Giles v. Manser, 121118 FED11, 17-15018

Docket Nº:17-15018
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM.
Party Name:OLIVER GILES, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. J.B. MANSER, Defendant-Appellee.
Judge Panel:Before TJOFLAT, WILLIAM PRYOR and ANDERSON, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:December 11, 2018
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

OLIVER GILES, Plaintiff-Appellant,


J.B. MANSER, Defendant-Appellee.

No. 17-15018

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

December 11, 2018


Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia D.C. Docket No. 1:15-cv-04215-LMM



Oliver Giles appeals the dismissal of his 42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaint alleging false arrest and malicious prosecution in violation of the Fourth Amendment and intentional infliction of emotion distress ("IIED") under Georgia law. On appeal, Giles argues that he met the pleading requirements for his IIED claim under both Georgia and federal law. Giles also appeals the denial of his motion to amend his complaint for a second time, arguing that the motion should have been granted because the amendments would not have prejudiced J.B. Manser, the defendant below, and would not have been futile. Finally, Giles argues that his claims for malicious prosecution and false arrest should not have been dismissed because Manser lacked arguable probable cause when he swore out a warrant for Giles's arrest and therefore was not entitled to qualified immunity.1For the reasons set forth below, we affirm in part and vacate in part.


We first consider whether the District Court properly dismissed Giles's IIED claim. We review a district court's order granting a "motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim de novo, accepting the allegations in the complaint as true and construing them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." Murphy v. DCI Biologicals Orlando, LLC, 797 F.3d 1302, 1305 (11th Cir. 2015). A plaintiff's complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face" in order to survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. Am. Dental Ass'n v. Cigna Corp., 605 F.3d 1283, 1289 (11th Cir. 2010) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1974 (2007)). This standard requires more than labels, conclusions, or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 127 S.Ct. at 1964-65. Moreover, "the tenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009).

Under Georgia law, a claim of IIED has four elements: (1) the defendant's conduct was intentional or reckless; (2) the defendant's conduct was extreme and outrageous; (3) there was a causal connection between the wrongful conduct and the plaintiff's emotional distress; and (4) the plaintiff's emotional distress was severe. Metro. Atlanta Rapid Transit Auth. v. Mosley, 634 S.E.2d 466, 470 (Ga.Ct.App. 2006).

The IIED-related allegations in Giles's first amended complaint are threadbare2 and lack enough detail to properly allege IIED under Georgia law. Nevertheless, Giles argues that his IIED claim should not be dismissed for two reasons. First, Giles argues that, under Georgia case law, improper imprisonment constitutes severe emotional distress. Thus, all Giles had to do to survive the motion to dismiss was plead that he was improperly imprisoned, which he did. While it is certainly true that improper imprisonment can produce severe emotional distress under Georgia law, the two cases Giles cites do not establish that an allegation of improper imprisonment suffices to allege all the elements of IIED. Neither of Giles's cited cases concerns the sufficiency of pleadings, and in both cases the plaintiffs relied on more than their improper imprisonment to establish the elements of IIED. See Turnage v. Kasper, 704 S.E.2d 842, 849 (Ga.Ct.App. 2010) (describing the "helplessness and despair" plaintiff felt as a result of her imprisonment); Gordon v. Frost, 388 S.E.2d 362, 365 (Ga.Ct.App. 1989) ("Mrs. Gordon was shocked, upset, and hysterical, and at first could not understand why she was being arrested."). Unsurprisingly, Georgia courts dismiss IIED claims when plaintiffs fail to allege facts supporting the elements of IIED. See, e.g., Thompson-El v. Bank of Am., N.A., 759 S.E.2d 49, 53 (Ga.Ct.App. 2014) (affirming dismissal of IIED claim because the complaint "failed...

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