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Hall v. District of Columbia

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

November 13, 2014

MICHELE HALL, Plaintiff,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, et al., Defendants

Page 117

For MICHELE HALL, Plaintiff: Gregory L. Lattimer, LEAD ATTORNEY, LAW OFFICES OF GREGORY L. LATTIMER, PLLC, Washington, DC.

For DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ALICE LEE, Defendants: Steven J. Anderson, LEAD ATTORNEY, OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR DC, Washington, DC.

For SEYHAN DURU, Defendant: John Alexander Rego, LEAD ATTORNEY, ANDERSON & QUINN, LLC, Rockville, MD.

For CITIES, LLC, Defendant: Edward Joseph Brown, LEAD ATTORNEY, Ellicott City, MD.

Page 118

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Royce C. Lamberth, United States District Judge.

Before the Court is the defendants' (Alice Lee, John Doe and the District of Columbia) Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [25] pertaining to Counts I, II, III, IV, V, VI, IX, and X.[1] Plaintiff Michelle Hall filed a complaint alleging, inter alia numerous tort claims and a Section 1983 claim, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2012). Upon consideration of the defendants' Motion, the plaintiff's Opposition thereto [28], and the defendants' Reply [29], the Court will GRANT the defendants' Motion for the reasons stated below, except as to Count III against defendant Lee, as to which defendants' Motion is DENIED.[2]

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, Michelle Hall, is a resident of the District of Columbia. On March 17, 2012, plaintiff celebrated her birthday at Cities Restaurant and Lounge (" Cities" ) in Washington, D.C. Compl. ¶ 15. Upon arrival, she was marked with an " X" for re-entry, and gave her credit card and driver's license to Cities employees as required, which the employees retained during the subsequent events on which this lawsuit is based. Id. ¶ ¶ 16-17. Some of plaintiff's friends arrived at Cities, but relocated to a restaurant across the street called " 19th" in order to avoid the cover charge at Cities. Id. ¶ 18. Plaintiff left her belongings at Cities and went to 19th. Id. ¶ 19.

A few minutes after entering 19th, plaintiff went to the restroom at which time there occurred a knock on the door. Id. ¶ ¶ 20-21. After responding that the restroom was occupied, plaintiff heard another knock followed by the statement " it's the police." Id. ¶ 21. Plaintiff believed this to be a joke, and soon thereafter two Metropolitan Police Department officers--defendants

Page 119

Lee and Doe--broke down the door and handcuffed plaintiff. Id. ¶ ¶ 21-22. Plaintiff alleges that the officers " did not identify themselves and did not ask [p]laintiff to identify herself." Id. ¶ 23. Upon plaintiff's inquiry, defendant Lee told plaintiff that she was being arrested for " theft of services" --which plaintiff later alleges was a result of Seyhan Duru's, manager of Cities, call to the police. Id. ¶ ¶ 24 and 35. Plaintiff states that defendant Lee continued to tighten the handcuffs " to the point that Plaintiff lost feeling in her thumb and hand" and that defendant Lee maintained her firm grip of plaintiff's upper arm leaving a " full handprint bruise" even after plaintiff informed Lee that Lee was hurting her. Id. ¶ 26. Plaintiff was put into a parked police cruiser where she informed one of the police officers on the scene that her driver's license and credit card were still inside Cities. Id. ¶ ¶ 28-29. Plaintiff was released when she signed her credit card bill in the amount of $1,104.74, which had been brought to her by an officer. Id.

Following these events, plaintiff went to the hospital for X-rays on her hand, which showed that she had a broken right wrist and " palsy on her radial nerve." Id. ¶ ¶ 31-32. It is because of these injuries and other alleged injuries that plaintiff brings this suit. For the reasons stated below, defendants' ...


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