Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

RICHARD ATCHINSON v. DISTRICT COLUMBIA </h1> <p class="docCourt"> </p> <p> January 19, 1996 </p> <p class="case-parties"> <b>RICHARD ATCHINSON, APPELLANT<br><br>v.<br><br>DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ET AL., APPELLEES</b><br><br> </p> <div class="caseCopy"> <div class="facLeaderBoard"> <script type="text/javascript"><!-- google_ad_client = "ca-pub-1233285632737842"; /* FACLeaderBoard */ google_ad_slot = "8524463142"; google_ad_width = 728; google_ad_height = 90; //--> </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> </script> </div class="facLeaderBoard"> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p><br> Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (No. 92cv01862)</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> Before: Buckley, Ginsburg, and Tatel, Circuit Judges.</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> Tatel, Circuit Judge</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> FOR PUBLICATION</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> Argued September 29, 1995</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> Opinion for the Court filed by Circuit Judge Tatel.</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> In this action by a victim of a police shooting, we consider the pleading requirements for a complaint alleging that a municipality violated a plaintiff's civil rights by failing to train or supervise its police officers. Applying the Supreme Court's holding in Leatherman v. Tarrant County Narcotics Intelligence & Coordination Unit, 113 S. Ct. 1160 (1993), that plaintiffs alleging municipal liability under 42 U.S.C. Section(s) 1983 need not satisfy any heightened pleading standard, we reverse the district court's dismissal of appellant's civil rights claims against the District of Columbia. We find no abuse of discretion, however, in the district court's denial of appellant's motion to amend his complaint to name a defendant police officer, sued initially in his official capacity only, in his individual capacity as well.</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> I.</p></div> <div class="facAdFloatLeft"> <script type="text/javascript"><!-- google_ad_client = "ca-pub-1233285632737842"; /* FACContentLeftSkyscraperWide */ google_ad_slot = "1266897617"; google_ad_width = 160; google_ad_height = 600; //--> </script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"></script> </div class="facLeaderBoard"> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> According to the complaint, shortly after noon on August 14, 1991, appellant Richard Atchinson was walking along a Chinatown street in the District of Columbia carrying a machete that he had just purchased at a surplus store. Hearing someone shout "freeze," Atchinson turned around to see two uniformed police officers across the street. Without further warning, one of the officers fired his gun, shooting Atchinson in the abdomen. Seriously injured, Atchinson required hospitalization and surgery. Atchinson was charged with assault on a police officer, but the charge was later dropped.</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> Atchinson filed suit in United States district court against the District of Columbia, the Mayor, the Chief of Police, the officer who shot him-Benjamin Collins-and other officers involved in the shooting, bringing both common-law tort claims and federal claims under 42 U.S.C. Section(s) 1983 and the Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendments to the United States Constitution. The complaint stated that "[d]efendants who are individuals are sued solely in their official capacity."</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> The district court dismissed the claims against the Mayor and the Chief of Police, ruling that the complaint failed to meet this circuit's heightened pleading standard for allegations of constitutional violations by government officials carrying out discretionary functions. Atchinson v. District of Columbia, No. 92-1862, slip op. at 2-5 (D.D.C. Dec. 23, 1992) (mem.) (citing Hunter v. District of Columbia, 943 F.2d 69, 75 (D.C. Cir. 1991); Martin v. Malhoyt, 830 F.2d 237, 254 & nn.40-41 (D.C. Cir. 1987)). The district court also dismissed the federal claims against the District of Columbia, finding that Atchinson had failed to state a claim on which relief could be granted. Id. at 5-8. The court explained that Atchinson's respondeat superior claim against the District failed under Monell v. Department of Social Services, <a>436 U.S. 658</a>, 691-94 (1978). As for Atchinson's other section 1983 claims against the District of Columbia-the claims at issue in this appeal-the court ruled that the complaint "failed to state with specificity an unconstitutional policy, custom, or procedure of the District of Columbia" responsible for his injuries. Atchinson, slip op. at 6-7 (Dec. 23, 1992) (citing Monell, 436 U.S. at 690, 694).