United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
HOLMES, III CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Michael Scott Simpson, filed this action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. He proceeds pro se and in
forma pauperis. Currently before the Court is the Motion
to Dismiss (ECF No. 13) for failure to state a claim filed by
Separate Defendant, Deputy Shannon Smith, pursuant to Rule
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff
has not responded to the Motion to Dismiss.
filed the Complaint (ECF No. 1) on July 21, 2017, naming as
Defendants, among others, a John Doe Deputy of the Washington
County Sheriff's Office and a John Doe Officer of the
Fayetteville Police Department. Plaintiff filed an Amended
Complaint (ECF No. 7) on August 2, 2017. He did not identify
the John Doe Defendants in the Amended Complaint (ECF No. 7).
On August 17, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Add a Party
(ECF No. 10). In the Motion, Plaintiff identified the John
Doe Deputy as Deputy Shannon Smith. The Motion (ECF No. 10)
was granted (ECF No. 11). Deputy Smith was substituted in
place of the John Doe Deputy and service was ordered on him
(ECF No. 11).
to the allegations of the Amended Complaint (ECF No. 7), on
December 30, 2016, the Plaintiff had an accident on Highway
45 in front of the Goshen, Arkansas, fire station. The first
officer at the scene was with the Goshen Police Department.
According to Plaintiff, this John Doe Officer ran the
Plaintiff's name through the Arkansas Crime Information
Center (ACIC) and the National Crime Information Center
(NCIC) databases to check for warrants. There were none.
alleges Trooper Grant Evans was the second officer to arrive
at the scene and also checked for warrants. Once again,
Plaintiff states the search came back indicating there were
no warrants out for him. Plaintiff states the third officer
on the scene was Deputy Brett Thompson and he also ran the
Plaintiff's name and got the same results.
fourth officer on the scene was the officer now identified as
Deputy Smith. Plaintiff alleges that Deputy Smith:
“gathers all the officers, deputies and trooper Grant
Evans all in a crowd and talks to them, the next thing I know
I'm being arrested and placed in the back of Trooper
Grant Evans[‘] police vehicle under the name Michael
Todd Simpson.” (ECF No. 7 at 9).
alleges he was falsely arrested by Trooper Evans, placed in
the back of his car, and later transferred to a Fayetteville
Police Department vehicle and transported to the Washington
County Detention Center (WCDC).
relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
8(a) contains the general pleading rules and requires a
complaint to present “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). “In order to meet
this standard, and survive a motion to dismiss under Rule
12(b)(6), ‘a complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Braden v. Wal-Mart
Stores, Inc., 588 F.3d 585, 594 (8th Cir. 2009) (quoting
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
(internal quotations omitted)). “A claim has facial
plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that
allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 678. While the Court will
liberally construe a pro se plaintiff's
complaint, the plaintiff must allege sufficient facts to
support his claims. See Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d
912, 914 (8th Cir. 2004).
Smith argues that even accepting Plaintiff's allegations
as true, the Amended Complaint fails to state facts showing
that he conducted any wrongful activity or caused any alleged
damage or injury. Deputy Smith points out that it is not
alleged that he arrested, detained, or transported the
Plaintiff. In fact, Deputy Smith points out the Amended
Complaint does not even allege that he talked to the
Plaintiff, asked him for his identification, ran his
information through ACIC or NCIC, or made the decision to
arrest the Plaintiff.
1983 provides a federal cause of action for the deprivation,
under color of law, of a citizen's "rights,
privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and
laws" of the United States. In order to state a claim
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, plaintiff must allege that
defendant acted under color of state law and that he violated
a right secured by the Constitution. West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42 (1988); Dunham v. Wadley, 195 F.3d 1007,
1009 (8th Cir.1999). “Liability under section 1983
requires a ...