BROOKS-ALBRECHTSEN v. CITY OF INDIANAPOLIS et al
ENTRY Severing Claims and Directing Further Proceedings - All claims against Officer Mitchell are dismissed without prejudice. Officer Mitchell is terminated as a defendant in this action. The defendants proceeding in this action have appeared by counsel and shall have through December 22, 2015, in which to answer or otherwise respond to the second amended complaint filed November 10, 2015. Copy to Plaintiff via U.S. Mail. Signed by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt on 11/19/2015. (JLS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
MARK A. BROOKS-ALBRECHTSEN,
THE CITY OF INDIANAPOLIS and MARION
COUNTY, et al.,
Entry Severing Claims and Directing Further Proceedings
The Second Amended Complaint alleges that the City of Indianapolis, Marion County,
Police Merit Board, Richard Hite, Mark A. Brown, Kathleen L. Depew, and Officer Mitchell
violated plaintiff Mark A. Brooks-Albrechtsen’s civil rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. For the
reasons explained below, the claims against Officer Mitchell are severed from this action.
In George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007), the Court of Appeals explained that
“[u]nrelated claims against different defendants belong in different suits.” Rule 18 allows joinder
of multiple parties only when the allegations against them involve the same conduct or transaction
and common questions of fact and law as to all defendants. The second amended complaint violates
the misjoinder of claims limitation of Rule 20(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Specifically the claims against Officer Mitchell related to the unlawful seizure of the plaintiff on
October 18, 2015, are distinct from the claims surrounding the remaining defendants’ roles in
disqualifying the plaintiff from employment as a patrol officer. DirecTV, Inc. v. Leto, 467 F.3d
842, 844 (3d Cir. 2006)(“Misjoinder [under Rule 21] . . . occurs when there is no common question
of law or fact or when . . . the events that give rise to the plaintiff’s claims against defendants do
not stem from the same transaction.”).
In such a situation, “[t]he court may . . . sever any claim against a party.” FED. R. CIV. P.
21. Generally, if a district court finds that a plaintiff has misjoined parties, the court should sever
those parties or claims, allowing those grievances to continue in spin-off actions, rather than
dismiss them. Elmore v. Henderson, 227 F.3d 1009, 1012 (7th Cir. 2000). That is the remedy
which will be applied to the Second Amended Complaint.
Consistent with the foregoing, the claims against Officer Mitchell in Count VII are severed
from the Second Amended Complaint.
To effectuate this ruling, one new civil action from the Indianapolis Division shall be
opened, consistent with the following:
Mark A. Brooks-Albrechtsen’s shall be the plaintiff.
The Nature of Suit is 440.
The Cause of Action shall be 42:1983.
The Second Amended Complaint shall be re-docketed as the complaint in the
newly opened action.
A copy of this Entry shall be docketed in the newly opened action.
This action and the newly-opened action shall be shown as linked actions on the
The defendant shall be Officer Mitchell.
The assignment of judicial officers shall be by random draw.
All claims against Officer Mitchell are dismissed without prejudice. Officer Mitchell is
terminated as a defendant in this action.
This action docketed as No. 1:15-cv-786-TWP-TAB shall proceed as to City of
Indianapolis, Marion County, Police Merit Board, Richard Hite, Mark A. Brown, and Kathleen L.
With the exception of Count VII (the claims against Officer Mitchell), the Court will not
dismiss any claims raised in the Second Amended Complaint sua sponte pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e). That said, nothing in this Entry forecloses the defendants from filing a motion to dismiss
pursuant to 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, if deemed appropriate.
The defendants proceeding in this action have appeared by counsel and shall have through
December 22, 2015, in which to answer or otherwise respond to the second amended complaint
filed November 10, 2015.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
MARK A. BROOKS-ALBRECHTSEN
2230 Stafford Road
Plainfield, IN 46168
All Electronically Registered Counsel
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