United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Mardoche Olivier, a resident of Clarksville, Tennessee,
brings thispro se, in forma pauperis action against
Clarksville police officers J. Salcedo and David Moore as
well as the City of Clarksville, alleging violations of the
Plaintiff s civil rights. (Doc. No. 1). The Plaintiff seeks
"at least $25, 5000" in damages from each officer
and mandatory retraining of both officers with regard to city
codes and citizens' rights. (Id. at p. 3).
Required Screening of the Complaint
Plaintiff is proceeding as a pauper in this action;
therefore, the Court must conduct an initial review of the
complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and dismiss it or
any portion of it that is frivolous or malicious, fails to
state a claim for which relief may be granted, or seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief. In assessing whether the complaint in this case
states a claim on which relief may be granted, the Court
applies the standards under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, as construed by Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009), and Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twomblv. 550 U.S. 544, 555-57 (2007).
See Hill v. Lappin. 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir.
2010) (holding that "the dismissal standard articulated
in Iqbal and Twombly governs dismissals for
failure to state a claim under § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)]
because the relevant statutory language tracks the language
in Rule 12(b)(6)").
all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true, the
Court 'consider[s] the factual allegations in [the]
complaint to determine if they plausibly suggest an
entitlement to relief" Williams v. Curtin, 631
F.3d 380, 383 (6th Cir. 2011) (quoting Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 681) (alteration in original). "[P]leadings
that... are no more than conclusions are not entitled to
the assumption of truth. While legal conclusions can provide
the framework of a complaint, they must be supported bv
factual allegations." Iqbal 556 U.S. at 679;
see also Twomblv. 550 U.S. at555n.3 ("Rule
8(a)(2) still requires a 'showing, ' rather than a
blanket assertion, of entitlement to relief. Without some
factual allegation in the complaint, it is hard to see how a
claimant could satisfy the requirement of providing not only
'fair notice' of the nature of the claim, but also
'grounds' on which the claim rests.").
se complaints are to be held to less stringent standards than
formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, and should therefore be
liberally construed." Williams, 631 F.3d at 383
(internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Pro
se litigants, however, are not exempt from the
requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Wells v. Brown. 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1989);
see also Brown v. Matauszak, 415 F.App'x 608,
613 (6th Cir. 2011) ("[A] court cannot create a claim
which [a plaintiff] has not spelled out in his
pleading") (internal quotation marks and citation
omitted); Payne v. Sec'y of Treas., 73
F.App'x 836, 837 (6th Cir. 2003) (affirming sua
sponte dismissal of complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2) and stating, "[n]either this court nor the
district court is required to create Payne's claim for
her"); cf Pliler v. Ford, 542 U.S. 225, 231
(2004) ("District judges have no obligation to act as
counsel or paralegal to pro se litigants."); Young
Bok Song v. Gipson, 423 F.App'x 506, 510 (6th Cir.
2011) ("[W]e decline to affirmatively require courts to
ferret out the strongest cause of action on behalf of pro se
litigants. Not only would that duty be overly burdensome, it
would transform the courts from neutral arbiters of disputes
into advocates for a particular party. While courts are
properly charged with protecting the rights of all who come
before it, that responsibility does not encompass advising
litigants as to what legal theories they should
to the complaint, on October 30, 2015, Clarksville police
officers J. Salcedo and David Moore forcefully removed the
plaintiff and Troy Lozano from the plaintiffs car, which was
parked in front of the plaintiffs real property located at
193 Sunset Court, Clarksville, Tennessee. The complaint
alleges that Officer Salcedo unlawfully searched Lozano, and
both Officers demanded both the plaintiff and Lozano to
produce identification and "info under threat of
imprisonment." (Doc. No. 1 at p. 2). The complaint
further alleges that, after the plaintiff produced
identification, one of the Officers told the plaintiff that
if he was seen behind the wheel of his car again, he would be
arrested. (Id.) Additionally, the complaint alleges
that the Officer told the plaintiff that he could not park
his car in front of his real property located at 193 Sunset
the Plaintiff names both police officers as Defendants and
seeks to recover money damages from each Defendant in his
official capacity. (Doc. No. 1 at p. 3). Suits against
Officers Salcedo and Moore in their official capacities are
suits against the Officers' official offices rather than
the individuals themselves. Will v. Mich. Dep't of
State Police. 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989). The Plaintiff
alleges in his complaint that both Officers are employed by
the City of Clarksville. In essence, then, the Plaintiffs
official capacity claims are against the City of Clarksville.
