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Fynalle FRE v. Monk

United States District Court, District of Columbia

February 15, 2017

FYNALLE FRE, Plaintiff,
CHARLES MONK, et al, Defendants.


          ROSEMARY M. COLLYER United States District Judge.

         This matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [Dkt. No. 15] and Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint [Dkt. No. 28]. For the reasons discussed below, the Court will grant the former and deny the latter.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On Sunday, October 11, 2015, there allegedly was “a collision between a pedestrian (Plaintif[f]) and a motor vehicle” in the Unit Block of E Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. Compl. [Dkt. No. 1] at 2 (page numbers designated by ECF). Metropolitan Police Department “Officer Charles Monk responded to a 911 call.” Id. at 1. Officer Monk prepared an incident report describing the incident as follows:

On 10/11/15 at about 0715 hours, [Plaintiff] reports that she was walking east bound in the Unit Block of E Street N.W. along the south side of the street directly across from the alley sep[a]rating 15 and 25 E Street N.W. She stepped from the sidewalk/driveway area and began to walk across the open lanes of traffic northbound[.] [Plaintiff] was attempting to cross the roadway and reach the north sidewalk.
[The driver] was . . . backing from the alley between 15 and 25 E Street on the north side of the roadway[.] [She] stated, she signaled and waited for vehicular traffic to pas[s] in both directions. When it was safe to do so, she began to back [her vehicle] out of the alley[.]
[The driver] heard a female voice yelling and screaming. [Plaintiff] began to state, “you hit me.” Further investigation revealed no damage to [the vehicle]. [Plaintiff] was observed walking around by the reporting officer. She was carrying several heavy bags on her person. [She] displayed no signs of physical injury. [Plaintiff] further explained the right rear bumper area of [the vehicle] brushed against her left upper arm, knee and left side. [She] refuse[d] medical treatment. [The driver] stated, [“]I didn't see her in my mirrors nor did I believe I hit her[.”]
[The driver] had legal usage and obeyed all traffic laws . . . while operating [her vehicle]. [Plaintiff] failed to use the proper crosswalk to cross the [street and she] was advised of the law for pedestrian's use of public space and roadways.
No NOI issued or further actions taken[.]
After further investigation of [Plaintiff's statements] and additional visits to the scene, “it's the investigating officer[']s op[in]ion that a[n] accident did not occur[.] Statements and actions are inconsistent.

Id., Ex. (CCN #15161351 - Traffic Crash Report) at 2.

         According to Plaintiff, Officer Monk made “several errors on the police report.” Id. at 2. For example, the report allegedly misidentified the hotel in front of which the collision occurred, id., misstated Plaintiff's actions before and during the alleged collision, id., omitted Plaintiff's address, see Pl.'s Mem. in Opp'n to Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss [ECF No. 19] (Pl.'s Opp'n) at 8, and indicated that Plaintiff “was in the street improperly, ” id. Officer Monk allegedly “focused on details pertaining to [Plaintiff's] person that had no bearing on the incident, ” particularly by referring to the bags she was carrying thus “shift[ing] the narrative away from the collision to his perception of [her].” Compl. at 2. Plaintiff has asserted that “Officer Monk exhibited bias in his handling of the investigation and reporting of the incident, ” and as a result of his biased policing, she “was deprived of [her] right to fair and impartial due process.” Id.

         Plaintiff has had other encounters with MPD officers. She allegedly “sought assistance in dealing with and reporting a verbal threat on [her] life (Oct. 4, 2015) and an actual battery (Oct. 11, 2015), ” and based on the officers' responses she alleges “a pattern of bias by the [MPD that] has put [her] life at risk.” Id. at 3. “In each case officers' selective hearing prevented them from fully grasping the facts as [Plaintiff] stated them, letting a single word or phrase determine the validity of the enter account of the events.” Id. “As a result of [her] encounters with the [MPD] and the bias that is apparent, [Plaintiff] chose not to report a [third] incident . . . on October 18, 2015.” Id.; see Pl.'s Opp'n at 5. Plaintiff “no longer feel[s] as if [she] can get the protection [and] justice from the [MPD], ” and for this reason she “is suing for deprivation of rights, intentional interference, defamation [and] negligence.” Compl. at 4. Among other relief, Plaintiff demands damages of $10 million. Id.


         A. Dismissal Under Rule 12(b)(6)

         A plaintiff's complaint need only provide a “short and plain statement of [her] claim showing that [she] is entitled to relief, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), that ‘“give[s] the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests, '” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (per curiam) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). To survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), “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 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). In other words, it must set forth “factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Patton Boggs LLP v. Chevron Corp., 683 F.3d 397, 403 (D.C. Cir. 2012) (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678)). “[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not ‘shown'-‘that the pleader is entitled to relief.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)). For purposes of this discussion, the Court construes Plaintiff's complaint liberally, see Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), and presumes that its factual allegations are true, see Gray v. Poole, 275 F.3d 1113, 1115 (D.C. Cir. 2006). With these considerations in mind, the Court concludes that the complaint must be dismissed.

         B. The Proper Party Defendants

         1. The Metropolitan Police ...

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