United States District Court, D. Columbia.
For DEANGELO SCOTT, RYAN PRATT, Plaintiffs: Lynn E. Cunningham, LEAD ATTORNEY, LAW OFFICES OF LYNN E. CUNNINGHAM, Dubois, WY; William Charles Cole Claiborne, III, LEAD ATTORNEY, LAW OFFICES OF WILLIAM CLAIBORNE III, Washington, DC.
For GOVERNMENT OF DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Defendant: Chad Wayne Copeland, Douglas Stuart Rosenbloom, Keith David Parsons, LEAD ATTORNEYS, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Washington, DC.
Gladys Kessler, United States District Judge.
Plaintiffs DeAngelo Scott and Ryan Pratt (" Plaintiffs" ) bring this putative class action against the Government of the District of Columbia (" Defendant" or " the District" ), alleging violations of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the United States Constitution, as well as common-law conversion, in relation to the District's " post and forfeit" procedures.
This matter is before the Court on the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Complaint [Dkt. No. 19]. Upon consideration of the Motion, Opposition [Dkt. No. 22], Supplemental Opposition [Dkt. No. 23], Reply [Dkt. No. 24], the entire record herein, and
for the reasons set forth below, the Motion shall be granted.
A. Factual Overview
On April 05, 2008, Mr. Scott and Mr. Pratt, who is Mr. Scott's stepson, were arrested outside their D.C. apartment at approximately 8:00 p.m. Compl. at ¶ ¶ 15-36 [Dkt. No. 1]. Mr. Scott was charged with possession of an open container of alcohol pursuant to D.C. Code § 25-1001(a)(1), and Mr. Pratt was charged with disorderly conduct pursuant to D.C. Code § 22-1321(1). Compl. at ¶ ¶ 47, 53.
The District's " post and forfeit" procedure allows persons charged with certain misdemeanors to " post and forfeit an amount as collateral ... and thereby obtain a full and final resolution of the criminal charge." D.C. Code § 5-335.01. When Mr. Scott and Mr. Pratt arrived at the police station, they were given the option to " post and forfeit" in return for their release that evening. Mr. Scott posted and forfeited $25, and Mr. Pratt posted and forfeited $35. Compl. ¶ ¶ 52, 58. Neither Mr. Scott nor Mr. Pratt filed a motion to set aside the forfeiture within the 90-day period, as set forth in the statute. D.C. Code § 5-335.01(d)(6).
B. Procedural Background
1. The Fox Case
On December 15, 2010, Barbara Fox and Hamilton P. Fox, III filed a Complaint comprised of both non-class claims for false arrest and putative class claims challenging the District's " post and forfeit" procedure.
See Fox v. District of Columbia, 2010-cv-2118 (D.D.C. 2010) (ABJ) (" Fox" ) [Dkt. No. 1]. The parties agree that the Fox case, decided by Judge Amy Jackson, tolled the statute of limitations for the Plaintiffs' claims in the present case, but disagree as to when the tolling ceased.
On March 30, 2012, Judge Jackson dismissed all of the class claims in Fox, but permitted the Foxes to amend their complaint to add two new class claims. See Fox v. District of Columbia, 851 F.Supp.2d 20 (D.D.C. 2012) (" Fox I" ). On February 15, 2013, Judge Jackson dismissed the two new class claims, leaving only the Foxes' individual claims.
See Fox v. District of Columbia, 923 F.Supp.2d 302 (D.D.C. 2013) (" Fox II" ).
On April 26, 2013, Mr. Fox filed a motion to direct an entry of final judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b) as to the dismissal of his class " post and forfeit" claims. Fox, Dkt. No. 72. Judge Jackson denied this motion on October 3, 2013. Fox, Dkt. No. 80. On February 28, 2014, Mr. Fox settled his individual claims and final judgment was entered.
2. The Present Case
Plaintiffs filed this Complaint, which was assigned to this Judge, on May 16, 2014. The Complaint alleges violations of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as well as common-law
conversion. See Compl. at ¶ ¶ 111-146. The class action claims in the present case are virtually indistinguishable from those that were brought in the Fox case. The Plaintiffs are also represented by one of ...