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Scott v. Regalado

United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma

September 5, 2017

SHAWN SCOTT a/k/a SHAWN JORDAN; and MELISSA HAWTHORNE, Plaintiffs,
v.
VIC REGALADO, Sheriff of Tulsa County;[1] JAMISON HIRSCH, Deputy Sheriff; JOSHUA VICTORY, Deputy Sheriff; and MARK FACEY, Deputy Sheriff, [2] Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          TERENCE C. KERN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court are Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 13) (“Motion to Dismiss”) pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (“Rule 12(b)(6)”); and Plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend, which is contained within Plaintiffs' response to the Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 19).

         I. Factual Allegations in Complaint

         This case arises from three separate encounters between Plaintiff Shawn Scott (“Scott”) and deputies employed by the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office (“TCSO”).

         A. 10/23/14 Arrest of Scott by Hirsch (First Cause of Action)

         On October 23, 2014, Tulsa County Deputy Sheriff Jamison Hirsch (“Hirsch”) stopped Plaintiff Shawn Scott (“Scott”), an African-American female, for driving with a defective tail light. At the time of the stop, Scott's name was Shawn Jordan. Hirsch received information from radio dispatch that there was an outstanding McIntosh County warrant for a white male named Shawn Jordan who, coincidentally, had the same date of birth as Scott. However, according to the Complaint, Hirsch was also advised “over the radio dispatch of the physical description and the social security number” of the white male named Shawn Jordan. (Compl. ¶ 17.) Hirsch nonetheless arrested Scott on the warrant with knowledge that she did not match the physical description or have the same social security number as the subject of the McIntosh County warrant. Scott was booked into jail and later taken to the hospital for “health complications caused by the stress of her incarceration.” (Id. ¶ 18.) Scott was released the next day, and no charges were filed against her.

         The October 23, 2014 arrest (“10/23/14 Arrest”) forms the basis of the first cause of action, which is a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (“§ 1983”) false-arrest claim against Hirsch. In the seventh cause of action against Regaldo in his official capacity, Scott seeks to hold Tulsa County liable for the 10/23/14 Arrest based on a theory of negligent training, supervision, and discipline of Hirsch.[3]

         B. 4/6/15 Arrest of Scott by Hirsch and Streeter (Second Cause of Action)

         Approximately six months later, on April 6, 2015, Hirsch stopped Scott's son while he was driving Scott's vehicle. On or near this date, Scott was arrested by Hirsch and Streeter and charged with obstruction of justice (“4/6/15 Arrest”). The Complaint does not state whether Scott was a passenger in the vehicle or otherwise describe the events leading to this arrest. The obstruction charge has since been dismissed.

         The 4/6/15 Arrest forms the basis of the second cause of action, which is a § 1983 false-arrest claim against Hirsch and Streeter. It appears Plaintiffs intended but failed to name Streeter as a defendant in the caption of the case, and Plaintiffs shall be granted leave to add Streeter as a defendant, consistent with their substantive allegations. In the seventh cause of action, Scott seeks to hold Tulsa County liable for the 4/6/15 Arrest based on a theory of negligent training, supervision, and discipline of Hirsch and Streeter.

         C. 12/31/15 Arrests of Scott and Hawthorne by Victory and Facey (Third, Fourth, and Fifth Causes of Action)

         Approximately eight months later, on December 31, 2015, Scott's son was stopped by Deputy Sheriff Joshua Victory (“Victory”) after Scott's son pulled into the carport of Scott's residence. According to the Complaint, Victory and Deputy Sheriff Mark Facey (“Facey”) entered Scott's home without consent, without probable cause, and without a warrant. They then arrested Scott and her daughter, Plaintiff Melissa Hawthrone (“Hawthorne”), on obstruction of justice charges. The Complaint does not specify whether the obstruction charges were dropped but states that Scott and Hawthorne suffered mental anguish and distress as a result of their arrests.

         The December 31, 2015 arrests of Scott and Hawthorne (“12/31/15 Arrests”) form the basis of (1) the third cause of action, which is a § 1983 false-arrest claim asserted by Scott against Victory and Facey; (2) the fourth cause of action, which is a § 1983 false-arrest claim asserted by Hawthorne against Victory and Facey; and (3) the fifth cause of action, which is a § 1983 excessive-force claim asserted by Scott and Hawthorne against Victory and Facey. In the sixth cause of action against Regaldo in his official capacity, which relates exclusively to the 12/31/15 Arrests, Plaintiffs seek to hold Tulsa County liable based on a “policy or custom” theory of municipal liability. Specifically, Plaintiffs contend TCSO “allowed a custom to ignore policies and procedures that allowed Deputy Victory and Deputy Facey [to] illegally enter a home and arrest two women without probable cause.” (Compl. ¶ 63.) In the seventh cause of action, Plaintiffs assert municipal liability in relation to the 12/31/15 Arrests based on a theory of negligent training, supervision, and discipline of Victory and Facey.

         In the Motion to Dismiss, Defendants move for dismissal of all claims pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. Defendants Hirsch, Victory, and Facey, who are sued individually, have asserted the defense of qualified immunity. See Robbins v. Okla., 519 F.3d 1242, 1248 (10th Cir. 2008) (explaining that qualified immunity ...


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