United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Eastern Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT LAKE COUNTY SHERIFF'S
DEPARTMENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS AND GRANTING DEFENDANT
LAKE COUNTY, TENNESSEE'S PARTIAL MOTION TO
THOMAS ANDERSON CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Defendants Lake County, Tennessee and Lake
County Sheriff's Department's motion to dismiss,
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (ECF
No. 19.) The motion seeks dismissal of all claims against the
Sheriff's Department and most claims against the County.
Plaintiff has filed an untimely response (ECF Nos. 23 &
24), to which Defendants have replied (ECF No. 26.) For the
reasons discussed below, the Motion is GRANTED.
August 15, 2015, Plaintiff was housed in the Lake County,
Tennessee jail awaiting a bond hearing the following day.
(See ECF No. 1-1 & 15.) Shortly after being
placed in a cell in the general population, he was attacked
and beaten by other inmates. Plaintiff alleges in his
complaint that Defendants negligently failed to provide
adequate supervision in the jail, resulting in his physical
and psychological injury. On August 18, 2016, Plaintiff
instituted this action in state court in Tiptonville,
Tennessee, alleging civil rights violations under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 and common law negligence under Tennessee law.
(ECF No. 1-1.) Defendants removed the case to this Court on
August 31, 2016, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. (ECF No.
1.) Defendants filed the instant motion on December 20, 2016.
(ECF No. 19.) The motion advances the following arguments,
the first regarding the Sheriff's Department and the rest
with regard to the County:
(1) Plaintiff's claims against the Sheriff's
Department should be dismissed because it is not a legal
entity amenable to suit,
(2) Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment claim should be
dismissed because the Fourteenth Amendment provides an
explicit source of recovery,
(3) Plaintiff's Fifth Amendment claim should be dismissed
because the federal government is not involved,
(4) Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claim should be
dismissed because there was no criminal conviction,
(5) Plaintiff's claim under the Tennessee Constitution
should be dismissed because Tennessee does not recognize a
cause of action for damages under its constitution,
(6) Plaintiff's claim for punitive damages should be
dismissed because counties are immune from punitive damages
claims in Tennessee, and
(7) Plaintiff's state law claims should be dismissed
because the County is immune under Tennessee's
Governmental Tort Liability Act for injuries arising out of
civil rights violations.
(See ECF No. 19-1). Defendants do not challenge
Plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment claim.
(See ECF No. 1-1 at 5.)
did not respond to Defendants' motion within twenty-eight
days, as required by the Local Rules. See W.D. Tenn.
R. 12.1(b). On March 3, 2017, this Court issued an order
directing Plaintiff to show cause why his claims against
Defendants should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute.
(ECF No. 21.) Plaintiff filed a response to the order along
with a response to the motion. (ECF Nos. 23 & ...