United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
D. CRABTREE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
February 6, 2019, pro se plaintiff Lucas Arnold filed a
Complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the City of
Wichita, Wichita Police Department (“WPD”), and
WPD Officers Bradley Berry and Rick M. Pena (Doc. 1). This
matter comes before the court on defendants' Motions to
Dismiss (Docs. 18 & 23) under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) and
12(b)(6). Plaintiff has responded (Doc.
For reasons explained below, the court grants defendants'
Motions to Dismiss.
Complaint alleges few facts, but the court recites those
facts below and views them in the light most favorable to
plaintiff. S.E.C. v. Shields, 744 F.3d 633, 640
(10th Cir. 2014) (“We accept as true all well-pleaded
factual allegations in the complaint and view them in the
light most favorable to the [plaintiff].” (citation and
internal quotations marks omitted)).
Berry and Pena “ran [plaintiff] off the road” in
their police car on January 5, 2018. Doc. 1 at 2, 4.
“Every time [plaintiff] tried to stop [his] motorcycle
[the officers] would spe[e]d up.” Id. at 2.
The officers “ran [plaintiff] down until [he] had
nowhere to go but into the river.” Id. The
resulting wreck knocked out plaintiff's teeth, and caused
him permanent back and shoulder injuries and memory loss.
Id. For relief, plaintiff seeks “maximum
payout.” Id. at 6.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and, as such, must
have a statutory basis to exercise jurisdiction.”
Montoya v. Chao, 296 F.3d 952, 955 (10th Cir. 2002)
(citation omitted). Federal district courts have original
jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the
constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States or where
there is diversity of citizenship. 28 U.S.C. § 1331; 28
U.S.C. § 1332. “A court lacking jurisdiction
cannot render judgment but must dismiss the cause at any
stage of the proceedings in which it becomes apparent that
jurisdiction is lacking.” Basso v. Utah Power &
Light Co., 495 F.2d 906, 909 (10th Cir. 1974) (citation
omitted). Since federal courts are courts of limited
jurisdiction, there is a presumption against jurisdiction,
and the party invoking jurisdiction bears the burden to prove
it exists. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of
Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994).
Rule 12(b)(6), a defendant may move to dismiss for failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6). To survive such a motion to dismiss, “a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A complaint need not include
“‘detailed factual allegations, '” but
it must offer more than “‘labels and
conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action'” which, as the
Supreme Court explained, “‘will not
do.'” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555). Essentially, “the complaint must give the
court reason to believe that this plaintiff has a
reasonable likelihood of mustering factual support for
these claims.” Ridge at Red Hawk, LLC v.
Schneider, 493 F.3d 1174, 1177 (10th Cir. 2007). This
plausibility standard reflects the requirement in
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8 that pleadings must provide defendants with
fair notice of the nature of the claims as well as the
grounds for each claim. See Khalik v. United Air
Lines, 671 F.3d 1188, 1191-92 (10th Cir. 2012); see
also Fed R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2) (“A pleading that
states a claim for relief must contain [a] short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief . . . .”).
considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a district court must
accept as true all factual allegations in the complaint, but
it need not extend this presumption to any legal conclusions
it asserts. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Viewing the
complaint in this fashion, a court must decide whether
plaintiff's allegations give rise to more than
speculative possibilities. See Id. (“The
plausibility standard is not akin to a ‘probability
requirement,' but it asks for more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.”).
If the allegations in the complaint allow a district court
“to draw the reasonable inference that defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged, ” the claim has
facial plausibility and the court should not dismiss it under
Rule 12(b)(6). Davenport v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.,
No. 14-CV-2124-JAR-JPO, 2014 WL 3361729, at *2 (D. Kan. July
9, 2014). But, if the allegations in the complaint at issue
are “so general that they encompass a wide swath of
conduct, much of it innocent, then the plaintiffs ‘have
not nudged their claims across the line from conceivable to
plausible.'” Robbins v. Oklahoma, 519 F.3d
1242, 1247 (10th Cir. 2008) (quoting Twombly, 550
U.S. at 570).
court first addresses WPD's argument that the court must
dismiss WPD as a defendant because it lacks the capacity to
be sued. Second, the court addresses the argument that
plaintiff has failed to state a claim against all four
defendants because no “seizure” occurred under
the Fourth Amendment. Finally, the court addresses the
alternative argument that defendants Berry and Pena have
qualified immunity. For the reasons explained below, the
court grants defendants' Motions to Dismiss (Docs. 18
The Wichita Police Department is not an ...