Corbitt et al v. Coffee County, Georgia et al

Filing 19

ORDER GRANTING in part all other claims of the remaining Plaintiffs - Stewart, Corbitt, Rich, AMB, ERA, JDS, and MS and DENYING in part as to SDC's § 1983 claim re 4 Motion to Dismiss. Wooten's Motion to Dismiss all remaining claims against him is hereby GRANTED. Signed by Judge Lisa G. Wood on 12/5/2017. (ca)

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fn Btsftritt Conirt for tbe ^ontbrm IBtsitrttt of 4^eorgta Wsiftxosii SitbtOton AMY individually * and as parent and natural guardian of SDC; JERRY RICH, individually; CORBITT, * * * ELIZABETH BOWEN, as parent and natural guardian of AMB; TONYA JOHNSON, as parent and natural guardian of ERA; DAMION STEWART, individually and as parent and natural guardian of JDS and as parent and natural guardian of MS, * * * * * * * * * * NO. 5:16-CV-51 Plaintiffs, V. DOYLE WOOTEN, * individually; and MICHAEL VICKERS, individually, * * * Defendants. * ORDER Before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. No. 4) pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. This Motion has been fully briefed and orally argued, and is now ripe for review. For the following reasons, the Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. BACKGROUND At this stage of the case, the facts are taken from the Complaint and assumed to be true pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Vickers (''Vickers") Sheriff s and On July 10, 2014, Defendant Michael other Department and the participated in an officers Georgia operation Christopher Barnett. to of the Coffee County Bureau of Investigation apprehend Dkt. No. 1 SI 23. criminal suspect They entered Plaintiff Amy Corbitt's (^'Corbitf') property at 145 Burton Road, Lot 19 and ordered all persons to get down on the ground. Id. SI 24. Inside the property were Plaintiff Corbitt and non-party minors JVR and ST. and minor Id. Outside the property were Plaintiff Stewart Plaintiffs Rich, JDS, MS, SDC, AMB, and ERA. Id. Officers handcuffed Plaintiff Stewart and placed the barrel of a gun in his back in the presence of his two children under the age of three. Id. Those children roamed the adjacent street, screaming and crying. each held at Id. at SI 25. gunpoint, lying on The remaining minors were the ground, when Defendant Vickers intentionally fired two shots at the family pet named ^^Bruce." Id. at SI 27, 28. The first shot missed. Id. at SI 28. The second shot missed the pet and hit ten-year-old SDC in the back of his right knee. None of the Id. at SISI 28, 32. Plaintiffs Christopher Barnett. had Id. SI 23. ever met the criminal suspect All of the plaintiffs followed Defendant Vickers's orders. that no officer firearm. at Id. 1 29. the Id. f 32. scene was The complaint alleges required to discharge a At the time he fired two bullets at the pet, Vickers was armed with a gun, a Taser, and pepper spray. Id. SI 41. Before Vickers shot at Bruce, neither he nor any other agent attempted to restrain the animal, whether directly or otherwise. Id. SI 28. Vickers was only eighteen inches from SDC when he shot the child. Tests run at University Medical Coffee Center Id. SI 29. Regional in Medical Savannah, GA Center confirmed and the multiple bullet fragments throughout the area of SDC s wound, and, at the time the Complaint was filed, SDC was under evaluation by an orthopedic surgeon for the removal of the bullet fragments. Id. SI 33-34. Eight Plaintiffs filed suit, asserting federal claims against the County, the various state and sheriff, and Vickers. The only remaining claims are by all Plaintiffs against Vickers in his individual capacity and by Plaintiffs ERA, Stewart, JDS, and MS against Wooten in his individual capacity.^ ^At an oral hearing on this Motion on August 31, 2017, Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed claims against Coffee County and Vickers and Wooten in their official capacities, as well as the Equal Protection claim and all state law claims. The most recent filing of Plaintiffs Corbitt, SDC, Rich, and AMB also makes clear that those Plaintiffs have dismissed their claims against Wooten in his individual capacity. The claims against Wooten in his individual capacity brought by EEW, Stewart, JDS, and MS remain. LEGAL STANDARD Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires that a plaintiff's complaint contain ^^a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Civ. P. 8(a). In order to state a claim for Fed. R. relief, a plaintiff's complaint must include ^^enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Twombly, 550 plausibility allows the U.S. when court 544, the to 570 (2007). plaintiff draw Bell Atlantic Corp. v. the claim pleads factual reasonable has content inference defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The facial that that the Ashcroft v. Court accepts the allegations in