United States District Court, District of Columbia
L. FRIEDRICH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff Richard Jones asserts several claims against the
District of Columbia stemming from his alleged overdetention
and strip search. Before the Court is the District's
Motion to Dismiss the First Amended Complaint for failure to
state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). For the reasons
discussed below, the Court grants in part and denies in part
the District's motion to dismiss.
December 7, 2015, Jones attended a hearing at the federal
courthouse and was ordered released from the custody of the
Department of Corrections. First Amended Compl. ¶¶
128, 129, 135, Dkt. 12. Following the hearing, the Marshals
transferred Jones to Department of Corrections staff who then
transported Jones to the D.C. Jail. Id. At the D.C.
Jail, Jones allegedly told the receiving and discharge staff
that he had been ordered released, but the staff could not
find a release order. Id. ¶¶ 130, 131.
Thus, staff subjected Jones to a strip-search and returned
him to his cell in the general population. Id.
¶¶ 130, 131, 137. Jones alleges that he was held in
the D.C. Jail for several hours. Id. ¶¶
132. In the alternative, Jones alleges that he was held more
than five hours from the moment the Marshals transferred him
to the Department of Corrections transport officers at the
federal courthouse. Id. ¶ 133.
further alleges that the Department of Corrections
“routinely” and “systematically”
holds detainees past their release times. Id.
¶¶ 13, 117. In particular, Jones claims that the
Department of Corrections' practice of not releasing
inmates until it obtains inmates' paper release
dispositions leads to the unconstitutional overdetention of
individuals who have been ordered released. Id.
¶ 41. Jones also contends that the Department of
Corrections “does not reliably” follow its own
policy that requires transporting defendants who have been
ordered released to D.C. General Hospital where they are not
subjected to strip searches, absent individualized suspicion.
Id. ¶ 37.
asserts constitutional claims based on his overdetention and
strip search. Additionally, he asserts common law claims for
false arrest and invasion of privacy.
evaluating a motion to dismiss, the Court must treat the
complaint's “factual allegations as true and must
grant the plaintiff the benefit of all inferences that can be
derived from the facts alleged.” Center for
Responsible Science v. Gottlieb, 311 F.Supp.3d 5, 8
(D.D.C. 2018) (internal quotation marks and alterations
omitted). “The Court need not accept as true, however,
a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation, nor an
inference unsupported by the facts set forth in the
Complaint.” Id. (internal quotation marks
survive a 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 (2009) (internal quotation
marks omitted). “A claim has facial plausibility when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged. Id. (internal citation
omitted). A “complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual
allegations.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). But the factual allegations in the
complaint “must be enough to raise a right to relief
above the speculative level.” Id.
Jones attempts to state several claims for municipal
liability. To determine whether Jones has stated a claim, the
Court must conduct a two-step inquiry: “First, the
court must determine whether the complaint states a claim for
a predicate constitutional violation. Second, if so, then the
court must determine whether the complaint states a claim
that a custom or policy of the municipality caused the
violation.” Baker v. District of Columbia, 326
F.3d 1302, 1306 (D.C. Cir. 2003) (internal citations
argues that his overdetention and strip search violated his
Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights. He also asserts common law
claims for false arrest and invasion of privacy.
Constitutional Claims Stemming from Jones's
first argues that his overdetention constituted an
unreasonable seizure under the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth
Amendment guarantees the “right of the people to be
secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against
unreasonable searches and seizures.” U.S. Const. amend.
IV. “A seizure triggering the Fourth Amendment's
protections occurs when a person's freedom of movement is
terminated or restrained, either by physical force or a show
of authority.” See Barnes v. District of
Columbia, 793 F.Supp.2d 260, 273-74 (D.D.C. 2011)
(internal quotation marks omitted). But here, Jones was
already in custody when he was ordered released. In other
words, Jones's “freedom of movement had already
been terminated.” Id. (internal citations
omitted). And Jones did not allege or provide any factual
support in his complaint suggesting that his overdetention
involved a fresh seizure, which would warrant a Fourth
Amendment analysis. See id. Moreover, “[m]ost
courts that have considered overdetention claims have agreed
that they are properly channeled through the Due Process