United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Sherman Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
KIMBERLY C. PRIEST JOHNSON, UNITED STATES MA&ISTRATE
before the Court is Defendants City of Highland Village, City
of Highland Village Police Department, Douglas Reim
(“Reim”), and Officer Cory Gullo's
“Defendants”) Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Rule
12(b)(6) or in the Alternative for a More Definite Statement
Pursuant to Rule 12(e) (the “Motion”) (Dkt. 29).
Pro se Plaintiffs Crystal Horner and Alysha Horner
(“Plaintiffs”) filed a response in opposition
(Dkt. 32); Defendants filed a reply (Dkt. 33); Plaintiffs
filed two additional sur-replies (Dkts. 34, 46); and
Defendant filed a reply solely to address information first
raised in Plaintiffs' sur-reply (Dkt. 56). After review
of the pleadings, the Court finds that Defendants' Motion
(Dkt. 29) is GRANTED, and Plaintiffs'
claims are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE in their
October 27, 2017, pro se Plaintiff Crystal Horner
(“C. Horner”) filed her original complaint (Dkt.
3) against Defendants, seeking compensatory damages in the
amount of $2, 500, 000.00. On November 1, 2017, the Court
informed C. Horner that, as she is proceeding pro
se, she may not bring a lawsuit on behalf of
Plaintiff Alysha Horner (“A. Horner”).
See Dkt. 9. To comply with the Court's order,
Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint (Dkt. 11) bearing both
of their signatures. See Dkt. 11.
Court denied Plaintiffs' motion to amend the complaint
(Dkt. 31) on January 18, 2018 (see Dkt. 49) for
failing to include an actual amended complaint and for
failing to include the original claims in the
“amendment” information, which was included in
the Motion to Amend (Dkt. 31). In the January 18, 2018 Order,
the Court allowed Plaintiffs additional time to properly
amend their complaint; however, they failed to do so.
See Dkt. 49. Although Plaintiffs did not properly
amend their pleadings in the allotted extra time, being
mindful of Plaintiffs' pro se status, the Court
considered and liberally construed all of Plaintiffs'
filings, including the original complaint (Dkt. 3), amended
complaint (Dkt. 11), and information contained in
Plaintiffs' motion to amend (Dkt. 31) (collectively, the
“Complaint”). Further, Plaintiffs submitted two
sur-replies (Dkts. 34, 46) to Defendants' Motion (Dkt.
29), both of which the Court fully considered.
allege that on October 24, 2016, Plaintiff A. Horner was
picked up from her job at 6:00 p.m., by Darreon Johnson
(“Johnson”). See Dkt. 11 at 2. The
Complaint alleges that while driving with Plaintiff A.
Horner, Johnson was “being harassed” by two
vehicles and eventually ended up in an altercation with the
persons in those vehicles at a location within Highland
Village. See Id. During the altercation, firearms
were presented, and at some point, a gun discharged. See
Id. That night, at 8:30 p.m., Defendant Reim, Chief of
Police for Highland Village Police Department, contacted
Plaintiff C. Horner and told her that Plaintiff A. Horner was
involved in an incident, and he needed her to come to the
police station. See Dkt. 11 at 3. According to the
Complaint, Plaintiff A. Horner and Johnson were traveling to
Oklahoma City. See Id. In an apparent coordinated
effort, Oklahoma City police arrested Plaintiff A. Horner and
Johnson in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on October 25, 2016, at
3:00 a.m., on behalf of the City of Highland Village Police
Department. See Id. at 1. Plaintiff A. Horner was
arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. See
Id. Incident to the arrest, Plaintiff A. Horner's
vehicle was impounded and her cell phone was confiscated.
See Id. at 3, 5. After the arrest, Plaintiff A.
