United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Eastern Division
JAMES CROCKETT JR. PLAINTIFF
HAYS FOOD TOWN and LAWRENCE ZAMORA, Individually and Officially, as a law enforcement officer for the Marianna Police Department in Marianna, Arkansas DEFENDANTS
motion to dismiss [Doc., 9] is granted.
record, I shop at defendant Hays Food Town and have known
plaintiff James Crockett, Jr. and Bobby Bailey aka Pooh Bear
for many years. I have also known for years and greatly
respect plaintiff's counsel JF Valley and defense counsel
Kirkman Doughterty. Now that the pleasantries and disclosures
have been made, the facts are as follows.
was a police officer with the Marianna, Arkansas Police
Department and worked for Hays part-time as a security guard.
Hays is the last free-standing super market in West Helena,
Arkansas which is 25 miles away from, and in a totally
different county than, Marianna. Crockett is a six foot nine
inch former high school All-American basketball player at
Helena-West Helena Central High School who started at center
for the Arkansas Razorbacks in the late seventies. Pooh Bear
is a six foot six inch former all-state high school
basketball player at the same school who also played college
basketball in the early eighties.
went into Hays on March 21, 2014, and Zamora asked him if he
was Pooh Bear. Crockett denied he was Pooh Bear but Zamora
did not believe him and told him to leave the store. Crockett
refused to leave, so Zamora spoke harshly to Crockett and
tried to physically remove him from the store. When Crockett
refused to be physically removed, Zamora told Crockett that
Zamora was going to get a police officer, and then went
outside and located a police officer. Upon returning, the
officer immediately recognized and identified Crockett and
the conflict ended. Crockett completed his shopping and went
on his way.
filed suit in the Phillips County Circuit Court on March 4,
2016, asserting claims of intentional infliction of emotional
distress, assault, battery, outrage, defamation, a violation
of the Arkansas Civil Rights Act of 1993, and federal claims
under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1983. Defendants
removed based on federal question jurisdiction and defendants
now move to dismiss.
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) permits dismissal when the
plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted. To meet the 12(b)(6) standard, a complaint must
allege sufficient facts to entitle the plaintiff to the
relief sought. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
663 (2009). Although detailed factual allegations are not
required, threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, are
insufficient. Id. In ruling on a 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss, materials embraced by the pleadings, as well as
exhibits attached to the pleadings and matters of public
record, may all be considered. Mills v. City of Grand
Forks, 614 F.3d 495, 498 (8th Cir. 2010).
Assault, Battery, Defamation Claims
motion to dismiss Crockett's assault, battery, and
defamation claims is granted because the claims are barred by
the statute of limitations. Assault, battery, and defamation
claims must be filed within one year of the day they accrue.
See Ark. Code Ann. § 16-56-104. Crockett's
claims accrued on March 21, 2014 but suit was not filed until
March 4, 2016. See Compl. ¶ 5.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress and Outrage
motion to dismiss Crockett's intentional infliction of
emotional distress and outrage claims is granted.
“Intentional infliction of emotional distress”
and “outrage” are synonymous; therefore, these
claims are considered as one claim. See Chandler v.
Walmart Stores, Inc., 498 S.W.3d 766, 772 (Ark. 2016).
To establish an outrage claim, Crockett must prove the
(1) the actor intended to inflict emotional distress or knew
or should have known that emotional distress was the likely
result of his or her conduct; (2) the conduct was extreme and
outrageous, was beyond all possible bounds of decency, and
was utterly intolerable in a civilized community; (3) the
actions of the defendant were the cause of the
plaintiff's distress; and (4) the emotional distress