the complaint as true and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Ray v. Spirit Airlines, Inc., 836 F.3d 1340, 1347 (11th Cir. 2016). However, the Court does not accept as true threadbare recitations of the elements of the claim and disregards legal conclusions unsupported by factual allegations. complaint allegations Iqbal, should 556 U.S. ""contain respecting at 678-79. either all the direct At a minimum, a or inferential material elements necessary to sustain a recovery under some viable legal theory." Fin. Sec. Assurance, Inc. v. Stephens, Inc., 500 F.3d 1276, 1282-83 (11th Cir. 2007) (per curiam) (quoting Roe v. Aware Woman Ctr. for Choice, Inc., 253 F.3d 678, 683 (11th Cir. 2001)). DISCUSSION Plaintiffs have brought 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims asserting that Vickers and Wooten^ deprived them of their constitutional rights to be free from excessive force. and Wooten have In response, Vickers raised the defense of qualified immunity and argued that Plaintiffs have failed to state claims upon which relief may be granted. The Supreme Court has held that ^^all claims that law enforcement officers have used excessive force—deadly or not—in the course of [a] ^seizure' of a free citizen should be analyzed under the Graham Fourth v. Amendment Connor, 490 and U.S. its 386, ^reasonableness' 394 (1989). standard." The Fourth Amendment provides that ^Mt]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, unreasonable U.S. houses, searches Const, amend. and IV. papers, seizures, ''To and shall assert a effects, not Fourth be against violated." Amendment claim based on the use of excessive force, the plaintiffs must allege (1) that a seizure occurred and (2) effect the seizure was unreasonable." that the force used to Troupe v. Sarasota Cnty., Fla., 419 F.3d 1160, 1166 (11th Cir. 2005). Vickers "The has defense of raised qualified the defense immunity of qualified requires courts immunity. to enter judgment in favor of a government employee unless the employee's ^ Only Plaintiffs ERA, Stewart, JDS, and MS have remaining claims against Wooten. conduct violates clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known." Frederick, 551 U.S. 393, 429 (2007). plaintiff to show that, when the Morse v. 'MT]he burden is on the defendant acted, the law established the contours of a right so clearly that a reasonable official would have understood his acts were unlawful." Post v. City of Fort Lauderdale, 7 F.3d 1552, 1557 (11th Cir. 1993). ^Once the affirmative advanced . . ., claim of [u]nless violation of defense the of qualified plaintiff's clearly immunity allegations established law, a state is a defendant pleading qualified immunity is entitled to dismissal before the commencement of discovery.'" Cottone v. Jenne, 326 F.3d 1352, 1357 (11th Cir. 2003) (quoting Marsh v. Butler Cnty., 268 F.3d 1014, 1022 (11th Cir. 2001) (en banc)). ''Absent such allegations, '[i]t is . . . appropriate for a district court to grant the defense of qualified immunity at the motion to dismiss stage.'" Id. (quoting Gonzalez v. Reno, 325 F.3d 1228, at *3 (11th Cir. 2003)). The inquiry. defense of qualified immunity presents a two-step First, the government official must prove that he was acting within his discretionary authority. F.3d 1188, 1194 (11th Cir. 2002). Lee v. Ferraro, 284 Then, the burden shifts to the plaintiff to show that the defendant's actions constitutional right, and that such right violated a was clearly established. Id. Vickers argues throughout his brief that no Fourth Amendment violation occurred because he did not intend to shoot SDC. He does not articulate whether seizure occurred or that the force he means that no was not excessive, so the Court will address the argument under both prongs. A. Seizure A Fourth Amendment seizure occurs "when there is a governmental termination of freedom of movement through means intentionally applied.'' Id. (quoting Brower v. Cnty. of Inyo, 489 U.S. 593, 597 (1989) (emphasis in original)). A seizure is an "intentional acquisition of physical control" by a government actor. Brower, 489 U.S. at 596. A person is "^seized' within the meaning of the Amendment only surrounding believed the that Mendenhall, did he was view not U.S. that not in incident, 446 circumstances person if, of a attempt free to the leave, even be the have States "Examples seizure, would would United (1980). a circumstances person leave." 