United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma
SHEMIKA N. SKILLINGS, Plaintiff,
FLOYD CROWDER, et al. Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
E. DOWDELL, CHIEF JUDGE
the Court is Defendant David Boggs' Motion to Dismiss
Amended Complaint (Doc. 51). Defendant Boggs argues that
Plaintiff's claims against him should be dismissed for
failure to state a claim against him in his individual and
official capacities, for failure to provide proper service of
process, and on the basis of qualified immunity. Plaintiff
Shemika N. Skillings has submitted a Response in Opposition
(Doc. 92), which included a Motion for Leave to Amend in Lieu
of Dismissal (Doc. 93). Defendant Boggs has submitted a Reply
following is a summary of Plaintiff's factual
allegations, with an emphasis on her allegations against the
movant, Defendant Boggs. These allegations are contained in
her Amended Complaint (Doc. 22) and must be taken as true at
the dismissal stage. See Broker's Choice of America,
Inc. v. NBC Universal, Inc., 861 F.3d 1081, 1105 (10th
about March 6, 2016, Plaintiff brought her four-year-old
daughter from Virginia to Oklahoma. According to Plaintiff,
she had an agreement with her ex-husband that allowed for
this trip. Nevertheless, an arrest warrant was issued against
her in Virginia for kidnapping. On March II, 2016, Broken
Arrow police officers arrived at Plaintiff's home and
arrested her. She spent approximately 36 hours detained in
the Broken Arrow Municipal Jail before being transferred to
the Wagoner County Jail. Ultimately, four days after her
arrest in Broken Arrow, she was released on a $20, 000 bond.
Plaintiff then appeared before a magistrate judge in
Dinwiddie County, Virginia, and the kidnapping charges were
Boggs served as the Police Chief of the Broken Arrow Police
Department at the time of Plaintiff's arrest. Plaintiff
includes Boggs in three separate counts in her Amended
Complaint, all brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and/or
§ 1985. The first, Count III, centers around her arrest
and detention, which she claims were unlawful. She alleges
that “[a]t no time throughout her detention or seizure
was [she] presented a warrant or told of the charges against
her.” (Doc. 22 at ¶ 72). She also alleges that the
warrant for her arrest was invalid on its face. (Id.
at ¶ 73). In Count IV, she alleges that all of the
defendants, including Boggs, conspired together to violate
her civil rights. (See id. at ¶¶ 79-83).
Lastly, in Count V, Plaintiff claims that certain defendants,
including Boggs, failed to provide her with a probable cause
determination within 48 hours of her arrest. She alleges that
Boggs “knew, should have known or had the opportunity
to know that [she] was not taken before a magistrate as
required by law to determine probable cause.”
(Id. at ¶ 85).
survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a plaintiff
must plead sufficient factual allegations “to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Broker's Choice of Am., Inc., 861 F.3d at 1103
(quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
570 (2007)). “A claim has facial plausibility when the
pleaded factual content allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009). A complaint that merely “tenders
naked assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement'” does not satisfy the pleading
standard. Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at
ruling on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion made against a pro se
plaintiff, the court must liberally construe the pleadings,
take all well-pleaded facts as true, and make all reasonable
inferences in factor of the non-moving party. See Hall v.
Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991);
Broker's Choice of Am., Inc., 861 F.3d at 1105.
The district court should hold a pro se litigant's
pleadings to a “less stringent standard than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers, ” but a court must not
serve as the litigant's advocate. Hall v.
Bellmon, 935 F.2d at 1110.
stated above, Plaintiff brings her claims under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 and § 1985. Pursuant to U.S.C. § 1983,
“[e]very person who, under color of any statute,
ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State of
Territory of the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to
be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other
person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of
any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the
Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured
in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper
proceeding for redress . . . .” Section 1985, in turn,
pertains to conspiracies that interfere with civil rights.
Court will first analyze Plaintiff's § 1983 and
§ 1985 claims against Defendant Boggs in his individual
capacity before discussing her claims against him in his
official capacity. The Court will then address the issue of
proper service of process.
Individual Capacity Claims