United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Eastern Division
TERRENCE W. BOYLE, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
cause comes before the Court on a motion to dismiss filed by
defendants Sharon Culpepper and Mark Reid. [DE 24]. The Court
previously dismissed claims against two other defendants,
Thomas Stokes and Leigh Baker, for plaintiffs failure to
serve. Plaintiff moves to reinstate her action against them
and for extension of time to serve. [DE 22, 27, 28]. For the
reasons discussed below, plaintiffs motions [DE 22, 27, 28]
are DENIED. Defendants' motion to dismiss [DE 24] is
case arises out of an altercation in Atlantic Beach, North
Carolina. In her complaint, plaintiff alleges the following.
On February 19, 2017, plaintiff and her dog were on the beach
strand. DE 1, ¶ 6. Defendants Stokes and Baker were also
on the beach with their dog. Id. ¶¶ 6, 16.
The dogs got into a fight, which Stokes quickly broke up by
employing physical force against plaintiffs dog. Id.
¶ 6. Plaintiff alleges that the force employed by Stokes
greatly exceeded the bounds of what was needed to break up
the dogs' fight, and that in an attempt to defend her dog
from Stokes, she hit Stokes in the jaw. Id.
¶¶ 6-14. The police were called in response to the
incident. Id. ¶ 18. The police officers who
arrived at the scene were defendants Culpepper and Reid, who
then took statements from the parties. Id. ¶
21; DE 24-1.
response to the incident, a North Carolina judge issued a
restraining order against plaintiff, telling her not to go
near Stokes and Baker. Id. ¶ 25. Defendant
Stokes reported that plaintiff had violated this order, and
plaintiff was subsequently arrested and put in jail.
Id. ¶ 30. In January 2018, plaintiff was tried
and convicted of assault and destruction of personal
property, receiving a 60-day jail sentence. DE 24-5 at 156.
alleges that during these proceedings, Officers Culpepper and
Reid deliberately made false statements again her. She
alleges the officers "lied under oath in Carteret County
District Court." Id. ¶ 36. She alleges
Reid "deliberately wrote false information about
plaintiff [in his police report], writing that plaintiffs
height and weight were 5 feet 5 inches and 140 pounds, when
plaintiff told him in response to his questions . . . that
she was 5 feet 2 inches tall and weight 125 pounds."
Id. ¶ 37. Plaintiff alleges the officers did
not question plaintiff about Stokes's eyeglasses damage.
Id. ¶ 38.
February 19, 2019, plaintiff filed this lawsuit against
Stokes, Baker, Reid, and Culpepper. Ultimately, plaintiff
failed to make timely service on any of the defendants
despite the Court granting an extension. On August 19, 2019,
the Court dismissed without prejudice the claims against
Stokes and Baker for failure to serve. DE 20. Culpepper and
Reid, however, waived service after having moved to dismiss
for failure to serve, and so the Court denied their motion as
then, Culpepper and Reid have moved to dismiss for failure to
state a claim. Plaintiff has moved to reinstate the dismissed
claims against Stokes and Baker. These motions are now before
considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6),
"the court should accept as true all well-pleaded
allegations and should view the complaint in a light most
favorable to the plaintiff." Mylan Labs., Inc. v.
Matkari, 7 F.3d 1130, 1134 (4th Cir. 1993). A complaint
must state a claim for relief that is facially plausible.
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007). "A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that 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). The Court need not accept the
plaintiffs legal conclusions drawn from the facts, nor need
it accept unwarranted inferences, unreasonable conclusions,
or arguments. Philips v. Pitt County Mem. Hosp., 572
F.3d 176, 180 (4th Cir. 2009). "[W]holly vague and
conclusory allegations are not sufficient to withstand a
motion to dismiss." Doe v. Virginia Dep't of
State Police, 713 F.3d 745, 754 (4th Cir. 2013).
does not specify what legal claims she is bringing against
Culpepper and Reid, but even when afforded the leniency to
which pro se litigants are entitled, plaintiffs
complaint must be dismissed for failure to state a claim.
Plaintiffs allegation that the two officers lied at her
various proceedings in state court is a wholly conclusory
allegation without any factual support. See DE 1,
¶ 36. Plaintiff makes one factual assertion against
Culpepper and Reid apiece. She alleges that Reid wrote down
the plaintiffs wrong weight and height in the police report,
which cut against plaintiff for her assault charge.
Id. ¶ 37. She alleges that Culpepper never
talked to her about how Stokes's eyeglasses were damaged.
Id. ¶ 38. These allegations do not amount to a
cause of action against Officers Culpepper and Reid.
to the extent plaintiffs cause of action seeks to recover
damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for "allegedly
unconstitutional conviction or imprisonment, or for other
harm caused by actions whose unlawfulness would render a
conviction or sentence invalid[, ]" plaintiff must prove
that the conviction has been either reversed, expunged, or
otherwise declared invalid by a state tribunal. Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486 (1994). Plaintiff has not
made any such showing. Plaintiffs complaint must be dismissed
for failure to state a claim.