554 indicate to of reasonable 544, might all Fourth where v. of the threatening presence of several officers [and] the display of weapons by an officer . . . ." person or thing taking . . . but willful." Id. "A seizure occurs even when an unintended is the the object detention Brower, 189 U.S. at 596. or of the taking detention itself must or be The Supreme Court applied these rules in Brewer. There, the plaintiff was killed when the stolen car he had been driving at high speeds to elude police crashed into a police roadblock. Id. at 594. occurred The Court of Appeals had held that no seizure because his freedom of movement was never prior to his decision not to stop at the roadblock. That would stretch the definition Supreme Court reasoned. the intended plaintiff. the roadblock seizure Id. at 598-99. roadblock to stop the plaintiff. stopped of Id. to stop did him Id. at 595. too thin, the The police set up a Id. at 599. It restrained not by The roadblock matter preventing that they him from driving down a particular road and it in fact stopped him by killing him when he crashed into it. The Eleventh Circuit has Id. also applied these rules in defining a seizure in the context of an excessive force claim. In Vaughan v. Cox, the plaintiff asserting a Fourth Amendment excessive force claim against the officer who shot him was a passenger in a truck. 343 F.3d 1323, 1328 (11th Cir. 2003). The officer intended to shoot the truck, thereby disabling it and ramming plaintiff. to shoot it off the Id. at 1327. the plaintiff, road, but he ultimately hit Because the officer had not intended the district court held that plaintiff had not suffered a Fourth Amendment seizure. 1328. The Eleventh the Circuit reversed, 8 explaining that the Id. at because the plaintiff was hit by a bullet that was meant to and did stop him, he was subjected to a Fourth Amendment seizure. 1328-29. In other words, a seizure occurs when Id. at an officer intentionally sets into motion an instrumentality that has the effect of restricting the plaintiff's movement. When an officer intends to stop or seize a person, and does so, it does not matter that he does so in a way other than the way in which he intended. 1. Corbitt^, SDC, AMB, ERA, and Rich v. Vickers Here, Plaintiffs have alleged that Vickers seized SDC, AMB, ERA, and Rich—the minor Plaintiffs held at gunpoint outside the property. Plaintiffs SDC, Rich, AMB, and ERA claim that their Fourth Amendment seizures were effected by the placement of gun barrels in their backs. The Complaint alleges that Vickers (and fellow officers) demanded the children get down on the ground with the barrel of loaded guns shoved into their backs. Dkt. No. 1 24, 27. It further alleges that while they were lying on the ground obeying Vickers, Vickers discharged his firearm twice. Id. 5 28. This would cause reasonable people to believe they were ""not free to leave." Mendenhall, 446 U.S. at 554. It is exactly the type of situation that Mendenhall prescribes as constituting a seizure: ^Corbitt's claim is derivative of her minor child (SDC)'s claim, and they progress or fall together. "the threatening presence of several officers [and] the display of weapons by an officer." Vickers effectuated a seizure But he did fire his weapon. first element of a Id. These allegations show that even before firing his weapon. And even though that satisfies the Fourth Amendment violation, the Court will now address Vickers's argument that unintentionally shooting SDC means no seizure occurred. No Eleventh Circuit case directly addresses how to handle the case where an officer shoots someone he was not aiming to hit. Regarding the application of the Fourth Amendment to an accidental discharge of a weapon, the circuits are split, and the Eleventh Circuit has not been faced with the question. ^ The Second Circuit declared that the Fourth Amendment only applies to shootings designed for "the purpose of seizing" the suspect. Dodd v. City of Norwich, 827 F.2d 1, 7 (2d Cir. 1987), cert, denied, 484 U.S. 1007 (1988). It explained that "[i]t makes little sense to apply a standard of reasonableness to an accident" claims. because Id. at that 7-8. would That extend case liability dealt with shooting of an already apprehended burglar. to the Id. negligence inadvertent On the other hand, the Sixth Circuit in Pleasant v. Zamieski held that the '^This is not an accidental firing case because the weapon was intentionally fired. Instead, this is an accidental shooting case. That is, the weapon was fired in order to shoot the pet. The shot hit the child accidentally. Vickers inaccurately defines the constitutional right at issue as the right to be free from the accidental application of force. Still, it is worth examining the circuit split on that analogous issue. 10 use of standard force should even if intentional—that be the is, examined seizure where under was the the reasonableness negligent shooting rather was than undisputably accidental and not the result of the deliberate use of force. 895 F.2d 272, 276-77 {6th Cir. 1990). At least one district court in the Eleventh chosen to follow the second line of reasoning.^ District of Georgia held in Speight v. Circuit has The Northern Griggs that the accidental discharge of a firearm resulting in an unintentional shooting during the course of an arrest may constitute excessive force under conduct the Fourth preceding circumstances. 