Stukes et al v. Nehls et al
OPINION on Dismissal. (Signed by Judge Lynn N. Hughes) Parties notified. (ghassan, 4)
UNffiO STATES DISTRICT COURT
Troy Nehls, ct al.,
SOUlBERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
Opinion on Dismissal
A man and his wife sued their neighbors and the police. The man was taken to the
hospital, and his wife arrested following a celebratory evening at their house. Because they have
not obeyed the court's orders and because their claims have no merit, they will be dismissed.
John and Joan Stukes invited their neighbor, Leah Smith, to their house for
Independence Day, 20I3. That evening John and Leah drank heavily. Leah became
unconscious, andJohn - he now surmises - fell and hit his head. Bleeding from his head,]ohn
roused Leah and led her home. When they arrived, Leah's niece greeted them and asked why
John's head was bleeding. Leah offered thatJ ohn' s wife,]oan, had hit him. Drunk and perhaps
concussedJohn supposed then that he had been hit. The niece called 9Il and reported that
Joan had hit John. John was taken to the hospital by ambulance.
The police knocked onJoan's door. She opened it slightly, but she did not let them in.
After speaking withJoan, the police pushed their way into the house. Joan became belligerent
and was arrested. The police looked around the back yard - not the inside - then left withJoan
The Stukeses sued onJuly 3,201+ After setting a conference for October 6,this court
ordered that the Stukeses serve the defendants within sixty days. The conference was reset for
October 28. On October 20, the Stukeses requested that summonses be issued for two of the
eight defendants. Because the request was improper, it was denied. Two days later, the Stukeses
corrected their request, and two summonses were issued.
The Stukeses did not appear at the conference of October 28. They were ordered to
appear and explain why. At that hearing, after considerable dodging and weaving, they admitted
that they had no good reason for their absence. They said that because they had not served
anyone, they thought they need not appear.
Six months after filing suit, the Stukeses served Brad and Leah Smith. They have not
even requested summonses for the other six defendants. At the November
admitted that they have no intention of serving the other six defendants, lest it provoke
prosecution of the criminal charge against Joan.
The Stukeses say that they were diligent in serving Brad and Leah Smith - their own
neighbors for a time. Their diligence amounts to a lazy afternoon's browse of the internet. It
is belied by their not having requested summonses until almost November.
Assuming the Stukeses were diligent in serving the people whom they have sued, their
claims are without facts or law to support them.
The Stukeses say that the neighbor's niece defamed Joan when she called the police.
They have nothing to suggest that the niece's emergency call was made in bad faith. She had
never met the Stukeses. She simply relayed what her aunt andJohn had said to her.
The Stukeses also say that their constitutional rights were violated by the police when
they arrestedJoan and searched their house. The Stukeses have no fact to show that the police
acted objectively unreasonably. They responded to an emergency call about domestic violence.
They encountered a belligerent woman. Her complaints about bruises on her arms are
unsurprising for someone who was uncooperative and had to be dragged from her house in
hand cuffs - probably grasped by the upper arm.
The court pointed out the manifest errors of the Stukeses' complaint, and it allowed
them to respond. The Stukeses response mirrors the sloth and vacuity of their complaint. The
Stukeses will be dismissed for failing to state a claim.
Because they have done nothing but file an empty complaint, violated court orders, and
because their claims have no substance, joan andjohn Stukes's claims against Troy Nehls,
j essip Murphy,] erret Nethery, Terry Robertson, William Worsham,]illian Smith, Leah Smith,
and Brad Smith will be dismissed with prejudice.
Signed on january -+--,2015, at Houston, Texas.
Lynn N. Hughes
United States District judge
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