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Everette-Oates v. Chapman

United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division

October 31, 2017

PRISCILLA EVERETTE-OATES, Plaintiff,
v.
LOLITA CHAPMAN In Her Individual Capacity; BETH WOOD In Her Individual Capacity; T. VANCE HOLLOMAN In His Individual Capacity; ROBIN HAMMOND In Her Individual Capacity; SHARON EDMUNDSON In Her Individual Capacity; NORTH CAROLINA STATE AUDITOR; and BARRY LONG, Defendants.

          ORDER

          LOUISE W. FLANAGAN United States District Judge

         This matter is before the court on motions to dismiss and to strike by defendants Lolita Chapman (“Chapman”), Beth Wood (“Wood”), T. Vance Holloman (“Holloman”), Robin Hammond (“Hammond”), Sharon Edmundson (“Edmundson”), and Barry Long (“Long”) (DE 130, 132, 134, 136). These motions have been fully briefed and the issues raised are ripe for ruling. For the following reasons, the motion to dismiss by defendant Long is granted, and the remaining motions are granted in part and denied in part.

         STATEMENT OF THE CASE

         Plaintiff, along with former-plaintiff Duarthur Oates, commenced this action on November 10, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, asserting federal constitutional claims and state common law tort claims arising out of a criminal investigation and indictment of plaintiff.

         On September 28, 2016, the court dismissed without prejudice all claims, except for one claim against defendant Wood in her individual capacity (False Public Statements and Seizure, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983). Upon plaintiff's motion construed as a motion to amend complaint, the court on May 23, 2017, allowed plaintiff to file an amended complaint with only certain claims as proposed by plaintiff but not others. In particular, the court allowed plaintiff to proceed on the following claims:

1) Concealment of Evidence and Seizure § 1983 (count two) against defendant Chapman;
2) Fabrication of Evidence and Seizure § 1983 (count three) against defendant Chapman; and
3) Civil Conspiracy and Causing § 1983 violation (count four) against defendants Chapman, Wood, Holloman, Hammond, Edmundson, and Long.

         Plaintiff's other proposed claims for malicious prosecution (count one) and denial of equal protection (counts five and six), as well as all claims against former-defendants Gregory McLeod, Gwendolyn Knight, and Ann Howell, were dismissed as futile for failure to state a claim. The court directed plaintiff to file an amended complaint setting forth only those claims and defendants remaining in accordance with the court's May 23, 2017, order. The court directed plaintiff to serve her first amended complaint on defendants Chapman, Wood, Holloman, Hammond, Edmundson, and Long, and directed these defendants to respond after service of the first amended complaint.

         Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint on June 5, 2017, largely in accord with the court's directions in the May 23, 2017, but with certain portions foreclosed by the court's order and/or now subject to challenge by defendants as further discussed herein. Moving defendants seek to dismiss and/or strike portions of plaintiff's first amended complaint as follows:

A. Defendant Chapman moves to strike 1) references to “Doe” defendants, 2) references to “All Defendants” in headings for claims now denominated as plaintiff's first and second causes of action (concealment and fabrication of evidence in violation of § 1983 against defendant Chapman), and 3) references to conspiracy and conduct of other defendants in allegations regarding the first and second causes of action.
B. Defendants Holloman, Hammond, and Edmundson move to strike 1) references to “Doe” defendants and “Defendant LGC, ” 2) references to “All Defendants” in headings for plaintiff's first and second causes of action, and 3) references to conduct of all defendants in allegations regarding the first and second causes of action.
C. Defendant Long moves to dismiss plaintiff's third cause of action (§ 1983 conspiracy and causing a Fourth Amendment violation) on the basis of statute of limitations. In addition defendant Long moves to dismiss the claim for failure to state a claim and moves in the alternative to dismiss or strike allegations regarding all defendants in the first and second causes of action, and other allegations inconsistent with the court's May 23, 2017, order.
D. Defendant Wood moves to dismiss plaintiff's third cause of action for failure to state a claim and moves in the alternative to dismiss or strike allegations regarding all defendants in the first and second causes of action, and other allegations inconsistent with the court's May 23, 2017, order.

         In response, plaintiff contends that certain references in the first amended complaint were included as scrivener's errors and, otherwise, plaintiff suggests the first amended complaint reasonably reflects the directions in the court's order.

         COURT'S ...


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