United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division
RANDAL HALL, CHIEF JUDGE
the Court are Defendant Davis's motion to dismiss or,
alternatively, for a more definite statement (Doc. 14) and
Defendants Albert Reeves, Roy Reeves ("Individual Moving
Defendants"), and McDuffie County's (collectively,
"Moving Defendants") motion for judgment on the
pleadings (Doc. 32) . As an initial matter, the Court
DENIES AS MOOT Defendant Davis's motion
to dismiss (Doc. 14) . After Defendant Davis filed his
motion, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint. "It is well-
established that an amended complaint super[s]edes an
original complaint and renders the original complaint without
legal effect." Renal Treatment Ctrs.-Mid-Atl., Inc.
v. Franklin Chevrolet-Cadillac-Pontiac-GMC, No.
608CV087, 2009 WL 995564, at *1 (S.D. Ga. Apr. 13, 2009)
(quoting In re Wireless Tel. Fed. Cost Recovery Fees
Litig., 396 F.3d 922, 928 (8th Cir. 2005)) (citing
Fritz v. Standard Sec. Life Ins. Co. of N.Y., 676
F.2d 1356, 1358 (11th Cir. 1982)); accord Dresdner Bank
AG v. M/V Qlympia Voyager, 463 F.3d 1210, 1215 (11th
Cir. 2006) (finding that the prior complaint "is no
longer a part of the pleader's averments against his
adversary"); Malowney v. Fed. Collection Deposit
Grp., 193 F.3d 1342, 1345 n.l (11th Cir. 1999) ("An
amended complaint supersedes an original complaint.").
Here, the amended complaint supersedes the original complaint
effectively mooting Defendant Davis's motion to dismiss
or, alternatively, for a more definite statement.
Court now turns to Moving Defendant's pending motion for
judgment on the pleadings. Although Plaintiff's Amended
Complaint contains four counts, Plaintiff voluntarily
dismissed Count III and Count IV as to all defendants.
(See Voluntary Dismissal, Doc. 35; Order, Doc. 36.)
Thus, the remaining counts are as follows:
Count I: Section 1983 claim for malicious prosecution;
Count II: Section 1983 claim for violation of Plaintiff's
right to substantive due process.
(Am. Compl., Doc. 24, at 22-27.) For the reasons contained
herein, the Court GRANTS Moving
Defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings.
Court outlines only the facts relevant to its findings as to
Counts I and II and, notably, only as related to Moving
Defendants. Plaintiff details background situations occurring
before he was first brought into the custody of McDuffie
County in 2011. Because this background is not directly
relevant to this Order, the Court summarizes the events.
2007, Plaintiff states he witnessed a fatal two-vehicle
accident, and Defendant Albert Reeves ("A.
Reeves"), a police investigator with the McDuffie County
Sheriff's Office, arrived at the scene. (Am. Compl.,
¶¶ 6, 10.) Plaintiff and A. Reeves did not speak at
the scene of the accident, but, thereafter, A. Reeves hired
Plaintiff to install countertops. (Id. ¶¶
a wrongful death suit was brought in connection with the 2007
accident. (Id. ¶ 14.) Plaintiff and A. Reeves
were both used as witnesses, but, because of their differing
accounts of the accident, Plaintiff offers statements showing
that A. Reeves treated Plaintiff with hostility. (See,
e.g., id. ¶¶ 16-17, 24-25, 29.)
March of 2010, Plaintiff and his wife separated, and his wife
obtained a temporary protective order ("TPO")
against Plaintiff. (Id. ¶ 18.) The next month,
the couple reconciled and the TPO was dismissed.
(Id. ¶ 19.)
Arrest for Battery and Release on Bond
October 27, 2011, A. Reeves and other non-party officers
responded to a reported domestic disturbance at
Plaintiff's home. (Am. Compl., ¶ 30.) Plaintiff was
arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery. (Id.)
After his arrest, Plaintiff was housed at McDuffie County
Jail. (Id. ¶ 31.) Defendant Roy Reeves
("R. Reeves"), A. Reeves's father, was a jail
administrator at McDuffie County jail when Plaintiff arrived.
(Id. ¶¶ 5, 31.)
October 28, 2011, Plaintiff was released on bond with
pretrial release conditions. (Id. ¶ 33.) One
such condition, referred to by the parties as the
"no-contact" condition, required Plaintiff to cease
all contact with his wife. (Id. ¶¶ 33, 44;
Br. Resp. to Mot. for J. Pleadings, Doc. 34, at 3.) R. Reeves
prepared and signed the bond order with the "pre-printed
name of Magistrate Judge W. Bryant Swan who was out of town
at the time and had not given any instructions, either
telephonically or electronically, to R. Reeves or any other
jail staff regarding the bond order." (Am. Compl.,
¶ 33.) In 2016, "R. Reeves testified that the
manner in which the bond order was procured was part of the
normal policy and practice of the McDuffie County jail."
(Id. ¶ 116.)
Plaintiff lived at home for some period of time after being
released on bond. (Compare Br. Resp. to Mot. for J.
Pleadings, at 18 ("[Plaintiff] and his wife continued to
reside together after [Plaintiff] was arrested for simple
battery."), with Reply Supp. Mot. for J.
Pleadings, Doc. 37, at 8 ("Plaintiff lived with his wife
for three days after he bonded out of jail under the
'no contact' bond condition." (emphasis in
original).) Plaintiff alleges that in November of 2011,
non-defendant officers threatened Plaintiff's wife to
incentivize her to leave Plaintiff. (Am. Compl., ¶ 34.)