13 Amendment shooting the F. if is Supp. 3d the officer's unreasonable 1298, 1319 (N.D. course under Ga. of the 2013), vacated on other grounds, 579 Fed. Appx. 757 (11th Cir. 2014). In reaching its decision, the Speight court noted the Supreme Court's reasoning in Brower that the line defining a seizure cannot be drawn too fine lest one be determined not seized ^who has been stopped by the accidental discharge of a gun with which he was meant only to be bludgeoned.'" Id. at 1320 (quoting Brower, 489 U.S. at 598). In the present case, Vickers had ordered Plaintiffs to the ground at gunpoint before any "accident" occurred. A reasonable The Court finds no courts in this Circuit that have chosen to follow the first line of reasoning. 11 inference from Plaintiffs' the favor allegations for the in the purpose of Complaint, this drawn Motion, is in that Vickers fired his weapon at the animal in order to keep control of SDC, AMB, ERA, and Rich-that is, in order to continue their seizure. In other words, a jury could find that Vickers intended to shoot the animal in order to maintain his control of the situation and keep Plaintiffs from escaping while the animal distracted Plaintiffs. And his action had the effect of continuing to seize the Plaintiffs—they did not budge when he fired his gun. Because Vickers shot his gun for the purpose of carrying out the seizure, and a seizure occurred, Vickers's not intending to shoot SDC does not negate that seizure. Just as in Vauqhan, while the result of discharging the weapon may be an accident, the actual discharge was intentional. And the force he exerted intentionally is certainly capable of excess. Vickers asks the Court to follow the decision in City of Miamisburq, 1997 WL 1764770 (S.D. Ohio 1997). blush, the facts of that case are directly Dahm v. At first analogous to the facts in this case—while attempting to arrest the plaintiff, an officer fired toward the plaintiff's dog but actually hit the plaintiff himself. Id. at *8. The court looked closely at the Supreme Court's direction in Brower and noted that a jury could find that the officer shot the advancing dog in order to seize the plaintiff. Id. A closer look at the facts: 12 the officer arrived at the plaintiff's home to execute a search warrant. Id. at *4. As he entered the front door, the first thing he saw was the plaintiff's dog charging at him. the dog but missed and Id. at *5. hit the plaintiff. He shot at Id. The Court concluded that the situation was too attenuated to constitute a Fourth Amendment violation, that the plaintiff was not ^^stopped by the very instrumentality set in motion or put in place in order to achieve that result." even had if the intended, because it officer that action would at *9. successfully would merely Id. have allowed shot the seized the dog the as he plaintiff officers to safely Those facts are distinguishable from the ones here. While enter the residence. have not It reasoned that Id. the officer in Dahm had not come into contact with the plaintiff before shooting the dog, Vickers had already ordered SDC to the ground at gunpoint. have eliminated While shooting the dog in Dahm would only one barrier in locating and seizing the plaintiff, shooting the pet here, according to the allegations in the barrier Complaint, to Vickers' would have complete eliminated control the of the only potential Plaintiffs. In other words, the officer in Dahm did not shoot his weapon at the dog in order to restrict the plaintiff's movement. Shooting the dog would have simply allowed him to later take steps to seize the plaintiff, albeit only moments later. 13 Here, in contrast, a reasonable jury could conclude that Vickers shot at Bruce in order to prevent any of the Plaintiffs from escaping from his control. Shooting Bruce would have ensured that. Therefore, the decision in Dahm does not change the conclusion that a jury could find that Vickers shot toward Bruce in furtherance of the seizure of the Plaintiffs. 2. Plaintiffs Stewart, JDS, MS Plaintiff Stewart claims that his Fourth Amendment seizure was effected by the application of handcuffs. The problem with this claim is that the Complaint does not allege that Vickers himself handcuffed another to do so. Stewart, whether directly Id. SI 24. seizure analyze and ordering Without linking this action to Vickers, no claim can be stated against him. not by It merely states that ^^Plaintiff Stewart was brutally handcuffed." need or whether whether the that use of alleged Thus, the Court handcuffs seizure constitutes was a reasonable. Stewart's claim against Vickers must be dismissed. The claims against Vickers brought by Stewart's children, JDS and MS, fail for the same reason. makes minor The Complaint no allegations that Vickers himself caused any type of injury to JDS and MS. The only injury occurred as a result of their father's handcuffing (Id. 1 25) in which Vickers played no part. These claims are also dismissed. 