</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> After the district court dismissed these claims, the Supreme Court announced in Leatherman that complaints alleging municipal liability under section 1983 need not satisfy any heightened pleading standard. See Leatherman, 113 S. Ct. at 1161. Relying on Leatherman, Atchinson filed a motion for reconsideration, charging that the district court had applied a heightened pleading standard in dismissing his section 1983 claims against the District.</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> Shortly before trial was scheduled to begin, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the section 1983 claims against Officer Collins in his official capacity, contending that those claims were identical to the claims against the District of Columbia that the court had previously dismissed. Noting that the dismissal of the section 1983 claims against Officer Collins would leave no federal claims in the case, the defendants asked the district court to dismiss the entire case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"><p> The district court denied Atchinson's Leatherman motion, dismissed the federal claims against Officer Collins in his official capacity, and denied Atchinson leave to amend his complaint to name the officer in his individual capacity. Atchinson v. District of Columbia, No. 92-1862 (D.D.C. June 16, 1994) (mem.). Agreeing with defendants that the dismissal of all federal claims left it without subject matter jurisdiction over the common-law claims, the district court dismissed the entire case with prejudice. Id., slip op. at 6-7, 9. The court later denied a motion for reconsideration. Atchinson v. District of Columbia, No. 92-1862 (D.D.C. Aug. 23, 1994) (mem.).</p></div> <div class="numbered-paragraph"> <p> Atchinson appeals the dismissal of his section 1983 claims against the District of Columbia. He also challenges the district court's denial of his request to amend his complaint to ...</p> </div> </div> </div> <div id="caseToolTip" class="caseToolTip" style="display: none;"> <div class="toolTipHead"> </div> <div class="toolTipContent"> <p> Our website includes the first part of the main text of the court's opinion. To read the entire case, you must purchase the decision for download. With purchase, you also receive any available docket numbers, case citations or footnotes, dissents and concurrences that accompany the decision. Docket numbers and/or citations allow you to research a case further or to use a case in a legal proceeding. Footnotes (if any) include details of the court's decision. If the document contains a simple affirmation or denial without discussion, there may not be additional text. </p> </div> <div class="toolTipFoot"> </div> </div> <br /> <div class="buyNowContainer"> <div class="price"> <img src="/assets/img/findACase/bracket-left.png" alt="" /> <span>Buy This Entire Record For $7.95</span> <img src="/assets/img/findACase/pdf.png" class="pdf" alt="" /> <img src="/assets/img/findACase/bracket-right.png" alt="" /> </div> <div class="details"> <p> Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,<br /> docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case. </p> <p> <a class="showCaseToolTip">Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.</a> </p> </div> <div class="buttons"> <input type="submit" name="FAC$cphMainContent$btnBuyNowBottom" value="Buy Now" id="btnBuyNowBottom" class="btn-cart-buy-now btn btn-fac btnOrderTop" data-doc-short-name="19960119_0000010.cdc.htm" data-doc-title="<title> RICHARD ATCHINSON v. DISTRICT COLUMBIA" /> <input type="submit" name="FAC$cphMainContent$btnAddToCartBottom" value="Add To Cart" id="btnAddToCartBottom" class="btn-cart-add btn btn-fac btnOrderTop" data-doc-short-name="19960119_0000010.cdc.htm" data-doc-title="<title> RICHARD ATCHINSON v. DISTRICT COLUMBIA" /> </div> </div> <input type="hidden" name="FAC$cphMainContent$hfDocID" id="hfDocID" value="\FCT\CDC\1996\19960119_0000010.CDC.htm" /> <input type="hidden" name="FAC$cphMainContent$hfDocTitle" id="hfDocTitle" value="<title> RICHARD ATCHINSON v. DISTRICT COLUMBIA" /> <input type="hidden" name="FAC$cphMainContent$hfDocShortName" id="hfDocShortName" value="19960119_0000010.CDC.htm" /> </div> <div id="pnlGrayBarBottom" class="grayBar"> <span class="grayBarLeft"></span><span class="grayBarRight"></span> </div> <div id="footer"> <p> <a href="http://findacase.com/">Home</a> <span>/</span> <a href="http://findacase.com/our-sources.aspx"> Our Sources</a> <span>/</span> <a href="http://findacase.com/about.aspx">About Us</a> <span>/</span> <a href="http://findacase.com/faq.aspx">FAQs</a> <span>/</span> <a href="http://findacase.com/research/advanced-search.aspx">Advanced Search</a> </p> <p> copyright 2021 LRC, Inc. <a href="http://findacase.com/about.aspx">About Us</a> </p> <p> <span id="privacyPolicy"><a href="http://findacase.com/privacy-policy.aspx">PRIVACY POLICY</a></span> </p> <div id="crosslink" style="width: 100%; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.legalresearch.com/litigation-advisor/litigation-pathfinder/litigation-pathfinder-subscription-plan/"><img src="http://findacase.com/Img/ad_FACtoLitPath.jpg" alt="Litigation Pathfinder - practical legal advice and comprehensive research resources made affordable" style="width: 375px;" /></a></div> </div> </div> </form> </body> </html>