That same month, Plaintiff's wife told Plaintiff she
wished to separate. (Id. ¶ 39.) On January 19,
2017, Plaintiff "signed a consent order to pay child
support, " which Judge Roger W. Dunaway Jr. subsequently
signed. (Id. ¶ 40.) From November 1, 2011, to
February 29, 2012, Plaintiff states he regularly communicated
with his wife "primarily about their children or their
separation." (Id. ¶ 41.)
Arrest for Aggravated Stalking
or about February 29, 2012, following alleged complaints by
[Plaintiff's wife] to local law enforcement that
[Plaintiff] was contacting her in violation of the October
28, 2011, bond order, McDuffie County Sheriff's deputies
obtained an arrest warrant for [Plaintiff] for aggravated
stalking." (Am. Compl., ¶ 44.) These deputies
arrested Plaintiff that same day. (Id.) In brief,
Plaintiff clarifies that A. Reeves was one of the deputies
who obtained the arrest warrant. (Br. Resp. to Mot. for J.
Pleadings, at 4.)
April 12, 2012, a bond hearing was held for Plaintiff's
aggravated stalking charge before Judge Dunaway. (Am. Compl.,
¶ 57.) The State's attorney, Defendant Durwood Davis
- who is not a party to the motion before the Court -
objected to the court setting bond before completion of an
already ordered mental health evaluation of Plaintiff could
be completed. (Id. ¶¶ 57-58.) It was
at this hearing that Plaintiff's defense attorney
informed Judge Dunaway that Plaintiff's wife initiated
some contact with Plaintiff while the "no-contact"
bond condition was in effect. (Id. ¶ 59.) While
in custody, Plaintiff and his wife executed their
divorce. (Id. ¶ 70.)
Grand Jury Indictment and Guilty Plea
McDuffie County grand jury indicted Plaintiff on three counts
of aggravated stalking on June 19, 2012. (Am. Compl., ¶
72.) The next day, Plaintiff was released on bond.
(Id. ¶ 73.) Within a few days of being
released, Plaintiff states A. Reeves drove to his home,
"lowered his car window, and made a statement to the
effect that 'I'm still going to get you.'"
(Id. ¶ 74.) In August of 2012, Plaintiff
"pled not guilty to one charge of simple battery and
three counts of aggravated stalking." (Id.
¶ 77.) Plaintiff later changed his plea, "on the
advice of his defense attorney, " to a plea of guilty
"to one felony count of aggravated stalking and one
misdemeanor count of simple battery." (Id.
¶ 78.) According to Plaintiff, "[t]he sole factual
basis for the aggravated stalking charge, as alleged in the
indictment and restated in the plea hearing, included the
element of having 'violated a condition of pretrial
release' as set forth in the conditions of the pretrial
release order issued on October 28, 2011." (Id.
was sentenced to ten years of probation for the aggravated
stalking conviction and one year of probation for the simple
battery conviction, to run concurrently. (Id. ¶
80.) Before concluding the sentencing hearing, Judge Dunaway
inquired as to whether a TPO was in place. (Id.
¶ 81.) Defendant "Davis informed the Court there
was a TPO in place"; Defendant Davis's statement
was, according to Plaintiff, "a blatant falsity."
(Id.) Judge Dunaway then ordered the execution of a
permanent protective order requiring Plaintiff "to
refrain from any contact with his ex-wife and minor
children." (Id. ¶ 82.)
being released from custody, Plaintiff was brought in by
non-defendant officers multiple times for alleged probation
violations and failure to pay child support. (Am. Compl.,
¶¶ 94-104.) Plaintiff's only mention of either
of the Individual Defendants during this time is that after
one arrest, the arresting officer "inquir[ed] as to why
he was arresting [Plaintiff] again, " and R. Reeves took
over processing Plaintiff and processed him directly into the
general population. (Id. ¶¶ 106-07.)
According to Plaintiff, processing in this way is
"contrary to normal practice and procedure."
(Id. ¶ 107.)
Final Arrest and Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
states he felt "he was no longer safe in McDuffie
County" and lived under "an assumed persona until
August [of] 2016, when he was arrested in Liberty County for
driving under the influence and several other charges."
(Am. Compl., ¶¶ 111, 113.) While still in Liberty
County jail, Plaintiff petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus
in September of 2016 in McDuffie County Superior Court.
(Id.) On October 12, 2016, a hearing was held before
Judge Dunaway. (Id. ¶ 114.) That same day,
Judge Dunaway vacated Plaintiff's aggravated stalking
conviction. (Id. ¶ 118.) As stated by
Plaintiff, "One of the findings the court made was that,
in the absence of a magistrate judge, a bond order setting 
conditions of bond could not have been legally issued for the
misdemeanor family-violence battery charge, and that
therefore [Plaintiff] could not possibly have committed the
offense of aggravated stalking." (Id. ¶
118.) Plaintiff filed this action on October 2, 2018.
(See Compl., Doc. 1.)
the pleadings are closed - but early enough not to delay
trial - a party may move for judgment on the pleadings."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). "Judgment on the pleadings is proper
when no issues of material fact exist, and the moving party
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law based on the
substance of the pleadings and any judicially noticed
facts." Cunningham v. Dist. Attorney's Office
for Escambia Cty., 592 F.3d 1237, 1255 (11th Cir. 2010).
When considering a motion for judgment on the pleadings, the
Court must "accept as true all material facts alleged in
the non-moving party's pleading, and . . . view those
facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party." Perez v. Wells Fargo N.A., 774 F.3d
1329, 1335 (11th Cir. 2014).