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Brown v. Wilhelm

United States District Court, District of Columbia

February 15, 2013

L.G. BROWN, Plaintiff,
v.
M. WILHELM et al., Defendants.

Page 315

L.G. Brown, Washington, DC, pro se.

Sarah L. Knapp, Attorney General's Office Of The District Of Columbia, Washington, DC, for Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

BERYL A. HOWELL, District Judge.

The Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, is a District of Columbia resident suing former District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty and two officers of the District of Columbia Protective Services, Officer Michael Wilhelm and Commander Louis Cannon, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On October 19, 2011, the Court dismissed the complaint against Fenty and Cannon. Order, ECF No. 13; see Brown v. Wilhelm, 819 F.Supp.2d 41 (D.D.C.2011). Pending before the Court is Wilhelm's motion for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Mot. to Dismiss for Failure to Prosecute or in the Alternative for Summ. J., ECF No. 24; see Min. Order (Sept. 21, 2012) (denying the Defendant's motion to dismiss for failure to prosecute). Upon consideration of the parties' submissions, including the Plaintiff's opposition to the instant motion, ECF No. 29, and surreply, ECF No. 31, and the entire record,

Page 316

the Court will grant Wilhelm's motion and enter judgment in his favor.

I. BACKGROUND

This action arises from a physical encounter on November 28, 2010, between the Plaintiff and Wilhelm. The Plaintiff alleges that on November 28, 2010, Wilhelm approached her at the corner of Seventh and A streets in the southeast quadrant of the District, " assumed that [she] was committing a crime[,] grabbed her arms in an attempt to break them ..." and threw her to the ground. Compl. at 1. The Plaintiff further alleges that Wilhelm did not identify himself " as any type of officer" until she called for help. Id. at 2. Wilhelm then allegedly " proceeded to say ‘ Stop resisting’ as he attacked the Plaintiff under the guise of ‘ protecting and serving’ the community." Id. The Plaintiff claims that her " young child was forced to witness this horrific scene." Id.

The Plaintiff filed this civil action on January 31, 2011, claiming that the Defendants violated her right under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to be free from unreasonable search and seizure and 18 U.S.C. § 242. Id. at 2; see Brown, 819 F.Supp.2d at 43 n. 2 (finding jurisdiction wanting over statutory claim because the criminal statute invoked " does not authorize a private cause of action" ). The Plaintiff demands an apology and $10 million for " pain and suffering" and $1 million " in punitive damages." Compl. at 3.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Pursuant to Rule 56, summary judgment shall be granted " if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986); Estate of Parson v. Palestinian Auth., 651 F.3d 118, 123 (D.C.Cir.2011); Tao v. Freeh, 27 F.3d 635, 638 (D.C.Cir.1994). To determine which facts are material, the Court looks to the substantive law on which each claim rests. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505. The mere existence of a factual dispute does not bar summary judgment. See id. A genuine dispute is one whose resolution could establish an element of a claim or defense and, therefore, affect the outcome of the action. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986); Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505. Summary judgment is properly granted against a party who " fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial." Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548. The burden remains on the moving party to demonstrate that there is an " absence of a genuine issue of material fact" by, for example, pointing to the absence of evidence proffered by the nonmoving party. Id. at 322-23, 106 S.Ct. 2548.

In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the Court must draw all justifiable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party, and shall accept the nonmoving party's evidence as true. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255, 106 S.Ct. 2505; Estate of Parsons, 651 F.3d at 123; Tao, 27 F.3d at 638. The Court is only required to consider the materials explicitly cited by the parties, but may on its own accord consider " other materials in the record." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3). For a factual dispute to be " genuine," Estate of Parsons, 651 F.3d at 123, the nonmoving party must establish more than " [t]he mere existence of a scintilla of evidence" in support of her position, Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252, ...


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