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Williams v. District of Columbia

United States District Court, District of Columbia

March 30, 2016

RAY BERNARD WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, et al., Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Gladys Kessler United States District Judge.

Plaintiff Ray Bernard Williams brings this action against the Government of the District of Columbia ("the District"), Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Merritt ("Merritt"), and Metropolitan Police Officer Cory Bines ("Bines") (collectively, "Defendants"), alleging violations of the Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, as well as numerous common law claims, in relation to the February 22, 2014 arrest of Mr. Williams.

This matter is before the Court on the Defendant's Partial Motion to Dismiss Complaint [Dkt. No. 6]. Upon consideration of the Motion, Response [Dkt. No. 15], Reply [Dkt. No. 17], and the entire record herein, and for the reasons set forth below, the Motion shall be granted.

I. Background

A. Factual Overview[1]

On the evening of February 22, 2014, Plaintiff was stopped, detained, arrested, and imprisoned by Defendant Officers Merritt and Bines at the liquor store located at 1726 Columbia Rd NW, in Washington, D.C. See Compl. ¶ 10. Plaintiff alleges that the stop, detention, arrest, and imprisonment were not supported by reasonable suspicion, probable cause, or legal justification. Id. ¶ 11. Plaintiff also alleges that the officers used excessive force in executing the detention and arrest, resulting in injuries to Plaintiff that include but are not limited to: a broken nose, two black eyes, and injuries to the sides of his head, face, and body, Id . ¶¶ 12-13.

After his arrest, Plaintiff was charged with Assault and Assaulting, Resisting or Interfering with a Police Officer. Id. ¶ 14. The Office of the United States Attorney entered a nolle prosequi in the case on March 14, 2014. Id. ¶ 16.

B. Procedural Background

Plaintiff initially filed the present case in Superior Court for the District of Columbia on February 19, 2015.[2] See Compl. Defendants jointly removed the case to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on May 12, 2015, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1441(a). See Joint Notice of Removal [Dkt. No. 1]. Plaintiff alleges violations of the Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, as well as common law claims of: assault and battery; false arrest; false imprisonment; intentional infliction of emotional distress; negligent infliction of emotional distress; negligence; negligent supervision, retention, and training; and respondeat superior liability. See Compl. ¶¶ 19-68.

Defendants filed the present Partial Motion to Dismiss on May 26, 2015. Plaintiff filed his Response on June 18, 2015, and Defendants filed their Reply on June 26, 2015. On October 6, 2015, without seeking leave of the Court, Plaintiff filed an Amended Response [Dkt. No. 24], Defendants filed a Motion to Strike the Amended Response ("Mot. to Strike") on October 21, 2015 [Dkt. No. 28] . Plaintiff filed an Opposition to the Motion to Strike on November 9, 2015 [Dkt. No. 29], and Defendants filed a Reply in Support of Motion to Strike on November 19, 2015 [Dkt. No. 31].

II. Legal Standards

A. Standard of Review under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)

To survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, a plaintiff need only plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face" and to "nudge[ ] [his or her] claims across the line from conceivable to plausible." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). "[0]nce a claim has been stated adequately, it may be supported by showing any set of facts consistent with the allegations in the complaint." Id. at 563.

Under the Twombly standard, a "court deciding a motion to dismiss must not make any judgment about the probability of the plaintiffs' success . . . [, ] must assume all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in fact) ... [, and] must give the plaintiff the benefit of all reasonable inferences derived from the facts alleged." Aktieselskabet AF 21. November 2001 v. Fame Jeans Inc., 525 F.3d 8, 17 (D.C. Cir. 2008) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). The court does not, however, accept as true "legal conclusions or inferences that are unsupported by the facts alleged." Ralls Corp. v. Comm. on Foreign Inv. in U.S., 758 F.3d 296, 315 (D.C. Cir. 2014) (citation omitted). Furthermore, a complaint which ...


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