United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
WILLIAM L. CAMPBELL, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is the Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendation (Doc. No. 53), which was filed on August 12,
2019. Through the Report and Recommendation, the Magistrate
Judge recommends that Defendant Longmire's and Defendant
Richardson's motions to dismiss (Doc. Nos. 14, 44) be
granted in part and denied in part. The Magistrate Judge
further recommends that Plaintiff be granted leave to amend
her complaint to include the allegations she has made in
other filings that supplement her claims, and that Defendant
Walker's motion to dismiss (Doc. No. 24) be granted and
Plaintiff's claims against Defendant Walker in her
official and individual capacities be dismissed.
Richardson, and Plaintiff filed objections to the Report and
Recommendation. (Doc. Nos. 54, 55). After a de novo
review, and for the following reasons, the parties'
objections are OVERRULED and the Report and Recommendation is
STANDARD OF REVIEW
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Rule 72.02, a district
court reviews de novo any portion of a report and
recommendation to which a specific objection is made.
United States v. Curtis, 237 F.3d 598, 603 (6th Cir.
2001). General or conclusory objections are insufficient.
See Zimmerman v. Cason, 354 Fed.Appx. 228,
230 (6th Cir. 2009). Thus, “only those specific
objections to the magistrate's report made to the
district court will be preserved for appellate review.”
Id. (quoting Smith v. Detroit Fed'n of
Teachers, 829 F.2d 1370, 1373 (6th Cir. 1987)). In
conducting the review, the court may “accept, reject,
or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or
recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C).
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) permits dismissal of a
complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted. For purposes of a motion to dismiss, a court must
take all the factual allegations in the complaint as true.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009). To survive a
motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient
factual allegations, accepted as true, to state a claim for
relief that is plausible on its face. Id. A claim
has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads facts that
allow the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Id.
In reviewing a motion to dismiss, the Court construes the
complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff,
accepts its allegations as true, and draws all reasonable
inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Directv, Inc. v.
Treesh, 487 F.3d 471, 476 (6th Cir. 2007). Allegations
of a complaint drafted by a pro se litigant are held
to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers in the sense that a pro se complaint will be
liberally construed. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S.
89, 94 (2007).
Longmire and Richardson
Longmire and Richardson disagree with the Magistrate
Judge's recommendation that their motions to dismiss be
denied with respect to Plaintiff's Section 1983 claims
and that Plaintiff be granted leave to amend her complaint.
(Doc. No. 54).
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Plaintiff must
allege that each defendant (1) deprived her of a federal
constitutional or statutory right (2) while acting under
color of state law. Hahn v. Star Bank, 190 F.3d 708,
717 (6th Cir. 1999). In their respective motions to dismiss,
Longmire and Richardson argued Plaintiff's Section 1983
claims against them failed because they were not acting under
color of law for purposes of liability under Section 1983,
and because Plaintiff's allegations that they aided and
abetted C. Harcrow's illegal conduct were too vague to
state a claim for relief. (Doc. No. 53 at 7 (citing Doc. Nos.
15, 45)). The Magistrate Judge correctly pointed out that
Longmire or Richardson could be considered state actors
subject to liability under Section 1983 if they conspired
with a state official to violate Plaintiff's rights, and
that to plead such a conspiracy, Plaintiff needed to allege
“that there was a single plan, that [each] alleged
coconspirator shared in the general conspiratorial objective,
and that an overt act was committed in furtherance of the
conspiracy that caused [Plaintiff ] injury . . .” (Doc.
No. 53 at 13 (citing Memphis, Tennessee Area Local, Am.
Postal Workers Union v. City of Memphis, 361 F.3d 898,
905 (6th Cir. 2004)).
Magistrate Judge determined Plaintiff's first amended
complaint adequately alleged the first and third elements of
a Section 1983 conspiracy but failed to sufficiently allege
the second element, that Longmire and Richardson shared in
the conspiratorial objective, because the unelaborated
allegations of aiding and abetting were insufficient to
demonstrate what Longmire and Richardson each did to violate
Plaintiff's asserted constitutional rights. (Doc. No. 53
the Magistrate Judge noted Plaintiff's other filings
contained additional pertinent factual allegations against
Longmire and Richardson, including:
• Longmire and Richardson pleaded with the Doe Officers
to have Harcrow arrested during the alleged trespass on
September 18, 2018. (Doc. Nos. 7, 50.)
• One of the Doe Officers told Harcrow that he had
“heard all about [her]” and intended to arrest