Rudder v. Williams, No. 10–7101.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
Writing for the CourtGINSBURG
PartiesRoger RUDDER, et al., Appellants v. Shannon WILLIAMS, Officer, et al., Appellees.
Decision Date17 January 2012
Docket NumberNo. 10–7101.

666 F.3d 790

Roger RUDDER, et al., Appellants
v.
Shannon WILLIAMS, Officer, et al., Appellees.

No. 10–7101.

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.

Argued Sept. 20, 2011.Decided Jan. 17, 2012.


[666 F.3d 792]

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (No. 1:09–cv–02174).Gregory L. Lattimer argued the cause for appellants. With him on the briefs was Anitha W. Johnson.

Mary L. Wilson, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Solicitor General for the District of Columbia, argued the cause for appellees. With her on the brief were Irvin B. Nathan, Acting Attorney General at the time the brief was filed, Todd S. Kim, Solicitor General, and Donna M. Murasky, Deputy Solicitor General.

Before: GINSBURG,* HENDERSON and KAVANAUGH, Circuit Judges.

Opinion for the Court filed by Circuit Judge GINSBURG.

GINSBURG, Circuit Judge:

Roger Rudder, two other adults, and two juveniles sued the District of Columbia and two Metropolitan Police officers for using excessive force against them in violation of their civil rights. The district court dismissed their suit “with prejudice.” We reverse the judgment of the district court with respect to the claims against the officers under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and with respect to the juveniles' common law claims and remand the case for further proceedings. In all other respects, we affirm the judgment of the district court.

I. Background

Roger Rudder, Rosena Rudder, Noverlene Goss, and juveniles E.R. and D.G. allege William Chatman and Shannon Williams, officers of the Metropolitan Police Department, assaulted them at the 2008 Caribbean Carnival Parade in Washington, D.C. According to their complaint, the five plaintiffs stepped into the street to embrace family members participating in the parade. Officer Chatman ordered them to return to the sidewalk. While they were doing so, Chatman “forcibly shoved” Rosena Rudder and Officer Williams struck the two children with her baton. Several other officers arrived, “withdrew their batons and used excessive force on all Plaintiffs.” In particular, “Officers Williams and Chatman ... beat Plaintiffs with their batons and forced Plaintiffs to the ground.” The officers then arrested the adult plaintiffs. After being released, they were taken to a hospital for treatment of their injuries.

In 2009 the plaintiffs filed this suit claiming damages for common law torts and, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, for violations of their rights under the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution. The claims against Officers Chatman and Williams were based upon their allegedly excessive use of force. The claim against the District was premised upon the allegation the District “as a matter of policy, practice, and custom, has

[666 F.3d 793]

with deliberate indifference failed to adequately train” or “supervise, sanction, or discipline” its police officers. See Monell v. Dep't of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978) (establishing the criteria for municipal liability under § 1983).

The defendants filed separate motions seeking dismissal of certain counts for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Officers Williams and Chatman argued (1) the Fifth Amendment does not apply to the use of force incident to arrest, (2) the Fourteenth Amendment does not apply to the District of Columbia, and (3) the adult plaintiffs' common law claims were barred by the one-year statute of limitations for assault and battery, see D.C.Code § 12–301(4). The District argued the complaint did not contain sufficient factual allegations regarding its policies or customs to state a claim under the pleading standard established in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009). All the defendants noted that, because the statute of limitations for common law claims by juveniles does not begin to run until they reach 18 years of age, D.C.Code § 12–302, “the common law claims of the juveniles as well as the constitutional claims against the police officers remain.”

