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Camick v. Wattley

United States District Court, Tenth Circuit

December 5, 2013

LESLIE LYLE CAMICK (a/k/a WAYNE CAMICK), Plaintiff,
v.
EVELYN A. WATTLEY, KAITRAXX, LLC, DISTRICT COURT OF COWLEY COUNTY, KANSAS, CHRISTOPHER E. SMITH, WINFIELD POLICE DEPARTMENT, and NICOLE HILLS, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

JULIE A. ROBINSON, District Judge.

On July 19, 2013, Plaintiff Leslie Lyle Camick filed this pro se civil rights action, alleging several claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress under Kansas law. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants conspired to deprive him of his civil rights by causing him to be falsely arrested and prosecuted for felony theft. Before the Court are several motions. The Court first considers and denies Plaintiff's Motion for Default Judgment against Defendant District Court of Cowley County (Doc. 37). The Court then proceeds to consider motions to dismiss filed by all Defendants (Docs. 14, 17, 19, 24). The Cowley County District Court moves for dismissal based on Eleventh Amendment immunity; the remaining Defendants ask for dismissal based on failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). As described more fully below, the Court grants Defendants' motions to dismiss the federal claims and declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claim. The Court further finds moot Plaintiff's pending Motion to Strike Defendant District Court of Cowley County's Motion to Stay Discovery (Doc. 36) in light of this Court's ruling on the motions to dismiss, and because Magistrate Judge O'Hara has already granted that motion and stayed discovery.

I. Plaintiff's Motion for Default Judgment

Plaintiff moves for default judgment against Defendant District Court of Cowley County ("the District Court"), arguing that it failed to answer within twenty-one days of receiving his Complaint. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(a)(1)(A)(I) allows twenty-one days after service to respond to a complaint. In lieu of an answer, however, a defendant may file a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b). Under Rule 12(a)(4), if a Rule 12(b) motion is filed, then the answer date is altered. In that case, a defendant's answer becomes due fourteen days after notice of the court's denial of the motion or the court's postponement of disposition of the motion until trial.[1]

Plaintiff served the District Court with a summons and copy of the Complaint on July 23, 2013, thereby setting August 13, 2013, as the due date for the answer.[2] On September 10, 2013, the District Court filed a Motion for Leave to File Responsive Pleading Instanter, which was granted by Magistrate Judge O'Hara.[3] On September 10, 2013, the District Court filed its motion to dismiss, [4] so the answer deadline is held in abeyance until the Court denies or postpones ruling on that motion. Given the Court's ruling today granting the District Court's motion to dismiss, it is not required to file an answer. Accordingly, the District Court is not in default, and Plaintiff's motion is denied.

II. Facts Alleged in the Complaint

When construing Plaintiff's pro se Complaint, the Court bears in mind that pro se pleadings are to be construed liberally and held to a less stringent standard than pleadings drafted by lawyers.[5] Thus, if a pro se plaintiff's complaint can reasonably be read "to state a valid claim on which the plaintiff could prevail, [the court] should do so despite the plaintiff's failure to cite proper legal authority, his confusion of various legal theories, his poor syntax and sentence construction, or his unfamiliarity with pleading requirements."[6] However, it is not "the proper function of the district court to assume the role of advocate for the pro se litigant."[7] For that reason, the court should not "construct arguments or theories for the plaintiff in the absence of any discussion of those issues, "[8] nor should it "supply additional factual allegations to round out a plaintiff's complaint or construct a legal theory on plaintiff's behalf."[9] The court need only accept as true the plaintiff's "well-pleaded factual contentions, not his conclusory allegations."[10]

The following facts are alleged in the Complaint and the Court draws all reasonable inferences in favor of Plaintiff.[11] Plaintiff Leslie Camick, also known as Wayne Camick, is a Canadian citizen who is a Kansas resident. All Defendants are Kansas citizens. Plaintiff is a telecommunications field engineer and has developed several patents, including "a locking manhole cover worth five billion dollars."[12] Plaintiff met Defendant Evelyn "Lyn" Wattley in 2004 and they have been in a relationship that Plaintiff describes as "common-law married" since October 2005. Plaintiff and Wattley created and operated the fiber optic contracting business KaiTraxx, LLC, which does business as KomTraxx, in 2006. It is owned by Wattley and Plaintiff acted as director of operations from 2006 until 2011. Wattley maintained the financial records for the LLC.

In July 2006, Plaintiff purchased a 2006 GMC pickup truck in Louisiana. In January 2007, Plaintiff placed the title to the pickup truck in Wattley's name. Plaintiff was not listed on the title. Plaintiff's name remained on the insurance as the principal driver of the vehicle.

In May and June of 2011, Plaintiff and Wattley had financial disagreements. Plaintiff directed Wattley to transfer the title of the GMC truck to a business associate. After one of these disagreements, Plaintiff withdrew funds he needed to pay a crew working in a field in Arizona, where he was also working, over Wattley's objection. Wattley responded by cancelling Plaintiff's cell phone, fuel card, and bank card. Wattley sought legal help during this time.

On July 19, 2011, Wattley made a false report to the Winfield Police Department. Wattley told Winfield Police Officer Nicole Hills that Plaintiff stole the 2006 GMC pickup truck from her; Officer Hills knew that Plaintiff was listed on the insurance as the principal driver and that he had been driving the truck for five years. Nonetheless, Officer Hills entered the truck into the National Crime Information Center ("NCIC") database as stolen. On July 23, 2011, Wattley learned that Plaintiff was in Deming, New Mexico; she called the Deming Police Department and reported the truck stolen. Plaintiff was arrested at his hotel by the Deming Police Department and detained from July 23 to July 28, 2011.

After Plaintiff's arrest, Wattley sent e-mails to the Deming Police Department, Defendant Christopher Smith, the Cowley County District Attorney, and the Winfield Police Department, alerting each that she had recovered the truck. On July 27, 2011, the Deming Police Department dropped all charges against Plaintiff. On July 28, 2011 Wattley sent another email to the Winfield Police Department and Smith requesting all charges against Plaintiff be dropped.

On July 29, 2011 the District Court of Cowley County and the District Attorney of Cowley County issued a warrant for Plaintiff's arrest. On that same day, Wattley signed the truck title over to a business associate. Plaintiff was arrested twice in connection with the Cowley County warrant. First, on October 19, 2011, Plaintiff was stopped at a DUI checkpoint in New Jersey and was arrested and detained for six days. Second, on January 6, 2012, Plaintiff was stopped for speeding in Cowley County and spent twelve days in the Cowley County jail.

In November 2012, Plaintiff offered to buy the LLC from Wattley; she did not agree.

In March 2013, Plaintiff was arrested by federal authorities on separate charges, including mail fraud, bank fraud, identity theft, and immigration document fraud. That criminal case is pending in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas before Judge Thomas Marten.[13] The Cowley County charges against Plaintiff for theft were dismissed with prejudice on May 28, 2013. Plaintiff filed his Complaint in this case in July 2013.

Plaintiff alleges four claims for relief. His federal civil rights claims are all brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. First, he alleges that Defendants violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure by falsely reporting a crime, and by filing a false NCIC report, despite knowledge that the truck was not stolen, causing Plaintiff to be wrongly incarcerated in New Mexico, New Jersey, and Kansas. Second, Plaintiff claims a Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment due process violation associated with his wrongful imprisonment. Third, Plaintiff claims that his Sixth Amendment right to speedy trial was violated because his Cowley County case was pending for twenty months before it was dismissed. Finally, ...


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