Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Olivier v. City of Clarksville

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

August 17, 2017

MARDOCHE OLIVIER
v.
CITY OF CLARKSVILLE ET AL.

          Assigned on Briefs Date: July 3, 2017

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Montgomery County No. 16CV1636 Ross H. Hicks, Judge

         This 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 claims.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit Court Affirmed; Case Remanded

          Mardoche Olivier, Clarksville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

          D. 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.

          Thomas R. Frierson, II, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Richard H. Dinkins, J., and J. Steven Stafford, P.J., W.S., joined.

          OPINION

          THOMAS R. FRIERSON, II, JUDGE

         I. Factual and Procedural History

         The 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 subsequently arrested.

         Mr. 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.

         During 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.

          Mr. 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.

         The 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 part:

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 harm.
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 as untimely.
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.

         The 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.

         II. Issues Presented

         Mr. 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 process.
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 ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.