In their response to the motions to dismiss, the plaintiffs expressly abandoned their claims under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. They also inexplicably did “not oppose that their common law claims are time-barred by a one-year statute of limitations,” a concession not limited to the adults' claims and thus broader than the affirmative defense raised against them. They went on, specifically listing as time-barred all the counts of the complaint alleging common law torts and proposed an order stating “all of Plaintiffs' common law claims are dismissed.” The plaintiffs did, in contrast, “re-affirm their claims against Defendants under the Fourth Amendment.” They also argued their constitutional claim against the District was viable. In reply the defendants noted the plaintiffs had conceded the common law claims of both the adult and the juvenile plaintiffs and argued the complaint lacked sufficient factual allegations to support the Fourth Amendment claims against the District.**

The district court dismissed the complaint in its entirety pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), stating it did so “with prejudice.” The court noted the plaintiffs had conceded all their common law claims as barred by the statute of limitations and had conceded their claims under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments were without merit. The court then rejected their claim against the District because the complaint “merely recite [d] the elements of municipal liability” and “utterly failed to allege any fact as to the District's custom or policy that could form the basis of liability under Section 1983.” The court did not specifically address the plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment claims for excessive force, nor had the defendants included those claims in their motions to dismiss; by dismissing the entire...

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178 practice notes
  • Turpin v. Ray, Civil Action No.: 17-2453 (RC)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • July 12, 2018
    ..., 42 F.Supp.3d 111, 116 (D.D.C. 2014). Furthermore, dismissal with prejudice is the exception, rather than the rule. Rudder v. Williams , 666 F.3d 790, 794 (D.C. Cir. 2012) ("Dismissal with prejudice is the exception, not the rule, in federal practice because it ‘operates as a rejection of ......
  • Garay v. Liriano, Civil Action No. 11–1207(JEB).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • May 3, 2013
    ...[943 F.Supp.2d 22]this Circuit and District have found sufficient to sustain a claim for excessive force. See, e.g., Rudder v. Williams, 666 F.3d 790, 795 (D.C.Cir.2012) (plaintiff alleged sufficient facts to support excessive-force claim where officers had struck her children with a baton ......
  • Robinson v. Wash. Metro. Area Transit Auth., Civil Action No. 15-740 (BAH)
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Columbia
    • March 8, 2016
    ...alleged.” Iqbal , 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (citing Twombly , 550 U.S. at 556–57, 127 S.Ct. 1955 ); see also Rudder v. Williams , 666 F.3d 790, 794 (D.C.Cir.2012). Although “detailed factual allegations” are not required to withstand a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a complaint must offer “mor......
  • Proctor v. Dist. of Columbia, Civil Action No. 13–00985
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • November 25, 2014
    ...for the misconduct alleged,” id. at 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556, 127 S.Ct. 1955 ); see also Rudder v. Williams, 666 F.3d 790, 794 (D.C.Cir 2012). Although “detailed factual allegations” are not required to withstand a 74 F.Supp.3d 447Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a complain......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
170 cases
  • Turpin v. Ray, Civil Action No.: 17-2453 (RC)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • July 12, 2018
    ..., 42 F.Supp.3d 111, 116 (D.D.C. 2014). Furthermore, dismissal with prejudice is the exception, rather than the rule. Rudder v. Williams , 666 F.3d 790, 794 (D.C. Cir. 2012) ("Dismissal with prejudice is the exception, not the rule, in federal practice because it ‘operates as a rejection of ......
  • Garay v. Liriano, Civil Action No. 11–1207(JEB).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • May 3, 2013
    ...[943 F.Supp.2d 22]this Circuit and District have found sufficient to sustain a claim for excessive force. See, e.g., Rudder v. Williams, 666 F.3d 790, 795 (D.C.Cir.2012) (plaintiff alleged sufficient facts to support excessive-force claim where officers had struck her children with a baton ......
  • Robinson v. Wash. Metro. Area Transit Auth., Civil Action No. 15-740 (BAH)
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Columbia
    • March 8, 2016
    ...alleged.” Iqbal , 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (citing Twombly , 550 U.S. at 556–57, 127 S.Ct. 1955 ); see also Rudder v. Williams , 666 F.3d 790, 794 (D.C.Cir.2012). Although “detailed factual allegations” are not required to withstand a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a complaint must offer “mor......
  • Proctor v. Dist. of Columbia, Civil Action No. 13–00985
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • November 25, 2014
    ...for the misconduct alleged,” id. at 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556, 127 S.Ct. 1955 ); see also Rudder v. Williams, 666 F.3d 790, 794 (D.C.Cir 2012). Although “detailed factual allegations” are not required to withstand a 74 F.Supp.3d 447Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a complain......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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