United States District Court, D. Columbia.
Gregory Smith, Plaintiff: Brendan James Klaproth, LEAD
ATTORNEY, KLAPROTH LAW PLLC, Washington, DC USA; David
Akulian, LEAD ATTORNEY, LAW OFFICE OF DAVID H. AKULIAN,
Washington, DC USA.
District of Columbia, William J. Smith, WARDEN, Individually
and in his official capacity, Defendants: Alicia Marie
Cullen, Michael K. Addo, LEAD ATTORNEYS, OFFICE OF ATTORNEY
GENERAL/DC, Washington, DC USA.
BERMAN JACKSON, United States District Judge.
Gregory Smith has brought this action against the District of
Columbia, the District of Columbia Department of Corrections,
Warden William J. Smith, and unknown employees of the
Department of Corrections, alleging that defendants
unlawfully detained plaintiff in the District of Columbia
Jail from March 18, 2014 to April 10, 2014, after he had been
ordered to be released. Compl. [Dkt. # 1-1]. He asserts Fifth
and Fourteenth Amendment claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983, as well as claims for false imprisonment and
negligence. Compl. ¶ ¶ 27-43. Defendant Warden
Smith has moved to dismiss the claims against him pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Def. William J.
Smith's Mot. to Dismiss [Dkt. # 19] (" Def.'s
Mot." ). Because the Court finds that plaintiff
has failed to allege any facts that would support a plausible
claim against the warden, individually or in his official
capacity, the Court will grant the motion and dismiss
defendant Smith from this case. The Court notes, though, that
the District of Columbia is still a party to this matter, and
plaintiff's claims against the District will proceed.
March 15, 2014, plaintiff was arrested in the District of
Columbia and held at the District of Columbia Jail. Compl.
¶ ¶ 6, 17-18. On March 18, 2014, a judge of the
Superior Court ordered that plaintiff be released from
custody. Id. ¶ 18. However, plaintiff was not
freed until April 10, 2014, after a hearing in which the same
Superior Court judge was compelled to order again that
plaintiff be released. Id. ¶ 19. Plaintiff
alleges that he repeatedly told the corrections officers at
the jail that his release had been ordered by the Superior
Court, and he demanded to be released, but these demands were
ignored. Id. ¶ 20. One unidentified corrections
officer allegedly told plaintiff, " [i]f you're
here, they know you're here and you're supposed to be
alleges that he was imprisoned in a cell with " a
dangerous prisoner who, upon information and belief, had been
found guilty of possession of a loaded fire arm and
possession of narcotics with an intent to distribute."
Compl. ¶ 22. He also
states that he was terminated from his job as a result of the
overdetention. Id. ¶ 24. The charges against
plaintiff were dismissed on September 8, 2014. Id.
initiated this action in Superior Court on November 14, 2014,
and it was removed to this Court on February 2, 2015. Notice
of Removal [Dkt. # 1] ¶ 1. Plaintiff brings three counts
against all defendants: claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
for violations of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments (Count
I); False Imprisonment (Count II), and Negligence (Count
III). Compl. ¶ ¶ 27-43. On August 14, 2015,
defendant Smith filed the pending motion to dismiss,
Def's Mot.; Mem. of P. & A. in Supp. of Def.'s Mot.
[Dkt. # 19] (" Def.'s Mem." ), and plaintiff
opposed the motion on August 31, 2015. Pl.'s Mem. of
Opposing P. & A. to Def.'s Mot. [Dkt. # 20] ("
Pl.'s Opp." ). On October 2, 2015, with leave of
Court, see Min. Order (Oct. 2, 2015), defendant
Smith filed a reply in support of his motion. Def.'s
Reply to Pl.'s Opp. [Dkt. # 22] (" Def.'s
To survive a [Rule 12(b)(6)] motion to dismiss, a complaint
must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'" 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, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955,
167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). A claim is facially plausible when
the pleaded factual content " allows the court to draw
the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged." Id., citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556. " The plausibility
standard is not akin to a 'probability requirement,'
but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a
defendant has acted unlawfully." Id., quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556. A pleading must offer more
than " labels and conclusions" or a "
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action," id., quoting Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555, and " [t]hreadbare recitals of the elements
of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements, do not suffice." Id., citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the
complaint is construed liberally in the plaintiff's
favor, and the Court should grant the plaintiff " the
benefit of all inferences that can be derived from the facts
alleged." Kowal v. MCI Communications Corp., 16
F.3d 1271, 1276, 305 U.S.App.D.C. 60 (D.C. Cir. 1994).
Nevertheless, the Court need not accept inferences drawn by
the plaintiff if those inferences are unsupported by facts
alleged in the complaint, nor must the Court accept
plaintiff's legal conclusions. See id. ; see
also Browning v. Clinton, 292 F.3d 235, 242,
352 U.S.App.D.C. 4 (D.C. Cir. 2002). In ruling upon a motion
to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a court may
ordinarily consider only " 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), citing
EEOC v. St. Francis Xavier Parochial Sch., 117 F.3d
621, 624-25, 326 U.S.App.D.C. 67 (D.C. Cir. 1997).
Plaintiff's official-capacity claims against defendant
Smith are duplicative of his claims against the District of
sues defendant Smith in both his individual and official
capacity. See Caption, Compl., at 1. Defendant Smith
has moved to dismiss the official-capacity claims against him
as duplicative ...