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Jackson v. Office of Mayor of District of Columbia

United States District Court, District of Columbia

October 29, 2019

CLARENCE JACKSON, Plaintiff,
v.
OFFICE OF THE MAYOR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          AMIT P. MEHTA UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         I.

         Pro se Plaintiff Clarence Jackson alleges that Defendants Office of the Mayor of the District of Columbia and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals Committee on Admissions (“COA”) improperly denied him the opportunity to take the District of Columbia bar exam for a fifth time. See Compl., ECF No. 1, at 2-3. Construed liberally, Plaintiff's Complaint asserts the following claims: (1) violation of the Sixth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution; (2) discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”); (3) breach of contract; and (4) intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. See generally id.

         The court now considers, on remand, Defendants' Renewed and Narrowed Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint. For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's claims and this matter are dismissed in their entirety.

         II.

         A.

         The facts alleged are as follows. On November 19, 2010, Plaintiff applied to sit for the District of Columbia bar for a fifth time. See Notice of Filing, ECF No. 11 [hereinafter Notice of Filing II], at 36.[1] Plaintiff, however, failed to pay the required fees and to provide proof of law school graduation. So, on November 24, 2010, the COA denied Plaintiff's application for those reasons. Id. at 37 (notice to Plaintiff from the COA).

         Five years later, on December 31, 2015, Plaintiff filed suit against the COA in D.C. Superior Court. Plaintiff claimed that the denial of his application constituted a breach of contract, intentionally inflicted emotional distress, and violated his rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. See Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 17 [hereinafter Defs.' Mot.], at 2-3; see also id., Ex. A, ECF No. 17-1 [hereinafter D.C. Super. Ct. Docket]. On April 1, 2016, the D.C. Superior Court granted, without explanation, the COA's motion to dismiss the complaint. See Notice of Filing, ECF No. 10 [hereinafter Notice of Filing I], at 14.

         On or about April 5, 2016, Plaintiff filed a petition with the D.C. Mayor's Office, apparently seeking to challenge the COA's refusal to let him sit for the bar exam. See Id. at 5. The Mayor's Office denied the petition because “[a] lawsuit has been filed for this claim.” Id. Plaintiff appealed this decision to the D.C. Court of Appeals, but the court denied the appeal as untimely. See Id. at 24.

         On April 7, 2016, Plaintiff asked the D.C. Superior Court to clarify why it dismissed his complaint. That request went unanswered for more than a year. See Id. at 13.

         Plaintiff filed this action on October 11, 2016. See Compl. He sued both the COA and the Mayor's Office, challenging the COA's denial of his application to sit for the bar exam and the Mayor Office's refusal to review that decision. See Id. at 1-3. The Complaint asserts multiple claims, including violations of the Sixth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as the ADA. Plaintiff also advances causes of action for breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress. See Id. at 3-4.

         B.

         In March 2017, the court granted Defendants' motion to dismiss, finding the action barred by three doctrines: Rooker-Feldman, Younger abstention, and res judicata. See Jackson v. Office of the Mayor of D.C., No. 1:16-CV-02049 (APM), 2017 WL 932990, at *2 (D.D.C. Mar. 8, 2017). In December 2018, the Court of Appeals reversed, holding each doctrine inapplicable. See Jackson v. Office of the Mayor of D.C., 911 F.3d 1167, 1170-71 (D.C. Cir. 2018). It remanded the case for this court to consider the alternative bases for dismissal not previously considered. Id. at 1171-72.

         On remand, Defendants renewed their motion to dismiss, advancing the following grounds for dismissal: (1) Plaintiff fails to state a claim; (2) the COA is immune from suit; (3) the claims against the COA are time-barred; and (4) Plaintiff failed to give the District of Columbia notice of his intentional and negligent infliction claims as required by D.C. Code § 12-309. See generally Defs.' Renewed and Narrowed Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 37 [hereinafter Defs.' Renewed Mot.]. Plaintiff did not offer a new response to the Renewed Motion. Instead, he indicated only that he was “oppose[d] to any and all filings by [D]efendant in this case since its pendency in this court” and that his “pre-appeal response to [D]efendant's motion to dismiss will be renewed again.” Response to Order of the Court, ECF No. 41, ...


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