Horner was held in the City of Oklahoma jail for thirteen
days. See Dkt. 32 at 5. Plaintiffs allege that
Plaintiff A. Horner's jail stay lasted for nearly two
weeks because the bail set for her release was excessive
under the Eighth Amendment. See Id. at 4.
review of the Complaint (Dkts. 3, 11, 31) and Plaintiffs'
briefing in response to the Motion (Dkts. 32, 34, 36),
Plaintiffs appear to assert the following claims: (1)
improper arrest of Plaintiff A. Horner; (2) malicious
prosecution; (3) Fourth Amendment violation for improper
impoundment of Plaintiff A. Horner's vehicle and
confiscation of her phone; (4) failure to provide adequate
medical care in violation of the Americans with Disabilities
Act (the “ADA”); (5) Eighth Amendment violation
for excessive bail; (6) defamation of character; and (7)
witness tampering. See Dkts. 3, 11, 31, 32, 34, 36.
response to Plaintiffs' Complaint, Defendants filed the
current Motion (Dkt. 29) on December 7, 2017, pursuant to
Rule 12(b)(6), for failure to state a claim. In the Motion,
Defendants argue Plaintiffs' claims should be dismissed
as to the individual Defendants because the Complaint is
devoid of facts demonstrating a violation of any federal
rights. See Dkt. 29 at 6. Further, Defendants argue
Plaintiffs' claims should be dismissed as to the
municipality and police department because there are no facts
illustrating any form of misconduct by the entities regarding
failure to train or any unlawful policy-the only bases for
civil recourse against such entities. See Id. at
Court has evaluated the substance of Plaintiffs'
allegations, rather than the form. In its findings below, the
Court has been mindful that pro se pleadings are
entitled to a liberal construction that includes all
reasonable inferences which can be drawn from them. See
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 521 (1972); Tassio
v. Onemain Fin., Inc., 2016 WL 410024, *1 (E.D. Tex.
Feb. 3, 2016).
12(b)(6) provides a party may move for dismissal of an action
for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). The court
must accept as true all well-pleaded facts contained in the
plaintiff's complaint and view them in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff. Baker v. Putnal, 75 F.3d
190, 196 (5th Cir. 1996). A complaint must provide a short
and plain statement of the claim showing the pleader is
entitled to relief. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). A
complaint that does not allege “enough facts to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face” will not
survive a motion to dismiss. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009).
considering a motion to dismiss, the court's review is
limited to the complaint, any documents attached to the
complaint, and any documents attached to the motion to
dismiss that are central to the claim and referenced by the
complaint. See Lone Star Fund V (U.S.), L.P. v. Barclays
Bank PLC, 594 F.3d 383, 387 (5th Cir. 2010) (citing
Collins v. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, 224 F.3d 496,
498-99 (5th Cir. 2000)).
PLAINTIFF C. HORNER'S STANDING
to reaching the merits of any case, the Court must undertake
a “careful judicial examination of a complaint's
allegations to ascertain whether the particular plaintiff is
entitled to an adjudication of the particular claims
asserted, ” i.e., whether a plaintiff has
“standing.” DaimlerChrysler Corp. v.
Cuno, 126 S.Ct. 1854, 1867 (2006) (quoting Allen v.
Wright, 468 U.S. 737, 752 (1984)). The question of
standing involves the determination of whether a particular
litigant is entitled to invoke the jurisdiction of the
federal court in order to decide the merits of a dispute or
of particular issues. Elk Grove Unified Sch. Dist. v.
Newdow, 542 U.S. 1, 11 (2004). A party has standing if:
(1) she has suffered a “concrete and
particularized” injury that is actual or imminent
rather than conjectural or hypothetical; (2) there is a
causal relationship between the injury and the challenged
conduct; and (3) it is likely and not merely speculative that
the injury will be redressed by a favorable decision.
Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61
(1992); Westfall v. Miller, 77 F.3d 868, 871 (5th
Cir. 1996). A plaintiff has the burden of proof and
persuasion as to the existence of standing as to her claims.
Lujan, 504 U.S. at 561; Int'l Ass'n of
Machinists & Aerospace Workers v. Goodrich Corp.,
410 F.3d 204, 211-12 (5th Cir. 2005).
order to bring a claim for civil rights violations, a party
must establish a personal deprivation of one of her
own rights or privileges secured by the Constitution.
Brumfield v. Jones,849 F.2d 152, 154 (5th Cir.
1988). Indeed, “[t]he right to sue under the Civil
Rights Act is personal in nature.” Id.;
see also Johnson v. Fordice, 996 F.2d 306, 306 (5th
Cir. 1993) (affirming dismissal of complaint where plaintiff
did not allege or argue that he was personally affected by
the order he challenged). Plaintiff C. Horner has not shown
how she has suffered any “concrete and
particularized” injury sufficient to confer standing on
her. Lujan, ...