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Jones v. United States

United States District Court, District of Columbia

March 31, 2013

TRESHAWN V. JONES, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., Defendants

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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For TRESHAWN V. JONES, Plaintiff: Gregory L. Lattimer, LAW OFFICES OF GREGORY L. LATTIMER, PLLC, Washington, DC.

For UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Y. KADIEV, Officer, Badge No. 328, United States Park Police, In her individual capacity, Defendants: William Mark Nebeker, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Washington, DC.

OPINION

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Emmet G. Sullivan, United States District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This case is before the Court on defendants' Motion to Dismiss or, in the alternative, for Summary Judgment. Upon consideration of the motion, the opposition and reply thereto, the entire record, and for the reasons explained below, defendants' motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, for summary judgment is DENIED as to Counts I through IV of the complaint. Defendants' motion for summary judgment is GRANTED as to Count V of the complaint.

I. BACKGROUND

In her Complaint, plaintiff brings several claims arising from a January 28, 2009 traffic stop that occurred in the District of Columbia. Plaintiff alleges that she was traveling near Southern Avenue and Galveston Street, S.E. with her minor child in the vehicle. Compl. ¶ 5. Plaintiff states that as she approached the intersection, she noticed that her sister's fiancé, Eric Herrion, was a passenger in a vehicle that had been stopped by Officer Yeliz Kadiev, a law enforcement officer employed by the United States Park Police. Compl. ¶ 4, 5.

Plaintiff stopped her vehicle near the intersection and exited her car. Compl. ¶ 6. Plaintiff states that as she got out of her car, Officer Kadiev " began yelling and screaming at the plaintiff to get back her car." Id. At the same time, plaintiff's daughter ran to Mr. Herrion, who was in the passenger side of the vehicle that had

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been stopped. Id. Plaintiff states that Officer Kadiev " became even more irate even as the plaintiff attempted to explain the situation to her." Id. Plaintiff alleges that as she attempted to lead her daughter back to their car, Officer Kadiev " accosted the plaintiff, who was pregnant at the time, by pushing, manhandling and taking her to the ground." Id. ¶ 7. Plaintiff further states that she was placed in handcuffs, arrested, and taken to jail. Id. Plaintiff was charged with disorderly conduct and failure to obey. Id. ¶ 8. Following a bench trial in the District of Columbia Superior Court, plaintiff was acquitted of all charges on October 7, 2009. Id.

Plaintiff states that she filed a notice of claim with the United States on January 28, 2011 by filing a Standard Form 95 with the National Park Service of the Department of the Interior. Id. ¶ 9. Plaintiff's claim was denied on May 25, 2011. Id. Plaintiff then filed this suit on November 28, 2011.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

A. Motion to Dismiss

A motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of a complaint. Browning v. Clinton, 292 F.3d 235, 242, 352 U.S. App. D.C. 4 (D.C. Cir. 2002). A complaint must contain " a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, in order to give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell A. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). While detailed factual allegations are not necessary, plaintiff must plead enough facts " to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Id.

When ruling on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the Court may consider " the facts alleged in the complaint, documents attached as exhibits or incorporated by reference in the complaint, and matters about which the Court may take judicial notice." Gustave-Schmidt v. Chao, 226 F.Supp.2d 191, 196 (D.D.C. 2002). The Court must construe the complaint liberally in plaintiff's favor and grant plaintiff the benefit of all reasonable inferences deriving from the complaint. Kowal v. MCI Commc'ns Corp., 16 F.3d 1271, 1276, 305 U.S. App. D.C. 60 (D.C. Cir. 1994). However, the Court must not accept plaintiff's inferences that are " unsupported by the facts set out in the complaint." Id. " [O]nly a complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a motion to dismiss." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009).

B. Summary Judgment

Summary judgment is appropriate when the moving party demonstrates that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986); Moore v. Hartman, 571 F.3d 62, 66, 387 U.S. App. D.C. 62 (D.C. Cir. 2009). To establish a genuine issue of material fact, the nonmoving party must demonstrate--through affidavits or other competent evidence, Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)--that the quantum of evidence " is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Steele v. Schafer, 535 F.3d 689, 692, 383 U.S. App. D.C. 74 (D.C. Cir. 2008) (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248). While the Court views all facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party in reaching that determination, Keyes v. District of Columbia, 372 F.3d 434, 436, 362 U.S. App. D.C. 67 (D.C. Cir. 2004), the nonmoving party must nevertheless provide more than " a scintilla of evidence" in support of its position, Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252.

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But " [i]f material facts are at issue, or, though undisputed, are susceptible to divergent inferences, summary judgment is not available." Kuo-Yun Tao v. Freeh, 27 F.3d 635, 638, 307 ...


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