United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division
Court has before it a motion to dismiss filed by Defendants
DeSoto County, Mississippi and Sheriff Bill Rasco ; a
motion to dismiss filed by Defendants Jennifer King, Candace
McElhaney, James Pierce, and Chad Wicker ; and a motion
to dismiss filed by Defendants City of Southaven,
Mississippi, Phillip Croy, and Chief of Police Steve Pirtle
. Having considered the matter, the Court finds the
motions should be granted.
to the complaint, Southaven police arrested Jessica Hughes
for placing multiple calls to 911 emergency services when
there was no emergency occurring. Third Amended Compl. 
at 5-7, ¶¶ 23-27. After her arrest, Southaven
police transported Hughes to the Southaven Police Department.
Id. at 7, ¶¶ 27-28. There, two white males
were permitted to bond out, while Hughes, an African American
female, was not. Id.
police then transported her to the DeSoto County Jail,
operated by the DeSoto County Sheriffs Department.
Id. ¶ 29. She was placed into a holding area
with three African American women and one white woman. Hughes
alleges that she and the other African American women were
made to change into pink jumpsuits while the white woman was
was eventually convicted of an abuse of 911 charge in the
Municipal Court of Southaven and again in a trial de
novo in the County Court of DeSoto County.
brought this action against the City of Southaven, Police
Chief Steve Pirtle in his official capacity, and Officer
Philip Croy, the officer who arrested Hughes, in his official
and individual capacity; DeSoto County, Sheriff Bill Rasco,
Deputy Sheriff John Tid-well, DeSoto County Jail Director
Chad Wicker, in their official capacities, and correctional
officers Candice McElhaney, James Pierce, and Jennifer King
in their official and individual capacities. She alleges that
the Southaven police arrested her in violation of her First
and Fourth Amendment rights and that Southaven failed to
train its officers. She asserts that DeSoto County violated
her due process and equal protection rights by detaining her
and forcing her, but not the white woman also in lockup, to
put on a pink jumpsuit. She also brings state law claims for
negligent hiring and supervision, negligent and intentional
infliction of emotional distress, and reckless disregard.
Southaven Defendants filed a motion to dismiss. They argue
that Hughes' claims against them are barred by Heck
v. Humphrey, The DeSoto County Defendants, except for
Deputy Tidwell, also filed a motion to dismiss, asserting
that some claims against them are also barred by Heck v.
Humphrey and that the complaint otherwise fails to state
outset, the Court notes that Hughes has not yet served
Tidwell. Over 90 days have passed since Hughes filed her
third amended complaint, and she has not shown good cause for
her failure to serve Tidwell within that time. Accordingly,
the Court, on its own motion, dismisses without prejudice,
the claims against Tidwell. Fed. R. Civ. P (4)(m).
Motion to Dismiss Standard
deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court is
limited to the allegations set forth in the complaint and any
documents attached to the complaint. Walker v. Webco
Indus., Inc., 562 Fed.Appx. 215, 216-17 (5th Cir. 2014)
(citing Kennedy v. Chase Manhattan Bank USA, NA, 369
F.3d 833, 839 (5th Cir. 2004)). "[A plaintiffs]
complaint therefore 'must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.' "Phillips v. City of
Dallas, Tex., 781 F.3d 772, 775-76 (5th Cir. 2015)
(quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129
S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009)).
is facially plausible when the pleaded factual content
"allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged."
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (citing
Bell All Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556, 127
S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). "[P]laintiffs must
allege facts that support the elements of the cause of action
in order to make out a valid claim." Webb v.
Morella, 522 Fed.Appx. 238, 241 (5th Cir. 2013) (quoting
City of Clinton, Ark. v. Pilgrim's Pride Corp.,
632 F.3d 148, 152-53 (5th Cir. 2010) (internal quotation
marks omitted)). "[C]onclusory allegations or legal
conclusions masquerading as factual conclusions will not
suffice to prevent a motion to dismiss." Id.
(quoting Fernandez-Montes v. Allied Pilots Ass
'n, 987 F.2d 278, 284 (5th Cir. 1993) (internal
quotation marks omitted)). "Dismissal is appropriate
when the plaintiff has not alleged 'enough facts to state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face' and has
failed to 'raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.' "Emesowum v. Hous. Police
Dep't, 561 Fed.Appx. 372, 372 (5th Cir. 2014)
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 570, 127 S.Ct.
First and Fourth ...