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Faison v. District of Columbia

United States District Court, District of Columbia

November 30, 2012

Burudi FAISON, Plaintiff,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, et al., Defendants.

Burudi J. Faison, Lompoc, CA, pro se.

Corliss Vaughn Adams, Office of the Attorney General, Washington, DC, Stephanie Litos, Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, Washington, DC, for Defendants.

Page 83

MEMORANDUM OPINION

EMMET G. SULLIVAN, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on the District of Columbia's motion to dismiss the complaint. For the reasons stated below, the motion will be granted.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff alleges that Metropolitan Police Department officers took personal property from him at the time of his arrest on February 14, 1999, and that the property has not been returned. See Am. Compl. [Dkt. # 15] at 3 (page numbers designated by ECF). He has described the circumstances as follows:

ON FEBRUARY 14, 1999, THE PETITIONER WAS ARRESTED BY THE D.C. POLICE METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT AFTER A TRAFFIC STOP. PETITIONER WAS CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF COCAINE WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE AND POSSESSION OF A[sic] UNREGISTERED FIREARM. AT PETITIONER[']S TIME OF ARREST HE WAS IN POSSESSION OF $2511.00 DOLLARS OF U.S. CURRENCY AND DRIVING A 1993 CROWN VICTORIA AUTOMOBILE. BOTH WERE TAKEN AND HELD BY THE D.C. POLICE DEPARTMENT.

Motion for Return of Property, United States v. Faison, No. 99-cr-0079 (D.D.C. filed Apr. 14, 2010) (emphasis in original). Review of the docket of the criminal case indicates that, on June 25, 1999, plaintiff pled guilty to one count of carrying a firearm during a trafficking offense in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1), and, on September 7, 2009, the court imposed a 60-month sentence followed by a three-year term of supervised release.

It appears that the Metropolitan Police Department deemed plaintiff's property subject to administrative forfeiture proceedings, and that " the car and cash were declared forfeited to the District of Columbia government in 1999." United States Government's Supplemental Memorandum Responding to Court's Order to Determine Whereabouts or Disposition of Property Seized From Defendant Faison in 1999 ¶ 6, United States v. Faison, No. 99-cr-0079 (D.D.C. filed Aug. 27, 2010). " Thus, the whereabouts of the car and cash in 2010 [could not] be specifically determined." Id. [1]

II. DISCUSSION

According to plaintiff, the District of Columbia's " continued retention of this property has been a denial of plaintiff[']s 14th Amendment rights. The property should be returned or compensation for the value thereof" should be awarded. Am. Compl. at 1 (emphasis removed). Because the District of Columbia is subject to the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution but not to the Fourteenth, see Bolling v. Sharpe, 347 U.S. 497, 498, 74 S.Ct. 693, 98 L.Ed. 884 (1954), the Court construes the complaint as one bringing a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the District for an alleged violation of his right to due process under the Fifth Amendment. The District of Columbia moves to dismiss the complaint under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on the ground that the pleading fails to state a constitutional claim upon which relief can be granted.[2] See Def.'s Mem. at 4-5.

Page 84

A. Dismissal Under Rule 12(b)(6)


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