Smith et al v. City of Montgomery et al, No. 2:2012cv01037 - Document 78 (M.D. Ala. 2014)

Court Description: OPINION. Signed by Honorable Judge Myron H. Thompson on 6/26/2014. (wcl, )
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IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA, NORTHERN DIVISION CAROLYN SMITH; ISAIAH SMITH; ANTONIO HAIGLER; and KANESHIA HAIGLER, as guardian and next friend of the minor, S.M., ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Plaintiffs, v. CITY OF MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA; et al., Defendants. CIVIL ACTION NO. 2:12cv1037-MHT (WO) OPINION Three of the four plaintiffs in this case, Carolyn Smith, Isaiah Smith, and Antonio Haigler, brought this lawsuit against defendant others, claiming that City of several Montgomery Montgomery and police officers violated their constitutional rights against excessive force. U.S.C. 1331 §§ rights). The Jurisdiction (federal case is is question) now before proper and the under 1343 court 28 (civil on the city s motion for summary judgment; the motion will be granted. The Smiths and Haigler each bring a claim against the city under Fourth and Fourteenth enforced through 42 U.S.C. § 1983. the officers conduct Amendments, as Even assuming that violated the plaintiffs constitutional rights, [p]roof of a single incident of unconstitutional impose liability activity against a is not sufficient municipality. Craig to v. Floyd County, Ga., 643 F.3d 1306, 1310 (11th Cir. 2011 (quoting City of Okla. City v. Tuttle, 471 U.S. 808, 823 24 (1985) (plurality opinion)). A plaintiff must show that the constitutional violation resulted from the city s policy or custom. Monell v. Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658, 694-95 (1978). The plaintiffs put forward, as the policy or custom, only the fact that the city equipped its police officers with mace spray and Tasers. This policy is insufficient to state a claim against the city. use of mace or a Taser constitutional violation. F.3d 1279 (11th is not necessarily The a See Draper v. Reynolds, 369 Cir. 2004) 2 (Taser use not constitutionally excessive); McCormick v. City of Fort Lauderdale, 333 F.3d 1234, 1245 (11th Cir. 2003) (same for pepper spray). these tools does Therefore, equipping officers with not constitute an unconstitutional policy or custom. *** Accordingly, summary judgment will be entered in favor of the city and against the Smiths and Haigler. An appropriate judgment will be entered. DONE, this the 26th day of June, 2014. /s/ Myron H. Thompson UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE