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Silver v. D.C. Metro. Police Dep't

United States District Court, District of Columbia

April 16, 2013

Richard N. Silver, Plaintiff,
v.
D.C. Metropolitan Police Department et al., Defendants

RICHARD N. SILVER, Plaintiff, Pro se, Butner, NC.

For D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT, JASON BAGSHAW, Officer, BRIAN WYMBS, Officer, SIDNEY PAUL, Sergeant, Defendants: Martha J. Mullen, LEAD ATTORNEY, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Washington, DC.

OPINION

COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY, United States District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, sues the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department (" MPD" ) and three MPD officers for $5 million. The complaint arises out of plaintiff's alleged encounter with the MPD officers on May 7, 2009, at plaintiff's grandmother's house. Defendants move to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Page 21

on the grounds that (1) MPD cannot be sued in its own name, and (2) plaintiff has stated no claim for compensatory damages under federal law " for the warrantless search of his grandmother's house." Mot. to Dismiss [Dkt. # 9] at 1. Upon consideration of the parties' submissions, the Court will grant defendants' motion and will dismiss the case.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff alleges that on May 7, 2009, between 12:30 a.m. and 2 a.m., MPD officers from the Fifth District Headquarters stopped him and two other individuals while investigating the " robbery" of a home on Adams Street in the District of Columbia's northeast quadrant. Compl. at 3. The stop occurred in an alley behind plaintiff's grandmother's house located on Ascot Place also in northeast D.C. Id. The officers conducted a line-up at the scene, and one of the men with plaintiff was identified as a " suspect." Id. The officers " let [the other man] go free and held [plaintiff] behind [his] grandmother's house." Id. The officers " went into the [unlocked] back door" of plaintiff's grandmother's house without a warrant. Id. According to plaintiff, the door was left unlocked for him " to come in once everything was over," and " no one gave [the officers] consent to enter the house at 2:00 am." Id. at 3-4.

Plaintiff further alleges that the officers gathered the occupants of the house " in one room and told us that they need us to consent to search the house because they believed guns or something from the robbery was in there." Id. at 4. The officers " told us we would be put out if we didn't [consent] so we all sign[ed] the consent by force." Id. The officers " search[ed] and found drugs and left the house." Id. Plaintiff alleges next that " [t]he drug case was thrown out" on Fourth Amendment grounds following a suppression hearing on December 12, 2011, and " [t]he case was dismissed . . . ." Id.

Plaintiff filed this civil action on July 23, 2012, from the Federal Correctional Institution in Butner, North Carolina, seeking damages for " the stress, trouble, and pain" he suffered as a result of his " getting charged and locked up for the stuff that was found and [for] missing my daughter's birth." Id. at 4-5. Plaintiff also seeks damages for the stress suffered by his 73-year-old grandmother, who he alleges " almost" had a heart attack from being awakened at 2 a.m., and the stress suffered by his uncle, who he alleges is " now deceased from stress and cancer." Id. at 4.

LEGAL STANDARD

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides that a party may challenge the sufficiency of a complaint on the grounds it " fail[s] to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). When evaluating a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, the district court must accept as true the well-pleaded factual allegations contained in the complaint. Atherton v. D.C. Off. of Mayor, 567 F.3d 672, 681, 386 U.S. App. D.C. 144 (D.C. Cir. 2009), cert. denied, 559 U.S. 1039, 130 S.Ct. 2064, 176 L.Ed.2d 418 (2010). " [A] complaint [does not] suffice if it tenders 'naked assertion[s]' devoid of 'further factual enhancement.' " Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (quoting Bell A. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 557, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). Rather, a complaint must contain sufficient factual allegations that, if accepted as true, " state a claim to relief that is ...


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