United States District Court, District of Columbia
TIMOTHY J. KELLY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Frank Bell, proceeding pro se, filed this action in the
Superior Court of the District of Columbia in October 2018,
and Defendants removed it in December of that year. ECF No.
1. On April 11, 2019, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss
for both lack of subject-matter jurisdiction and failure to
state a claim. ECF No. 4. And on that same date, the Court
ordered Bell to file his response by May 6, 2019. ECF No. 5.
The Court's order advised Bell that, if he failed to file
a timely response, the Court would treat the motion as
conceded and, if circumstances warranted, dismiss the case.
To date, Bell has neither filed an opposition nor requested
additional time to do so. Although Defendants' motion is
unopposed, the Court declines to grant the motion as
conceded. See Cohen v. Bd. of Trs. of the Univ. of
D.C., 819 F.3d 476, 482-83 (D.C. Cir. 2016). Still, for
the reasons explained below, Bell's complaint must be
dismissed. Defendants' motion will be granted.
Court treats Defendants' unopposed representations of
fact as true. See generally ECF No. 4-1 (“Defs.'
Mem.”); ECF No. 6-1 (“Defs.' Ex.”). In
November 2008, Bell was convicted of distribution of cocaine
in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Defs.'
Ex. at 3. He was sentenced to 36 months' incarceration,
followed by five years of supervised release. Id.
His supervised release began in July 2011. Id. at 6.
In October 2013, the United States Parole Commission issued a
violation warrant after Bell allegedly tested positive for
illegal narcotics, refused to submit to drug testing, failed
to report to his supervision officer, and did not complete a
mandated drug treatment program. Id. at 12-14. But
rather than revoke his supervised release, the Commission
allowed Bell to complete an in-custody portion of a drug
treatment program and reinstated him to supervision in March
2014, on the condition that he successfully complete the
outpatient portion of the program. Id. at 15-16.
2016, the Commission issued its second violation warrant.
Id. at 17-20. By that time, Bell had allegedly
tested positive for illegal narcotics on 93 occasions,
refused to submit to drug testing on 49 occasions, failed to
report to his supervision officer, and had been convicted of
petit larceny in Fairfax, Virginia. Id. Bell was
sentenced to two years' imprisonment by the Fairfax
County court. Id. at 22. On November 13, 2017, the
Commission's warrant was executed. Id. At that
time, Bell should have been transferred to a Federal Bureau
of Prisons facility so that the Commission could conduct a
revocation hearing within 90 days of the warrant's
execution. See 28 C.F.R. 2.215(f). But he was not transferred
until April 2018 and did not have a revocation hearing until
August 2018. Defs.' Ex. at 21-22. The hearing examiner
recommended, and the Commission ordered, that Bell serve 11
months' incarceration followed by 36 months' of
supervised release, with credit for the time Bell had been
incarcerated since the warrant was executed in November 2017.
Id. at 28. Accordingly, Bell was released from
custody and began his latest term of supervised release in
October 2018. He sued Defendants less than a week later.
entirety of Bell's complaint alleges that:
Under the color of the law the U.S. Parole [C]ommission
violated my due process rights as a U.S. Citizen. Statue
[sic]; Long vs. Gaines. Under the color of the law the United
States Parole Commission was suppose[d] to give me a
revocation hearing by Feb[r]uary 13, 2018 in order to comply
with app[l]icable laws. I didn't receive a revocation
hearing until August 30, 2018.
ECF No. 1-2 (“Compl.”) ¶ 1. As relief, he
requests that “the Court terminate [his] supervised
release [and] order the U.S. Parole Commission [to]
compensate [him] $1, 500 for each day after Feb[r]uary 13,
2018 to October 12, 2018 causing [him] mental and physical
anguish.” Id. ¶ 2.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), a party may move to
dismiss a claim for relief on the ground that the court lacks
subject-matter jurisdiction. To survive such a motion, the
plaintiff bears the burden of proving that the court has
jurisdiction to hear his claims. See Lujan v. Defs. of
Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 561 (1992). A court has an
“independent obligation to determine whether
subject-matter jurisdiction exists, even in the absence of a
challenge from any party.” Arbaugh v. Y & H
Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 514 (2006). For this reason,
factual allegations in the complaint warrant closer scrutiny
in resolving a 12(b)(1) motion as opposed to a 12(b)(6)
motion for failure to state a claim. Grand Lodge of the
Fraternal Order of Police v. Ashcroft, 185 F.Supp.2d 9,
13-14 (D.D.C. 2001).
Rule 12(b)(6), a court must dismiss a claim when the
complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted. In evaluating such a motion, the Court must
“treat the complaint's factual allegations as true
and must grant plaintiff the benefit of all inferences that
can be derived from the facts alleged.” Sparrow v.
United Air Lines, Inc., 216 F.3d 1111, 1113 (D.C. Cir.
2000) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted); see
also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). A
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. Trudeau v. FTC, 456 F.3d 178, 193 (D.C.
Cir. 2006) (quoting Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265,
286 (1986)). Although “detailed factual
allegations” are not necessary to withstand a Rule
12(b)(6) motion, Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007), “a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, [if] accepted as true, to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face, ”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (internal quotation marks
Court concludes that no matter how Bell's claim is
construed-whether as one for habeas relief, under the Federal
Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. § 2671 et seq., or
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983-it must be dismissed.