14 B. Qualified Immunity Here, it discretionary is clear that authority. Vickers Actions was fall acting under official's discretionary function when they under a government ^are of a type that f[a]ll within the employee's job responsibilities.'" Monroe Cnty., 394 F.Sd 1328, 1332 (11th his Cir. Crosby v. 2004) (quoting Holloman ex rel. Holloman v. Harland, 370 F.3d 1252, 1265 (11th Cir. 2004)). And, ''making an arrest is within the official responsibilities of a sheriff's deputy." sheriff's deputy performing an arrest. Vickers was a Dkt. No. 1 SISl 14, 23. Second, the Court must decide whether Vickers violated a clearly established constitutional right. "It is clearly established that the use of excessive force in carrying out an arrest constitutes a violation of the Fourth Amendment." Thornton v. City of Macon, 132 F.3d 1395, 1400 (11th Cir. 1998). Thus, Vickers is not entitled to qualified immunity if he used excessive force in firing his weapon. No constitutional violation can be shown where an official's actions are "'objectively reasonable'—that is, if a reasonable officer that the force Anderson v. factually for it in used the Creighton, be very situation was not excessive." 483 U.S. particularized, to same 635 preexisting obvious to 15 would believed Id. at 1400 (citing (1987)). case every have law Sometimes, "no [is] objectively necessary reasonable officer facing [the defendant's] situation that [his] conduct . . . violated [the plaintiff's] right to be free of the excessive use of force." Vinyard v. Wilson^ 311 F.3d 1340, 1355 (11th Cir. 2002). In Thornton, the Eleventh Circuit concluded that the use of any force was excessive where the plaintiffs were not suspected of having committed a serious crime, posed no threat to anyone, and did not actively resist the officers. 132 F.3d 1998. 1. SDC V. Vickers The Court turns again to Vaughan v. Cox. While it is not analogous in all aspects, it is a case where the officer shot an individual he was not aiming to hit, and the officer had intentionally seized the plaintiff and intentionally fired his weapon. truck There, the officer aimed to hit either the driver of a or the truck passenger instead. not aiming conducting Eleventh that the whether to an itself. Id. hit did excessive 343 F.3d at 1327. He hit the That the officer shot a person he was not stop force the Eleventh analysis. In Circuit so doing, from the Circuit was examining the excessiveness of the force officer shooting had the intentionally applied. It did not ask passenger excessive on its own but was whether it was excessive even for the officer to shoot according to his plan. The Eleventh Circuit examined the excessiveness of the force exerted in Cooper v. Rutherford in a similar way. 16 503 Fed. App'x 672 (11th Cir. 2012). There, the plaintiffs were seriously injured when an armed bank robber attempted to elude the police by attempting to steal the car in which they were riding. Id. at 673. The officers fired their guns at the suspect to prevent him from escaping with the hostages, but he hit the plaintiffs instead. Id. The court examined the excessiveness of the force as though it was exerted against the suspect the officer clearly established aimed that the shots were unreasonable. Here, though to hit and officer's held that actions it in was firing not 24 Id. at 676. Vickers did not intend to exert any force against SDC, he did intend to exert force against the animal. This Court must therefore analyze whether or not that exertion of force was excessive or objectively reasonable. ^'The touchstone for reasonableness cases is typically officer safety."® 3908187, *3(M.D. Fla. 2014). in [animal] shooting Schutt v. Lewis, 2014 WL In Schutt, the officer reasonably shot a dog that was rapidly approaching him and disobeying its owner's order. Id. Here, in contrast, the Complaint alleges that Vickers discharged immediate threat or his firearm ^'without necessity or any cause." Dkt. No. 1 ^ 28. It alleges further that Vickers never attempted to restrain the animal or ask anyone else to do so. Id. The first shot occurred 'Mw]hile ®At this point, the record does not indicate what kind of animal the pet was. 17 the children were lying on the ground obeying the orders of Defendant Vickers," and the second shot occurred as the animal ^^was approaching his owners." Id. No one besides the officers possessed firearms, ^'nor did anyone appear to be threatened by [Bruce's] presence." obstruction to the Id. SI 29. efforts SDC ''offered no hindrance or of Defendant Vickers and during the apprehension of Cristopher [sic] Barnett." others Id. SI 32. Specifically, no allegations suggest that Vickers was