. [76]. The County premised its motion on Davis's Amended Complaint and the exhibits thereto, without looking beyond the pleadings. The Court will do the same.

         “Finally, a request for discovery is generally not an appropriate response to a Rule 12[(c)] motion.” Minor v. Jackson Mun. Airport Auth., No. 3:15-CV-936-DPJ-FKB, 2016 WL 4869696, at *5 (S.D.Miss. Sept. 13, 2016) (citing Sw. Bell Tel., LP v. City of Hous., 529 F.3d 257, 263 (5th Cir. 2008) (rejecting plea for discovery and holding that “when deciding, under Rule 12(b)(6), whether to dismiss . . . the court considers, of course, only ...


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