Assigned on Briefs Date: July 3, 2017
from the Circuit Court for Montgomery County No. 16CV1636
Ross H. Hicks, Judge
action arises out of an alleged violation of the
plaintiff's civil rights by the City of Clarksville
("the City") and a group of police officers
employed by the City ("the Officers")
(collectively, "Defendants"). The plaintiff was
arrested on June 1, 2015, for driving on a revoked or
suspended license, see Tenn. Code Ann. §
55-50-504 (2012), and making a 911 telephone call in a
nonemergency situation, see Tenn. Code Ann. §
7-86-316 (2015). The plaintiff filed a complaint on August
11, 2016, alleging that as a result of his arrest, the
Officers caused him to suffer damages from false
imprisonment, malicious prosecution, malicious harassment,
outrageous conduct, intentional infliction of emotional
distress, conversion, and inverse condemnation. The plaintiff
also alleged violations of his civil rights pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss on
October 5, 2016, asserting, inter alia, that the
plaintiff's claims were statutorily barred due to the
immunity granted to Defendants by the Tennessee Governmental
Tort Liability Act ("GTLA"). See Tenn.
Code Ann. § 29-20-205 (2012). The trial court entered a
final order regarding Defendants' motion to dismiss on
November 17, 2016, granting the motion and dismissing all
claims. The plaintiff has appealed. Discerning no error, we
affirm the trial court's dismissal of the plaintiff's
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Court Affirmed; Case Remanded
Mardoche Olivier, Clarksville, Tennessee, Pro Se.
Mark Nolan and Kathryn W. Olita, Clarksville, Tennessee, for
the appellees, City of Clarksville, Keith Jones, David Odell,
Crystal Robinson, J.T. Knoblock, Ron Knight, and Dave Keenom.
R. Frierson, II, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Richard H. Dinkins, J., and J. Steven Stafford, P.J.,
R. FRIERSON, II, JUDGE
Factual and Procedural History
appellant, Mardoche Olivier, was arrested on June 1, 2015,
for driving on a revoked or suspended license and making a
911 call in a nonemergency situation. In his complaint, Mr.
Olivier averred that on that date, the Officers initiated a
traffic stop against another driver, "Ms. Mines, "
who was in the process of following Mr. Olivier to his
residence in a separate automobile. Mr. Olivier stated that
while driving ahead of Ms. Mines, he looked back to discover
that the Officers had directed Ms. Mines to pull over in a
parking lot. Mr. Olivier reportedly drove into the parking
lot, parked his vehicle, and exited. Mr. Olivier claimed that
the Officers, having been told by Ms. Mines that Mr. Olivier
was picking her up, approached him and asked to see his
driver's license. According to Mr. Olivier, he
"informed the [Officers] that he did not want anything
to do with them and [he] notified [the Officers] that this
contact was not consensual and demanded [the Officers]
le[ave] him alone." Mr. Olivier then phoned 911
"for assistance with the [Officers]" and was
Olivier filed his complaint on August 11, 2016, in the
Montgomery County Circuit Court ("trial court").
Mr. Olivier alleged that as a result of his arrest,
Defendants caused him to suffer damages from false
imprisonment, malicious prosecution, malicious harassment,
outrageous conduct and/or intentional infliction of emotional
distress, conversion, inverse condemnation, and various civil
rights violations pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
the course of the litigation, Mr. Olivier filed a motion for
default judgment on September 29, 2016. The City responded to
this motion on October 3, 2016, asserting that due to the
City's standing as a governmental entity, the City had
sixty days to file a responsive pleading pursuant to the GTLA
and such time period had yet to elapse. See Tenn.
Code Ann. § 29-20-304 (2012). Subsequently, Defendants
filed a motion on October 5, 2016, seeking dismissal of Mr.
Olivier's claims. Defendants delineated three separate
bases warranting dismissal: (1) Defendants were immune from
suit pursuant to the GTLA; (2) the tort claims that Mr.
Olivier asserted were subject to the operation of a one-year
statute of limitations, which had already elapsed; and (3)
Mr. Olivier failed to allege essential elements of his
claims. On October 6, 2016, the trial court entered an order
denying Mr. Olivier's motion seeking a default judgment.
Olivier subsequently filed another motion for default
judgment on October 17, 2016, claiming that Defendants had
failed to timely answer the complaint. The City filed a
response to the motion on October 19, 2016, referencing its
previously filed motion to dismiss. The trial court denied
Mr. Olivier's second motion for default judgment on
November 15, 2016, determining that Defendants had filed a
proper responsive pleading within the time allowed.
Meanwhile, on October 7, 2016, Mr. Olivier had filed a motion
seeking to amend his complaint. The City opposed such
amendment, stating that the proposed changes were futile.
trial court conducted a hearing regarding Defendants'
motion to dismiss on November 15, 2016. On November 17, 2016,
the trial court issued its order, which stated in pertinent
1. First, the Plaintiff failed to comply with Tennessee Rule
of Procedure 8.01, which provides the Complaint shall contain
a short and plain statement of the claim showing the
Plaintiff is entitled to relief.
2. Second, the Defendant City of Clarksville is immune from
suit under Tennessee's Governmental Tort Liability Act,
pursuant to the plain language of T.C.A. § 29-20-205,
which specifies specific torts from which municipalities are
per se immune, and the Plaintiff's failure to
allege a policy practice or custom which caused his alleged
3. Third, the Plaintiff failed to allege essential elements
of his claims. Specifically, the Plaintiff failed to allege
essential elements of his claims of malicious prosecution,
malicious harassment, inverse condemnation, conversion,
intentional infliction of emotional distress, and 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 constitutional claims.
4. Fourth, a number of the torts alleged by the Plaintiff,
namely false imprisonment, intentional infliction of
emotional distress, and civil rights violations, have a
statute of limitations period of one year. As the
Plaintiff's cause of action accrued on June 1, 2015, at
the time of his arrest, and the Plaintiff filed the Complaint
in this action on August 11, 2016, the claims are dismissed
5. Further, to the extent the Plaintiff sought claims against
any person in an individual capacity, this Court dismisses
all such claims for failure to adequately serve such
individuals with process, or to allege specific facts against
them to state a claim.
trial court accordingly dismissed each of Mr. Olivier's
claims. On the same date, the trial court entered an order
denying Mr. Olivier's motion to amend his complaint. Mr.
Olivier timely appealed.
Olivier presents nine issues for our review, some of which
are duplicative or unclear. We have determined the
dispositive issues raised to be:
1. Whether the trial court erred by dismissing Mr.
Olivier's claims against the Officers in their individual
capacities because the Officers had not been served with
2. Whether the trial court erred by determining that
Defendants were immune from suit pursuant to Tennessee Code
Annotated § 29-20-205 of the GTLA.
3. Whether the trial court erred by determining that Mr.
Olivier's claims were untimely filed based on the
applicable one-year statute of limitations.
4. Whether the trial court erred by dismissing Mr.
Olivier's complaint for failure to allege essential