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Johnson v. Paragon Systems, Inc.

United States District Court, District of Columbia

September 27, 2017

DENNIS JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
v.
PARAGON SYSTEMS, INC., et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Emmet G. Sullivan United States District Judge.

         Pending before the Court is defendant Paragon Systems, Inc.'s ("Paragon") motion for summary judgment. For the reasons articulated below, the Court GRANTS Paragon's motion.

         I. Background

         On October 24, 2012, plaintiff Dennis Johnson arrived at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") facility and entered the building with a loaded handgun in his briefcase. Am. Compl. ¶ 10, ECF No. 12. As a retired federal law enforcement officer, Mr. Johnson asserts that he is entitled to carry a firearm on federal property at any time. Id. ¶ 10.

         Nonetheless - perhaps because Mr. Johnson inadvertently entered the ICE facility through the visitors' entrance and not the employees' entrance - Mr. Johnson was immediately detained by security guards allegedly employed by Paragon. Id. ¶¶ 10-13. According to Mr. Johnson, even though he promptly displayed his law-enforcement badge to the security guards, and even though the security guards were allegedly notified that Mr. Johnson was entitled to bring his weapon into the building, the security guards "handcuffed Plaintiff for over two hours." Id. ¶¶ 13-15.

         Mr. Johnson further alleges that Christopher Adams - a Federal Protective Service employee who supposedly supervised "either a Paragon Systems employee or MVM employee" - threatened to initiate criminal proceedings against Mr. Johnson "for entering the ICE facility with a loaded handgun." Id. ¶¶ 16-17. Mr. Adams purportedly continued to threaten Mr. Johnson with legal action for a period of over two months. Id.

         Based on these allegations, Mr. Johnson filed suit on October 31, 2015 against Paragon. See Compl., ECF No. 1. In that complaint, Mr. Johnson asserted four causes of action: (1) a "civil rights violation"; (2) assault and battery; (3) intentional infliction of emotional distress; and (4) common-law negligence. Id. ¶¶ 18-35. On July 1, 2016, the Court granted Paragon's partial motion to dismiss, dismissing Mr. Johnson's claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress after concluding that Mr. Johnson had failed to sufficiently allege that his injury resulted from "extreme and outrageous conduct." See Johnson v. Paragon Sys., Inc., 195 F.Supp.3d 96 (D.D.C. 2016).

         Following the dismissal, Mr. Johnson filed an amended complaint adding MVM Inc., Federal Protective Services, and Christopher Adams as co-defendants. See Am. Compl., ECF No. 12 (filed October 21, 2016). Paragon timely answered the complaint and, on January 13, 2017, filed this motion for summary judgment. See Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. ("Def.'s Mot."), ECF No. 18.

         In support of its motion, Paragon states that, at the time of Mr. Johnson's encounter with the security guards at the ICE facility, it "did not have a contract to provide security services" at the site. See Def.'s Statement of Undisputed Material Facts ("SUMF") ¶¶ 2-3, ECF No. 18-1. To that end, Paragon maintains that none of its employees, agents, or representatives were "involved, in any way, with the alleged occurrence" described in Mr. Johnson's amended complaint. Id. ¶¶

         10-14.

         At his deposition, Mr. Johnson essentially conceded as much, testifying that he had no knowledge with respect to Paragon's involvement in the incident at the ICE facility:

Q: Do you have any understanding of what role Paragon Systems, Inc. played in regard to the incident?
A: I do not.
Q: Do you have an understanding [as to] why they were named as a Defendant in ...

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