United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
HARRIS TOLIVER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
to Special Order 3, Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss, Doc. 6, has been referred to the undersigned
for a recommendation. For the reasons stated herein, it is
recommended that the motion be GRANTED IN
se plaintiff Craig Cunningham brings this civil rights
action against Texas Department of Public Safety employees
Carlos Felix, Adam Albritton, Bobby Nichols, Thomas Moore,
Kevin Gray, Michael Bradberry, and Steven McCraw based on
events stemming from a June 2016 traffic stop. Doc. 3 at 2-3.
Plaintiff alleges that while driving, he properly signaled a
lane change, yet was pulled over by Texas State Troopers
Felix and Albritton. Doc. 3 at 2-3. Plaintiff further alleges
that despite stating that he wanted to remain silent,
refusing to consent to a search, and requesting that a lawyer
be present for further questioning, Trooper Felix attempted
to question him. Doc. 3 at 3. After Trooper Felix ran a
computer check on Plaintiff's driver's license,
Plaintiff was issued a warning, and permitted to leave. Doc.
3 at 3.
subsequently lodged a formal complaint against Troopers Felix
and Albritton, citing an “improper detention and
traffic stop.” Doc. 3 at 3. Plaintiff alleges that he
subsequently received a letter from Defendant Bobby Nichols,
Troopers Felix's and Albritton's supervisor,
explaining that a review of the video recording of the
traffic stop revealed that Plaintiff had indeed signaled
before changing lanes, and Troopers Felix and Albritton had
erred in pulling him over. Doc. 3 at 3, 8. However, no
investigation or inquiry was ever conducted, and no
disciplinary action was taken against Troopers Felix and
Albritton. Doc. 3 at 4.
section 1983 action, Plaintiff alleges Troopers Felix and
Albritton of violated his constitutional rights under the
Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments based on their
illegal detention of him. Doc. 3 at 4-5. Plaintiff also
claims Defendants Nichols, Moore, Gray, Bradberry, and McCraw
are liable as supervisors due to their failure to train,
supervise, and discipline Troopers Felix and
Albritton. Doc. 3 at 5. Plaintiff seeks actual
damages of $100, 000.00, attorney's fees, and court
costs. Doc. 3 at 7.
Albritton, Nichols, Moore, Gray, Bradberry, and McCraw
(collectively “Defendants”) now move to dismiss
Plaintiff's claims under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. Doc. 6. Plaintiff has not filed a
response to the motion to dismiss.
plaintiff fails to state a claim for relief under Rule
12(b)(6) when the complaint does not contain “enough
facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007). In order to overcome a Rule 12(b)(6) motion,
a plaintiff's complaint should “contain either
direct allegations on every material point necessary to
sustain a recovery . . . or contain allegations from which an
inference fairly may be drawn that evidence on these material
points will be introduced at trial.” Campbell v.
City of San Antonio, 43 F.3d 973, 975 (5th Cir. 1995)
(quotation omitted). When considering a motion to dismiss,
the court accepts as true all well-pleaded facts and views
those facts in a light most favorable to the plaintiff.
Id. However, the complaint should not simply contain
conclusory allegations, but must be pleaded with a certain
level of factual specificity, and the district court cannot
“accept as true conclusory allegations or unwarranted
deductions of fact.” Collins v. Morgan Stanley Dean
Witter, 224 F.3d 496, 498 (5th Cir. 2000) (quotation
U.S.C. § 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.” Livadas v.
Bradshaw, 512 U.S. 107, 132 (1994) (citation omitted).
To state a claim under section 1983, a plaintiff must allege
facts that show he has been deprived of a right secured by
the Constitution and the laws of the United States, and the
defendants were acting under color of state law. See
Flagg Bros., Inc. v. Brooks, 436 U.S. 149, 155
move to dismiss Plaintiff's claims arguing that they (1)
fail to overcome Defendants' assertion of qualified
immunity, and (2) fail to establish violations of
Plaintiff's rights under the Fourth, Fifth, and
argue that Plaintiff has not pled facts sufficient to
overcome their defense of qualified immunity. Doc. 6 at 5-6,
8. Because Plaintiff was not required to anticipate
Defendants' qualified immunity defense in his initial
pleading, however, Defendants have prematurely sought
dismissal on this ground. A plaintiff need not “fully
anticipate the [qualified immunity] defense in his complaint
at the risk of dismissal under Rule 12.” Schultea
v. Wood, 47 F.3d 1427, 1430 (5th Cir. 1995). Prior to
filing the instant motion, Defendants had neither answered
Plaintiff's complaint nor otherwise ...