XXXX AL.,                                Defendants




Plaintiffs, XXXX file this Response to XXXX Office’s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Complaint or in the alternative Strike Claim for Punitive Damages. In support thereof, Plaintiffs state as follows:

  1. Plaintiff states valid causes of action for “negligent policing” and intentional infliction of emotional distress

Defendants failed to note that Plaintiff expressly mentioned the duty that the Sheriff’s Office failed to properly train and supervise XXXX. Administrators may be held liable if inadequate or improper training causes injury or violates a citizen’s constitutional rights.[1]

It is also Plaintiffs’ assertions that if a custom, pattern or practice demonstrates an obvious need for more or different training that policy makers could reasonably be said to have been deliberately indifferent to the need (under the concept of knew or should have known), liability could arise[2]. Notably, the U.S. Supreme Court has explained that inadequate training meets the deliberate indifference standard when the need for more or different training is obvious and the failure to implement such training is likely to result in constitutional violations. XXXX.

In this case, the facts provided by Plaintiffs in the Complaint show how the officers form the sheriff’s office engaged in conduct that showed their need for proper training. First, detective Hasty failed to acknowledge photographic evidence that showed injuries on Randall Dick’s neck, despite Fult’s own admission to Wakulla County Judge Carroll of strangling Randall Dick. Next, Hasty only interviewed Fults and never interrogated him under oath. On the other hand, Hasty interrogated Randall Dick, who was the victim of Fults’ actions.

  1. The Sheriff’s Office is not entitled to Sovereign Immunity

Merely stating that they one is entitled to sovereign immunity does not entitle the party to immunity. See XXXX (reversing dismissal on sovereign immunity grounds when the complaint did not conclusively show that the defendant was entitled to immunity).

Here, the Sheriff’s office alleges that their decision not to arrest Fults is barred by sovereign immunity. The defendant cannot be absolved of their liability as alleged in the Complaint, by just stating that they are entitled to sovereign immunity. Besides, the Sheriff’s office appears to only state that they may be liable for failing to arrest Fults. However, the Complaint has other areas of liability for the Sheriff’s office, including failure to train or supervise.

  • Plaintiffs’ claims are not time-barred

As with other affirmative defenses, a court may grant a motion to dismiss on statute of limitations grounds only when the complaint on its face conclusively shows that the action is barred. XXXX.

The Plaintiffs’ case is not time barred. The County erroneously refers to XXXX, when Randall Dick was assaulted by Fults. However, the Sheriff’s involvement in the matter, which involvement happened after said May 2nd, is the subject of the Sheriff’s liability. For instance, the first meeting held between Plaintiffs and Detective Hasty happened on XXXX. This was the point where the Sheriff’s liability started. It follows; the Sheriff’s liability starts when the Plaintiffs first engaged the detective.

  1. Defendant’s request for dismissal with prejudice should be denied

“A dismissal with prejudice should not be ordered without giving the party offering the pleading an opportunity to amend unless it appears that the privilege to amend has been abused or it is clear that the pleading cannot be amended to state a cause of action.”);ZZZZ

Defendant requests the Court to dismiss Plaintiffs’ claims with prejudice. It is Plaintiffs’ contention that a dismissal with prejudice is not proper, in the instant circumstances. Notably, Plaintiffs have never amended their complaint. It cannot therefore be said that Plaintiffs have abused their privilege to amend. Next, any amendment would not be futile. Lastly, Plaintiffs assert that the Complaint sufficiently states valid causes of action against the Sheriff’s office.

  1. The Sheriff’s Office should be party to the suit

The Sheriff’s Office further attempt to avoid liability by claiming that they are not the correct party to the suit. Contrary to the Sheriff’s office’s averments, the Sheriff’s office should be held accountable for their actions as the supervisors and/or employers of Fults.

Plaintiffs had met with State Investigator Chris Lee to discuss the strangulation and the lack of prosecution. At the conclusion of the meeting, the Investigator Lee acknowledged that there was malfeasance on the part of the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office. It follows, not only is the Sheriff’s Office a party to the proceeding, it is also liable for its blameworthy conduct as already stated.

  1. Plaintiffs’ Complaint is not a shotgun pleading

“The typical shotgun complaint contains several counts, each one incorporating by reference the allegations of its predecessors, leading to a situation where most of the counts (i.e., all but the first) contain irrelevant factual allegations and legal conclusions.” XXXX).

Here, Plaintiffs assert that none of the counts in their Complaint contains irrelevant factional allegations and legal conclusions. First, Plaintiffs presented facts that clearly and adequately informs the judge and the opposing party of the position of their position. Plaintiff has stated facts within each count in the Complaint, which facts support the claim stated in each count.

Next, Plaintiffs arranged and designed the Complaint to make an orderly and effective presentation of their position.

  • Plaintiffs’ claim for punitive damages should not be struck

Parties seeking to assert a claim for punitive damages, such as Plaintiffs, must meet the requirements of XXXX). This statute provides, in pertinent part:

(1) In any civil action, no claim for punitive damages shall be permitted unless there is a reasonable showing by evidence in the record or proffered by the claimant which would provide a reasonable basis for recovery of such damages. The claimant may move to amend her or his complaint to assert a claim for punitive damages as allowed by the rules of civil procedure.


“A defendant may be held liable for punitive damages … if the trier of fact, based on clear and convincing evidence, finds that the defendant was personally guilty of intentional misconduct or gross negligence.”” See XXXXX

Here, Plaintiffs have presented a reasonable basis for the recovery of punitive damages. Notably, Plaintiff has exposed the Defendants’ blameworthy conduct, which was committed without due consideration of their harm to Plaintiffs. For instance, the Sheriff’s office was aware that their failure to properly supervise, train, or arrest Fults would occasion a violation of Ranall Dick’s rights. The Defendant should therefore be ordered to pay punitive damages to deter such conduct from happening again.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs request this Court deny the Sheriff’s Office’s Motion to Dismiss, in its entirety. This Court should also grant the damages and/or relief claimed in the Complaint. Further, Plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court grants any such further relief that this Court deems just and proper.

Dated: ______________

Respectfully Submitted











I, the undersigned, hereby certifies that on __________, via United States Postal Service, First Class, postage pre-paid, that a true and complete copy of the foregoing document was mailed to:











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