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Willis v. City of Oklahoma City

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

July 19, 2017

TODD WILLIS, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF OKLAHOMA CITY, a municipality, and GRAN WHEELER, individually, Defendants.

          ORDER

          VICKI MILES-LaGRANGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is defendant City of Oklahoma City's (“City”) Motion to Dismiss, filed June 5, 2017. On June 26, 2017, plaintiff filed his response, and on July 3, 2017, City filed its reply.

         I. Background

         On May 18, 2016, plaintiff's wife called the police and told them that plaintiff was not allowed to be at his current location. Defendant Officer Gran Wheeler located plaintiff, arrested him, and kept him in the Oklahoma County Jail for three nights. Plaintiff alleges that he was wrongfully arrested, without any probable cause or reasonable suspicion, by Defendant Wheeler and that he was kept in the Oklahoma County Jail without cause.

         On May 12, 2017, plaintiff filed the instant action in the District Court of Oklahoma County, State of Oklahoma. Plaintiff asserts the following claims against defendants: (1) unlawful seizure under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Oklahoma Constitution; (2) assault and battery and negligent entrustment; (3) false arrest; (4) negligence; and (5) intentional infliction of emotional distress. These claims are brought under the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act (“GTCA”) and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On June 5, 2017, City removed this action to this Court. City now moves, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and (6), to dismiss it from this action.

         II. Discussion

         A. State law claims

         City asserts that it is entitled to dismissal on plaintiff's state law claims because plaintiff failed to comply with the notice provisions of the GTCA prior to filing this action. “Notice is a jurisdictional prerequisite to bringing an action under the GTCA. Failure to present written notice as required by the GTCA results in a permanent bar of any action derivative of the tort claim.” Harmon v. Cradduck, 286 P.3d 643, 652 (Okla. 2012) (internal citations omitted). The GTCA provides, in pertinent part:

A. Any person having a claim against the state or a political subdivision within the scope of Section 151 et seq. of this title shall present a claim to the state or political subdivision for any appropriate relief including the award of money damages.
B. Except as provided in subsection H of this section, and not withstanding any other provision of law, claims against the state or a political subdivision are to be presented within one (1) year of the date the loss occurs. A claim against the state or a political subdivision shall be forever barred unless notice thereof is presented within one (1) year after the loss occurs.
* * *
D. A claim against a political subdivision shall be in writing and filed with the office of the clerk of the governing body.

Okla. Stat. tit. 51, § 156 (A), (B), (D).

         In his response, plaintiff admits he did not serve the City Clerk of the City of Oklahoma City as required under the GTCA. Plaintiff contends that he was informed that the Oklahoma City Police Department is under the direction and control of the Oklahoma City Office of Management and Enterprises.[1] However, the Oklahoma City Office of Management and Enterprises does not exist and the ...


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