Appellate Law & Practice

This blog is devoted to appellate law and will provide case summaries and links to articles on appellate advocacy. Please send your news and views to Appellate [at] gmail [dot] com. We also welcome new contributors. Email us if you are interested.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

12(b)(6) Requirement for Monell Action Complaint

A former patient sued a hospital (a private corporation sued under a joint-action theory of section 1983 liability) alleging that it violated her Fourth Amendment rights. However, she did not state any facts in her Complaint showing the hospital had a policy or custom of rights violations. Her complaint was properly dismissed. Crumpley-Patterson v. Trinity Lutheran, No. 03-3499 (8th Cir., Nov. 2, 2004).

Citing Doe v. School District of Norfolk, 340 F.3d at 613, Patterson argues she was not required to show, at this juncture, the existence of such a practice or custom because those facts may have been developed during discovery. The argument misses the mark. The district court dismissed the complaint because Patterson failed to include any allegations suggesting the existence of an unconstitutional practice or custom. On appeal, Patterson has again failed to allege the existence of an unconstitutional practice or custom and at oral argument conceded the absence of any such allegations in the complaint.


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