unsafe in any way or that Bruce exhibited any signs of aggression. It may different details well be that the fashion. about the Facts pet, record remain its will develop be developed including appearance, behavior, to history, relationship to Plaintiffs, etc. in a much At this stage, the complaint makes sufficient allegations to proceed. Therefore, Vickers's Motion to Dismiss SDCs claim is denied at this time. This does not qualified preclude Vickers from raising the defense of immunity at a later stage of the case. 2. Other Plaintiffs v. Vickers Even assuming the truth of the Complaint, the force that Vickers exerted reasonable. discharge of against Plaintiffs Rich, AMB, and ERA was The only force that he exerted toward them was the a weapon aimed at Bruce that hit SDC. The Complaint does not allege that Vickers even pointed a gun at any 18 of these Plaintiffs.^ Thus, the Complaint provides an even weaker case of excessive force than the one deemed reasonable in Groom v. Balkwill. There, the 645 F.3d 1240 (llth Cir. 2011). deputy pushed the elderly plaintiff, also a witness to an arrest, to the ground from her squatting position and held her there with his leg for ten minutes. 53. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed summary Id. at 1252- judgment for the officer because no constitutional violation had been shown where the plaintiff was in the front yard of a house known by law enforcement to substances. be involved Id. The in the Court distribution held that the of controlled officers were authorized to exercise authority ^'by placing all the occupants of the [p]remises securing the home officers or the on the and ground ensuring public." for there several was no minutes danger place the to the Here, the Complaint itself alleges that Vickers knew the suspect was on the premises. SI 35-36. while Dkt. No. 1 Hence, he and the other officers were authorized to bystanders on the ground for the duration of the arrest. 3. ERA, Stewart, JDS, and MS v. Wooten The claims of ERA, Stewart, JDS, and MS against Wooten in his individual capacity are still asserted in the case. 'The Complaint makes other allegations that Plaintiffs "were held at gun point" with an "officer forcefully shov[ing] the barrel of a loaded gun into their backs," but the Complaint does not allege that Vickers was the subject of these actions. Dkt. No. 1 I 27. 19 However, they are due to be dismissed. Just like Vickers, Wooten is entitled to qualified immunity for claims against him in his individual capacity unless Plaintiffs can show that he violated a constitutional right, and that that right was clearly established. Lee v. Ferraro, 284 F.3d at 1158. According to the allegations in the complaint, Wooten's involvement with the incident giving rise to this litigation is limited to Dkt. No. his supervisory role as Sheriff of Coffee County. 1 1 13. As Sheriff, the complaint alleges, he was responsible for establishing customs, policies, and procedures to regulate the conduct of agents and employees of the Coffee County Sheriff Department complied with the law. and for ensuring that employees Id. '^The standard by which a supervisor is held liable in [his] individual capacity extremely rigorous. for the actions of a subordinate is Cottone, 326 F.3d 1352, 1360 (11th Cir. 2003) (quoting Gonzales v. Reno, 325 F.3d 1228, 1234 (11th Cir. 2003)). [S]upervisory when supervisor the unconstitutional liability personally conduct or when under § 1983 participates there is a in occurs the causal either alleged connection between the actions of a supervising official and the alleged constitutional deprivation." Cottone, 326 F.3d at 1360. necessary causal connection can be established ""^The ^when a history of widespread abuse puts the responsible supervisor on notice of 20 the need to correct the alleged deprivation, and he fails to do so.'" Id. {quoting Gonzalez, 325 F.3d at 1234). Here, this Court has already found that the constitutional rights of ERA, Stewart, JDS, and MS were not violated. Wooten cannot be liable under § 1983 for actions he supervised that do not constitute a constitutional violation. consider whether This Court need not Plaintiffs sufficiently alleged a history of widespread abuse that put a responsible supervisor on notice of the need to correct a deprivation. Wooten cannot be liable as a supervisor, and all remaining claims against him are dismissed. CONCLUSION Vickers's DENIED. Motion Vickers's to Motion Dismiss to SDC's § 1983 claim Dismiss all other is claims hereby of the remaining Plaintiffs—Stewart, Corbitt, Rich, AMB, ERA, JDS, and MS—is GRANTED. Wooten's Motion to Dismiss all remaining claims against him is hereby GRANTED. SO ORDERED, this 5^^ day of December , 2017. HON. LISA GODBEY' WOOD UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA 21

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