See Kentucky v. Graham. 473 U.S. 159 (1985).
the City of Clarksville is a suable entity, it is responsible
under § 1983 only for its "own illegal acts. [It
is] not vicariously liable under § 1983 for [its]
employees' actions." Connick v.Thompson.
563 U.S. 51. 131 S.Ct. 1350, 1359, 179 L.Ed.2d 417 (2011)
(internal citations and quotation marks omitted). Under
§ 1983, a municipality can only be held liable if the
plaintiff demonstrates that the alleged federal violation was
a direct result of the city's official policy or custom.
Burgess v.Fisher. 735 F.3d 462, 478 (6th Cir.2013)
(citing Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Servs.. 436 U.S.
658, 693, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978)); Resets
v. City of Plymouth. 568 Fed.Appx. 380, 2014 WL 2596562,
at *12 (6th Cir. 2014) (quoting Slusher v. Carson.
540 F.3d 449, 456-57 (6th Cir. 2008)). A plaintiff can make a
showing of an illegal policy or custom by demonstrating one
of the following: (1) the existence of an illegal official
policy or legislative enactment; (2) that an official with
final decision making authority ratified illegal actions; (3)
the existence of a policy of inadequate training or
supervision; or (4) the existence of a custom or tolerance or
acquiescence of federal rights violations. Burgess.
735 F.3d at 478.
inadequacy of police training only serves as a basis for
§ 1983 liability where the failure to train amounts to
deliberate indifference to the rights of persons with whom
the police come into contact. Slusher, 540 F.3d at
457. To establish deliberate indifference, the plaintiff may
show prior instances of unconstitutional conduct
demonstrating that the governmental entity has ignored a
history of abuse and was clearly on notice that the training
in this particular area was deficient and likely to cause
injury. Id; see also Gregory v. City of Louisville,
444 F.3d 725, 752-53 (6th Cir. 2006). In the alternative,
where the constitutional violation was not alleged to be part
of a pattern of past misconduct, a supervisory official or a
municipality may be held liable only where there is
essentially a complete failure to train the police force or
training that is so reckless or grossly negligent that future
police misconduct is almost inevitable or would properly be
characterized as substantially certain to result. Hays v.
Jefferson Cntv.. Ky.. 668 F.2d 869, 874 (6th Cir. 1982).
the allegations of the complaint are insufficient to state a
claim for municipal liability against the City of Clarksville
under § 1983. The complaint does not identify or
describe any of the City's policies, procedures,
practices, or customs relating to training; it does not
identify any particular shortcomings in that training or how
those shortcomings caused the alleged violations of the
plaintiffs rights; and it does not identify any other
previous instances of similar violations that would have put
the City of Clarksville on notice of a problem. See Okolo
v. Metropolitan Gov't of Nashville. 892 F.Supp.2d
931, 944 (M.D. Tenn. 2012); Hutchison v. Metropolitan
Gov't of Nashville. 685 F.Supp.2d747, 751 (M.D.
Tenn. 2010); Johnson v. Metropolitan Gov't of
Nashville. No. 3:10-cv-0589, 2010 WL 3619790, at **2-3
(M.D. Tenn. Sept. 13, 2010). Accordingly, the Court finds
that the complaint does not contain sufficient allegations to
state a claim for municipal liability against the City of
Clarksville. Any such claim will be dismissed.
the complaint was filed over a year after the alleged events
occurred so the Plaintiffs federal civil rights claims are
barred by the governing statute of limitations. The statute
of limitations for a § 1983 action is the "state
statute of limitations applicable to personal injury actions
under the law of the state in which the § 1983 claims
arises." Eidson v. Tenn. Dep't of Children's
Servs..510 F.3d 631, 634 (6th Cir. 2007).
The limitations period for § 1983 actions arising in
Tennessee is the one-year limitations provisions found in
Tennessee Code Annotated § 28-3-104(a). Porter v.
Brown,289 Fed.Appx. 114, 116 (6th Cir.
2008). The Supreme Court's decision in Wallace v.
Kato,549 U.S. 384 (2007), makes clear that a claim for
false arrest or imprisonment accrues at the time of arrest