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Hampton v. Comey

United States District Court, D. Columbia

September 21, 2015

JAMES B. COMEY, et al., Defendants

          For JEROME HAMPTON, Plaintiff: Raymond Jerome Vanzego, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEY, LAW OFFICE OF R.J. VANZEGO, JR., Upper Marlboro, MD.

         For JAMES B. COMEY, Director of Federal Bureau of Investigation, ANNE MARY CARTER, BOP Warden, Morgantown, West Virginia, TIMOTHY J. ERVIN, FBI Special Agent, BRIAN MUMFORD, FBI Special Agent, ALYSON SAMUELS, FBI Special Agent, TUCKER G. VANDERBUNT, FBI Special Agent, RYAN M. PARDEE, FBI Special Agent, CHARLES E. SAMUELS, JR., Director, Federal Bureau of Prisons, WATERS, DR. -- M.D. BOP, Morgantown, West Virginia, PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, STATE OF MARYLAND, Defendants: William Mark Nebeker, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Washington, DC.

         For MELVIN C. HIGH, Former Chief of Police for Prince George's County (2007), Defendant: William Antoine Snoddy, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY GOVERNMENT, Upper Marlboro, MD.

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         AMY BERMAN JACKSON, United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Jerome Hampton brings this action against thirteen federal and state defendants, asserting fifteen federal, state, and common law claims arising out of his arrest, his transportation to and detention in the District of Columbia jail on June 19, 2007, and his subsequent imprisonment by the Federal Bureau of Prisons from September 2010 until July 2013. 2d Am. Compl. [Dkt. # 29]. Defendants Prince George's County, Maryland (" the County" ) and Melvin C. High, the former Chief of Police of Prince George's County (collectively, " the Maryland defendants" ), have moved to dismiss plaintiff's claims against them pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss [Dkt. # 34] (" Defs.' Mot." ). Because the Court finds that plaintiff has not alleged facts sufficient to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Maryland defendants for the deprivation of constitutional rights, the Court will grant the motion and dismiss the Maryland defendants from this case.


         The Court recites only those factual allegations pertinent to the Maryland defendants in resolving the pending motion to dismiss. Plaintiff alleges that on June 19, 2007, several FBI agents and an unidentified Prince George's County police officer

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arrested plaintiff at his home in Maryland. 2d Am. Compl. ¶ 26. Plaintiff states that he asked to see an arrest warrant, but that the officer and FBI agents " refused to produce [it]." Id. ¶ ¶ 27-28. He claims that the FBI agents then entered plaintiff's home " without producing a search warrant," and that his " minor children were removed from house [sic] in handcuffs, and placed on their knee's [sic] outside the home" by the FBI agents. Id. ¶ ¶ 31-33. The FBI agents then searched plaintiff's home. Id. ¶ 35.

         Plaintiff alleges that the FBI agents then transported him from Maryland to the District of Columbia jail without first taking him before a federal magistrate, a local judge, or a federal or state court, or providing him with an extradition hearing. Id. ¶ ¶ 36-41. In September 2010, plaintiff was committed to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Morgantown, West Virginia, id. ¶ ¶ 8, 44, but his conviction was vacated by the D.C. Circuit in 2013. Id. ¶ 56; see also United States v. Hampton, 718 F.3d 978, 984, 405 U.S.App.D.C. 328 (D.C. Cir. 2013).

         Plaintiff initiated this action on September 23, 2014, Compl. [Dkt. # 1], and after several procedural delays that are not relevant here, he filed a second amended complaint on March 30, 2015. 2d Am. Compl. He sues defendant High in his individual capacity, and the County in its official capacity. Id. ¶ ¶ 19, 21-23. The only claim against the Maryland defendants is set forth in Count XIV, in which plaintiff asserts that the Maryland defendants infringed his constitutional rights in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 when they unlawfully arrested and detained him. Id. ¶ ¶ 108-24. Plaintiff claims that a 2004 " Memorandum of Agreement" between the Maryland defendants and the United States Department of Justice, see Ex. 1 to 2d Am. Compl. [Dkt. # 29-1], shows that the Maryland defendants agreed " not to violate citizens, U.S. Constitution Rights such as Plaintiff [sic]." 2d Am. Compl. ¶ ¶ 108, 113. Plaintiff contends that they " did continue to violate citizens U.S. Constitution Rights and that of Plaintiff [sic]." Id.

         Specifically, plaintiff claims that the Maryland defendants, through their " inaction on June 19, 2007," violated: 1) plaintiff's and plaintiff's children's Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, id. ¶ ¶ 109-10, 114-15; 2) plaintiff's Fifth Amendment rights because " Plaintiff being an African-American was treated differently than a White American," id. ¶ ¶ 111, 116; and 3) plaintiff's Sixth Amendment right " to legal counsel in all criminal defendant matters." Id. ¶ ¶ 112, 117. Plaintiff further states that the Maryland defendants " formulated policy, and ha[ve] exercised that policymaking authority to generate improper practices, in the Prince George's County Police Department." Id. ¶ ¶ 109-12, 114-17.

         On April 20, 2015, the Maryland defendants filed the pending motion to dismiss. Defs.' Mot. Plaintiff opposed the motion on May 14, 2015. Pl.'s Resp. to Defs.' Mot. [Dkt. # 38] (" ...

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